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Lord Of The Flies Essay Questions Essay, Research Paper
Essay Question Two
Lord of the Flies opens with the introduction
of a small group of English boys that are marooned on an island. The plane
was evacuating them from atomic war-ridden England. This is a suiting time
for this novel to be written- it shows how savage even little boys can
be, and that adults are no different, with their wars and cruelties. A
small society is set up, but Jack starts his own rule, contrary to Ralph’s
leadership. The boys turn on each other, eventually killing Simon in the
middle of a hunting dance, and smashing a boulder on Piggy. The choice
of “young English lads” is perfect- if, perhaps, “foreign ruffians” were
chosen, a stereotypical person might expect cruel and savage behavior.
On the contrary, these boys were the “cream of the crop”, and all it took
was a little trouble on an island to turn them into killing machines. The
time is one that the world is turning on each other, and the boys follow
suit and turn on each other. Their society is an ironic model of the real
world around them. Many countries today are turning on each other, with
violent wars and cruelties. Lord of the Flies shows one that mankind must
choose to stop cruelty or face destruction. Many people do not believe
in violence or cruelty, unless they are in power. When humans strive for
power, they get so power hungry that the power backfires. When one is in
total control power, one often turns into a more savage person than that
same person that is under a rule or with the absence of a ruler does. Humans
were not meant to be ruled or to rule. To coexist is mankind’s purpose,
yet with no rule, there is often an absence of order, but with a human
rule, there is always conflict in society. Society today has order, but
violence is also prevalent.
Near the end of the novel, many of the
boys start a fire to smoke out Ralph, and that same fire gets bigger and
bigger and eventually is what a ship sees and saves Ralph’s life and rescues
the boys. What at first was made to bring the death of Ralph later saved
him. In human society, and even in the animal kingdom, violent acts may
turn into a salvation. Many animals must kill one another to eat. During
wars, the United States is brought together and the economy booms. At what
first appears to be a bad factor for the United States, later becomes a
good thing, in different ways. It is ironic that a bad deed can turn into
a good deed. This kind of ironic situation can also be applied to reverse
psychology. If one tells another he or she if bad, often he or she will
respond saying that he or she is not bad. A hurtful insult may turn up
some self-esteem. It is similar to throwing old vegetables at a bad comic-
the bad comic is probably homeless and will take the food and eat it. Have
lemons? Make lemonade.
The final scene is possibly the most powerful
and terrifying of all the scenes in the book. It features a dignified naval
officer in all the trappings of his station, much like the paint and weaponry
of the boys. This man rescues Ralph from almost certain death. However,
in doing so, he brings the boys into another society which, in principle,
is exactly like the one they just lived. This man is a boy, a fly, another
person warring the battle for power between the evil in his mind and the
rationality of it, another person swarming to the feast. He is another
Jack, warring against people who do not agree with his ideals, his religions
in order to strengthen his own standards.
Golding’s ingenious use of a truly entertaining
story to convey the scary reality of the human spirit is accomplished through
the use of symbolism. The boys symbolize the various aspects of the mind,
and their ensuing actions symbolize the respective struggles of the mind.
Their entire struggle to survive on the island is a representation of civilization’s
struggle to survive. This was Golding’s purpose and he accomplishes it
Essay Question Three
No government, no rules, no problems?
Of course, there are problems. From the calling of the first meeting and
all along up to the final hunt for Ralph, the sense of order and respect
is gradually declining among the boys. In the beginning, everybody listens
to what everybody has to say, and they try to build a civilized society
on the island. The boys had obviously gotten a pretty strict upbringing
both at home and at school. All of them have a definite view of what is
right and what is wrong. At first, they are able to use this sense, and
keep their traditional standards on the island. They elect a leader democratically,
and by popular vote, they start deciding what has to be done. They have
rules for the meetings and they make laws for what is allowed and what
is not. The problem comes when the boys start realizing that there is no
one there to control them. There are no adults there to make them toil
and sweat if they do not want to. The boys realize that swimming and eating
fruit all day is more fun, than laying the foundation for a fair and safe
society where everybody works for the benefit of the whole group. The main
symbol that represents the law and order on the island is the conch shell.
