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Analysis of Lord Of The Flies Essay


Lord of the Flies: Final Essay

When viewing the crime of today's world on television, the starving children, the wars, the violations, and one cannot help but think that evil is furious in this day and age. However, people in society must be aware that evil is not an external force expressed in a society but settles within each person. Man has both good qualities and faults. He must come to control these flaws in order to be a good person. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding deals with this same evil which exists in all of his characters. With his mastery of such literary tools as diction and imagery, the author creates a cheerless, offensive tone to move his own views of the nature of man and mans role within society.

The use of diction is powerful, with the gripping use of words and description. Golding creates tension and reinforces his theme and tone with the use of specific words. Many are symbolic and therefore create a story rich in meaning and symbolism. Golding uses colors such as pink to symbolize particular things such as innocence, as shown in the piglets and the island. The word yellow makes the reader think of the sun, enlightenment and Ralph; the words black and red bring to mind evil, blood and Jack. With the use of words the author also creates the novel's own private symbols that are key to the tone. The conch comes to symbolize authority, democracy and order. Upon the mentioning Piggy's glasses, images of insight and reason come to mind. With this highly characteristic language, Golding creates many contrasts as well to move his critical theme. He compares the dazzling beach's "pink granite" [Golding 12], green feathered palm trees and endless sand [10] to the "darkness of the forest", full of "broken trunks", "cables of creepers" [28], and dense vegetation. He also compares the day's "torrid sun" [176] to the night which makes everything as "dim and strange as the bottom of the sea" [62]. The lagoon's security and the dangerous open sea are also balanced when Golding qualifies them as "still as a mountain lake" [10], "dark blue" [31] and "deep sea" [62]. Golding also uses dark and inherently bad words such as "dark", "Jack", "broken", "torrid", "coarse" and "splintered" to describe sinister things and smooth words such as "feathers", "glittering fish" and "Ralph" to describe more peaceful things. Although Golding's language is informal, perhaps even common and at times just simple, he is capable of carrying the reader to his pink coral island and to the little boys and their losing battle against evil.

The use of imagery in this literary masterpiece is grasping. As described in the previous paragraph the use of specific words only advances the reader into a world of evil children and their capacity to misbehave. Golding uses imagery to describe the scenery and the setting. A good example occurs in the first passage where Golding writes, There was a strip of weed-strewn beach that was almost as firm as a road. A kind of glamour was spread over them and the scene and they were conscious of the glamour and made happy by it. [25] This creates a vivid world for the reader, now a viewer, to be bathed in. It no longer becomes a book, but instead a movie playing within the readers head. The frightening description of the boys first exposure to the island is mastered with sentences guiding the hidden evil. For example Jack stood there among the skull-like coconuts [10] and the island was torn everywhere by the upheavals of fallen trees, scattered with decaying coconuts. Once again the imagery plunges the reader into a world of death and decline, much like the boys sense of rule and respect. Also Golding uses the imagery to personify things in order to make them even more evil then they already are, the heart of flame leapt nimbly across [44] and the smoke increased, sifted, rolled outwardseating downwards [44] the fire growled at them. [45]. In that time Golding personified the inherently baneful fire to create an even more corrupt character to plague the boys like a normal fire never could. The passage preceding and the one about the Lord of the Flies also use imagery to support the evil on the island. The head remained there, dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackened between the teeth. [137] and the forest are even described as a minion of the devil as well because for a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter. [143]. This tool of literature was used to its fullest extent in order to further Goldings theme of mans particular evil nature.

Goldings attention to detail is well done, not an item or character goes by without first being explained and carefully perfected in every way. Golding supports his theme by using detail to slide in words and phrases that lend themselves to the evil side of the spectrum. As illustrated in the above paragraphs Golding describes coconuts as skulls and personifies fire giving it a heart and the ability to growl at the young boys. The long description of the beast on pages 95 and 96 shows how keenly all the small details are described. Golding also pays a great attention to detail when he describes the murder and death of the different animals on the island, including Simon and Piggy. On page 135 the vivid, sickening scene is described as Jack and his hunters hurled themselves at her [135] and the whole passage just comes alive with the sickening heat of that sticky summer day. His attention to detail helps bring forward and into the light his assumption about the naturally brutal and horrible nature of man; his details bring the reader into a world of sick vice and horror and truly move the sick world in which a man without society lives.

Golding has presented many wonderful examples in which he uses one of the two tools at his discretion to support his idea that man is inherently evil and when left to his own devices will kill and be evil. Goldings idea is that society keeps mankind in check and without it man will revert to his natural, naturally evil self. By looking at the use of the tone, the theme is apparent, a cheerless, mocking tone to conveys the naturally evil nature of man and mans role within society.

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