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Essay/Term paper: Golding's reality fact or fiction

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Expository Essays

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Golding's Reality
Fiction or fact

A recurring theme in William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies , is that man
savage at heart, always ultimately reverting back to evil and a primitive nature. Golding
believes that man has no control over his own destiny because of fear. Golding uses
properties of setting, characters, and their behavior and the events of the book, Lord of
the Flies, to build and support his vision of reality.
William Golding was born in Great Britain in 1911 and throughout his whole life
he has witnessed the true evil in man. As an adult he lived through and was in World War
II. He saw many dictators come and go and he witnessed entire nations crumble, and
weapons that could destroy entire cities. Golding grew up in the time of the Holocaust
and saw many evil dictators rise and fall. This is why Golding's vision of reality is that all
man is savage at heart. He lived in a time when the whole world was divided and a little
spark was all that was needed to set off world destruction. It was at this time that Golding
wrote Lord of the Flies, the title itself means true evil and destruction. Translated into
Hebrew it is Beelzebub and it means devil.

Lord of the Flies is a story of a group of boys from different backgrounds that
become stranded on an isolated and uncharted island when their plane crashes. As the
boys try to unite to try to become rescued they begin to separate and a tribe of savage
hunters is formed. After a while the boys lose all sense of civilized behavior. This is when
you realize that the boys have lost all manners and civility that had been instilled as they
where raised, thus showing the savage beast in the heart of all men. This book shows how
easy it is for man to revert back to the evil that is deep in his heart. This book also shows
that if a bunch of well mannered school boys can turn evil, one can imagine what can
happen with world leaders undergoing the pressure of world relations.

Golding uses setting in Lord of the Flies as a first indication of the evil within man
and society. The entire story is set on a beautiful desolate island located probably
somewhere in the Pacific Ocean near the first atom bomb detonation.(Daryl L. Houston)
The land was beautiful and as pure as the Garden of Eden was until man came. They
started by crashing a plane and leaving a scar in the beautiful island. Then the boys
became scattered all over the island until Ralph united them with the conch. The conch,
one blow and all the animals the where already scared to death. They had never seen a
human before and the beauty of the island was again ruined. Then when the boys were
walking through the forest and came upon a boulder and just rolled it down the hill
laughing as the trees and brush were destroyed. The destruction of the forest was pleasing
to them that should show evil right there within in there actions. Then later on the boys
still thinking of their civilized ways decided to build a fire and as luck would have it went
out of control. The boys hadn't even been there a week and half of the island had already
been destroyed. At the end of the story when there are putting places of the forest on fire
trying to kill Ralph this also shows the boys destroying nature because man is evil. This is
how Golding shows evil in man through setting.

Golding did not just use the property of setting to show the evil in man. He also
used the characters to show evil within society through the boys evil behavior. Golding
shows in Lord of the Flies that society has all types of people those who work, those who
play, those who lead, those who think, those who cause trouble, and those who are just
mindless followers. With that he created Ralph, Jack, Piggy, Simon, Roger, and the little
kids not old enough to have a say. Ralph was the leader type. He was the part of society
that was practical and stood by his ideas as a good leader should. Then there was Piggy
whose fat alone didn't make him an out cast it was his mind. Piggy was the smartest boy
on the island. He was a constant reminder of the world they left. He was treated different
then the rest of the boys because although where his mind was strong his body was week
and Jack and Roger would take advantage of that. This was the representation of the
racism in the world. They would pick on him just cause he was different. Simon was also
different like Piggy only he was a thinker. He was a philosopher and a lover of beauty.
He was shy around all the other boys and would try to get away from it all, away from all
the evil.

"Simon turned away from them and went where the just perceptible path
led him. Soon high the jungle closed in. Tall trunks bore unexpected
flowers all the way up to the dark canopy where life went on clamorously...
He came to a place where more sunshine fell."(Golding, 56)

Simon tried to educate the boys on their monster and tell them that it is all in their
head. When Simon made this gesture he was ridiculed and every body ignores him. Simon
was the most innocent of all the characters and yet he was killed. Jack and Roger were
more of the type of people who want to play. They wanted to turn civilized people into
savage. The were like little Hitler's and after the got the little ones the followers to be on
there side it was like Hitler and the Nazi's.

