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Essay/Term paper: The lord of the flies

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Lord of the Flies

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The adventure novel, The Lord of the Flies, was an epic tale that depicted the different
facets of the human spirit. It was written by William Golding in the 1950"s and recieved
many awards. Idt was declared the "Outstanding Novel of the Year" by E.M. Forrester.
The author did in no wat mean for this story to be biographical, but Mr. Golding depicted
well the many different aspect of human nature. The book has been described as
"provacative, vivid and enthralling," but Time and Tide said it best when they wrote, "It is
not only a first-rate adventure story but a parable of our times."

The novel took place on an island probably somewhere in the middle of the
Atlantic. This can be inferred because of the fact that the boys are British and that they
arrived on the island by way of a plane cradsh. The story also occurred during wartime.

The story begins when a group of British boys crash on an uninhabited island. In
the beginning they area all unruly and unmorginized. Finally, a boy by the nakme of Ralph
decides to take charge and call a meeting. The boys declare him "chief" and then begin to
follow his lead. Ralph is also assisted by another lad by the name of Piggy. The group of
boys were getting along fine until Jack Merridew, a boy who wanted to be "chief" instead,
decided to go his own way. He disobeyed Ralph and did things his own way. He was to
preoccupied witdh his own whims to do the act that was most important on the island,
which was to keep the signal going so they could be rescued. Finally, Jack went against
Ralph and declared that if any of the other boys wanted to have "fun," which meant acting
like savages, that they should follow him. The boys splot up into two groups and then
havoc insued. Jacks group went around hunting and being barbaric while the others tried
to get rescued. In the end Jack had gotten all the boys except Ralph to run around loke
wild animals. Then when Jack got tired of dealing with Ralph, he convinced wveryone to
try and kill him. By then however, a navy ship had come an they could never get around
to the nasty deed.

There was more than one antagonist in the story, The Lord of the Flies. They
were Ralph, Piggy, and all the other boys who tried to sustain order and law on the island.
To begin with, Ralph was the "first" chief on the island. In the beginning, he was the one
who tdook charge of the group okf boys and called them to order. He tried to organize a
strategy dto get off the island and make all the boys understand why it was he was doing
what he was doing. Piggy was basically Ralph"s "right-hand" man. He was probably the
mkore natural leader, but since he did not possess the confidence to stand up alone, he did
all he wanted to do "through" Ralph. These boys were the antagonists because they
desperately tried to get off the island and tried not to let anyone or anything get in their
way.

The antagonist in the story in the story was Jack Merridew. He was the boy in the
story who openly showed his dislike for the procedures Ralph was taking as chief of the
island. He continually disobeyed Ralph and eventually broke off and went his own
direction. In turn, many of the boys followed Jack and his "savage philosophy." Jack and
these boys started their own "tribe" and ended up causing more problems than they
solved. He also prevented Ralph from being an effective leader by basically taking away
all his power. When the other boys saw how much "fun" Jack was having they all left
Ralph and followed every action Jacck took. When the boys left, Rallph did not have
many boys helping him, dtherefore, he could not accomploish the simple taske of keeping
the signal fire going.

The theme of the novel was the fact that even the most avid attempts to be
civilized will be squandeered by the savage nature of the human spirit. The group of boys
were stranded on the island with almost no chance of survival and persevered through it
all. One of the most sensible boys, Ralph, eeven tried to organize the group and get them
to follow his instructions. He had them gbuild shelters and construct a smoke signal that
would run throughout the day. In the beginning the group carried these instructions out,
but then anarchy overtook them. Jack Merridew proceeded to disregard all of Ralph"s
instructions and followed his own whims and fancies. His plan while he was on the island
was to hunt and have "fun." He did not realize that his savage nature was beginning to
surface and by the time he did realize this it was too late, the way of life had consumed
him. The author attempts to show the reader that people must overcome their own basic
faults before they can live in active, productove, and functioning society. "The theme is an
attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of juman natrue." -William
Golding.
In the novel, The Lord of the Flies, the main conflict was between Ralph and Jack.
The two boyks comkpletely differed in their approach on what to do while stranded on the
island. This brought about many confrontations that further increased the animosity
between them. "Jack stood up as he said this, the bloodied knife in his hand. The two
boys faced each other. There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics, fierce
exhilaration, skill; and there was the world of longing and baffled commonsense." - pg. 71.
There was was also the conflict between the boys and the actual island. The boys were
flung into a place which was a mystery to them and through all adversity persevered and
survived in the most trying of circumsstances. There were no adults on the island, so the
boys were forced to organize themselves and their actions. Until savagery overtook them
in the end, the boys did an excellent job, considering the circumstances, of coordinating
their actions and surviving while on the island. They had sufficiently fed themselves with
the fruit that was available and had a ready supply of drinking water when it was needed.
The two previously discussed conflicts were both external and a combination of "Man
versus Another" and "Man versus Nature."
The novel, The Lord of the Flies, contains many literary devices used to enhance
the reader"s grasp on the novels concepts. "The coral was scribbled in the sea as though a
giant had bewnt down to reproduce the shape o the island in a flowing chalk line but tired
before he had finished." - pg. 29. This passage is comparing the coral reef in the ocean
to the unfinished scribblings of a giant and is a good example of a simile because it using
the word "as." "The breezes that on the lagoon had chased their tails like kittens were
finding their way across the platform and into the forest." - pg. 34. This statement is
saying that the breezes on the lagoon were reocurring like kittens chasing their own tails
and is another good example of a simile. " ...whole limbs yielded passionately to the
yellow flames that poured upwards and shook a great beardof flame twenty feet in the
air." - pg. 41. This quote is saying that limbs of trees "yielded" to flames and since tree
limbs cannot perform this human quality consciensly, this is an example of personification.
"When these breezes reached the platform the palm fronds would whisper winged things
in the shade." - pg. 15. Once again, this sentence is implying that the palm fronds were
whispering, and since a plant cannot perform this act this is another example of
personification. "Suddenly Piggy was a bubble with decorous excitement." - pg. 15. This
statement furhter clarifies what Piggy looked like in the reader"s mind so this is an
example of imagery. " ...the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased
to exist." - pg. 181. This excerpt also clearly states what the conch looked like so this is
an example of imagery. "`There
"`Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!" said the head.
`You knew didn"t you? I"m part of you? Close, close, close! I"m the reason why it"s no
go? Why things are what they are?"" - pg. 143. This is what "The Lord of the Flies" said
to Simon while he was in the forest. The "Lord" meant that it was funny how the boys
thought that the Beast was an animal that they could hunt and kill when it was really their
own human thoughts and desires. How the whole time they were looking for something
up on the mountain when all they had to do was look at themselves. It is important to the
message of the story because it the first instance where the author reveals and one of the
boys realizes what the group is really up against. Mr. Golding shows the reader that the
following sequence of events will depict the darkest sides of each of the boys and that they
will have to overcome themselves in order to have any chance at survival.


 

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