It is with this Ralph calls all the meetings and all of the other boys
seem to respect this. Anyone who holds it has the right to be heard. Without
this, nobody would probably ever have listened to any of Piggies intelligent
suggestions. There would have been no fire, no shelters and no assigned
place for lavatory use. As the respect for the conch disappears, so does
the law and order on the island. This hits rock bottom as Piggy is killed
and the conch is crushed with him. There is no longer any respect for Old
World rules left on the island. With Piggies death, social anarchy was
at its fullest.
Actually, there really is no anarchy. There
is always a leader and there are always rules. Was there not an establishment?
Of course there was. Jack was the leader of the savages, even though they
basically did what they wanted to, he had his establishment and people
looked toward Jack as their leader. He overthrew power with violence as
his tool; he spoke of doing things his way and with no real authority.
However, nothing changed for all the death that his ideas created, it’s
just the same fascistic games, but his rules weren’t clearly stated. Nothing
was really different, because all forms of government is basically the
same. Jack could have called it anarchy but slavery was the game. Jack
had everyone under his control, and if someone didn’t want his new restrictions
or disagreed with him and had their own convictions. He would run them
through. That’s what he did with Piggy, the symbol of authority, and that
is what he was going to do with Ralph.
Essay Question Seven
Simon is the most powerful character in
the book. Of all the boys, only he can see beyond the surface of things.
His intransigence in climbing the mountain, his insistence on understanding,
is a metaphor for what the book itself does. The book dares to name the
beast, the evil in man’s heart, as the beast. He is the one who pipes up
during a meeting, that maybe the beast is real, but that it is only our
own creation, much like the monster typically lurking underneath children’s
beds. Simon is the one who confronts the monster fearlessly and finds out
the truth in the dramatic scene with the pig’s head. Simon is the embodiment
of man’s intuition and feeling. When Simon confronts the beast, he realizes
that it is inside of him, that it can not be fought with spears and rocks.
It cannot be satiated with sacrifice and dance. It is a part of everyone,
a part of human nature. Simon tries to tell his companions of his tremendous
discovery, but his words are drowned out by the praising of the beast and
he is slaughtered in the ensuing frenzy. With Simon’s death, truth is lost.
The identity of the beast is lost.
The Beast takes many forms in the boys’
imaginations; once, they saw a strange shape moving at the top of a mountain,
and they were afraid that it was the Beast. No one dared to go near it
save Simon, who went alone to the mountaintop during one of his sojourns;
he discovered that the Beast was only a dead parachuter whose gear shifted
in the wind. Ironically, the dead man was a soldier, a symbol of the savagery
that was the true Beast. However, Simon’s compassion showed again as he
braved the stench to cut the parachute from the corpse; he laid the Beast
Essay Question Twelve
The most obvious of the themes is man’s
need for civilization. Contrary to the belief that man is innocent and
society evil, the story shows that laws and rules, policemen and schools
are necessary to keep the darker side of human nature in line. When these
institutions and concepts slip away or are ignored, human beings revert
to a more primitive part of their nature. Which is revealed in the novel,
when authority starts to slip Jack breaks away from Ralph and starts his
own savage cult.
Another theme of William Golding’s novel
is the fact that evil is innate in all people. That it is not something
that exists around us, but rather something that exists in us and it is
this evil inside man that dictates how he grows as a civilization. All
of the children in the book represent the flies that swarm around the pig’s
head, which is its self, the lord, the need for evil. The children swarm
around the lord, they follow Jack in droves in order to feast on the pleasure
of their own gluttonous actions.
Finally, the existence of civilization
allows man to remain innocent or ignorant about his true nature. Although
man needs civilization, it is important that he also be aware of his more
primitive instincts. Only in this way can he reach true maturity. Golding
implies that the loss of innocence has little to do with age but is related
to a person’s understanding of human nature. It can happen at any age or
not at all. Painful though it may be, this loss of innocence by coming
to terms with reality is necessary if humanity is to survive. Jack is a
good example, he would rather hunt and get more in touch with of his primitive
side rather having a modern civilization, which Ralph tries to exceed.
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