Fear is a big cause for a lot of the evil on the island once the one group divides into
two groups. Each group has the fear of losing control, especially Jacks group the hunters.
The must be stronger in order to be able to defeat Ralph's group if there is a need. That
causes Jacks group to make weapons for hunting and to protect themselves. The boys
have got it in their minds that there is a monster on the island so they are in great fear of
that. This causes the death of Simon because when Simon was coming back from one of
his trips to go be alone and wanted to educate the boys with a prophecy he had come up
with but it was dark and the hunters saw him and they didn't know it was him so they
killed him. Then Jack feared Ralph and Piggy because he didn't want Ralph to get back all
the followers so he told all his followers to hunt Ralph down another sign of evil in fear.
They got Piggy right away by dropping a boulder on his head and killing him immediately.
This shows the power that fear can have over someone and why Golding believes that man
doesn't control his own destiny because of fear.
The main events in the story are each a symbol of real life events that have
occurred once before in history, and no matter how evil this fiction book may seem it is
grim reality. The arrival of the boys to the island is that of what the Europeans did when
they came to the Americas. The land was pure and beautiful and they slowly began to
destroy it. The pushing the boulder down the hill and the fire just shows how the boys
didn't respect the land. The boys stripped fruit from the trees as the Europeans searched
for gold and stripped the land of a lot of resources hundreds of years ago. Then people
like Piggy have been prejudged throughout the years. Everywhere there is prejudices even
today in schools. No matter what race what weight you get made fun of because your
different. Simon and Piggy both died because they were different. Ralph's united nation
depleted while Jack's dictatorship rose. This relates the rise of Hitler in Germany. Jack
wanted to get rid of Ralph and all his followers as Hitler wanted to get rid of all the Jews
during the Holocaust. Simon was exterminated by fist then piggy was killed by a new
method the hunters were testing. This is similar to new bombs and new rockets that were
tested in World War II. Then at the end Jack was rescued by a naval officer as the Jews
were rescued by the allied forces.
William Golding's story isn't all that fiction. All the events in the book Lord of the
Flies are backed up by an event in real life so is the story really that much fiction? These
events could happen in real life that is what is so scary about this book. So is Golding's
novel so fiction? People are still approached with bigotry and they are always testing new
weapons. The Middle East is full of dictators and mass massacres just stopped taking
place in Bosnia.
In researching Lord of the Flies I believe that Golding's views of society are not
that far fetched. This book is about society and about the true evil and savage beast inside
us all. This is a sad thing to say but this book is definitely Factual. This book didn't have
a great effect on society but this novel also shows that Golding was a very intelligent man
for seeing things that many others did not. He was correct by saying that all men are evil
at heart.

Works cited
Columbia Concise Encyclopedia
America Online source
Compton's Living Encyclopedia
America Online source
Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
America Online source
Houston, Daryl l. 1995"Goldings Themes"
Taken from Http://www.lookup.com/homepages/95416/golding.html
Jerry's A+ Reports, Jerry Vera"A Book of Fiction or a Book of Fact"
Radkovsky, Pavel 1996"A comparison of Ralph And Jack"


A recurring theme in William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies , is that man
savage at heart, always ultimately reverting back to evil and a primitive nature. Golding
believes that man has no control over his own destiny because of fear. Golding uses
properties of setting, characters, and their behavior and the events of the book, Lord of
the Flies, to build and support his vision of reality.

I. Introduction
A. Goldings life
1. Why his reality is what it is
2. Some background information

B. Background on Lord of the Flies
1. The setting
2. a little how the boys become uncivilized
II. Body
A. Use of setting
B. Use of characters
C. Use of Fear
D. How Lord of the Flies relates to real life
III. Conclusion
A. How the book relates to reality now
B. How the book isn't all that fiction


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