The Lord of the Flies By William Golding The Lord of the Flies By William Golding 1. The Author and His Times William Gerald Golding was born on September 19, 1911 in Cornwall England. His father was a schoolmaster and his mother was a suffragette. His parents had wanted him to study science, so he did from grammar school until the second year of college. After his second year of college, he abandoned the study of science in favor of English literature.
He wrote poetry and worked in amateur theater for a while before becoming a teacher where he was at the beginning of World War II. At the start of World War II, he entered the Royal navy and served with distinction on mine sweepers, destroyers, and rocket launchers. He believed that the horrors of World War II can be based on some innate evil which he explores in Lord of the Flies. After the war, he returned to teaching and writing, although had little success getting published. He was able to get Lord of the Flies published and it experienced great success.
2. Form, Structure, and Plot The Lord of the Flies contains twelve titled chapters. The plot is simple and rarely splits into more than one plot lines, although it does sometimes. Occasionally, the story separates from the general group and follows one child. For example, the story followed the first of Jacks hunts into the jungle, and also Simons wanderings to be alone. One of the techniques he uses in organizing plot is foreshadow. Through the use and manipulation of many symbols, he gives the reader and idea of what is to come foreshadowing future events. 2.5 Outline of Events Exposition – The exposition is basically all of chapter 1 and the first part of chapter 2.
The characters are introduced and so is the problem. The readers learn that because of the war, the children was taken to be transported someplace by plane when the place was attacked and crashed on the island. Ralph is made the leader of the entire group and Jack is made the leader of the hunting party. Piggy tries to maintain order. This takes the period of 1 day. Rising action – The rising action starts in the middle of chapter 2 where the boys attempt to make a signal fire but it rages out of control.
One of the boys are lost. After this, order is slowly lost and chaos slowly takes its place. Climax / Crises – The climax occurs when order is completely lost, the conch is crush, and Piggy is killed. Jack takes over the group. Falling action – The falling action is the brief period between the time where Jack takes over and the officer arrives. We see the innate evil within the boys which is a reflection of the evil within the entire mankind.
Resolution – The jungle catches fire and a naval ship spots the smoke. An officer comes ashore just as Ralph is being hunted by the other boys and all are rescued and taken back into society. 3. Point of View Golding write the novel in the third person perspective. There is one omniscient narrator. Although the book generally follows Ralph, it occasionally breaks off and follows another character for a time.
This entire book is autobiographical in that it tells us something the author wants to show us. Golding tries to teach us and warn us of the evil nature of mankind. He says through the book that we are evil and that it is only society that keeps us from committing crimes. 4. Character Goldings characters have a depth and are believable for the somewhat unbelievable situation they are put in. Each character has his own fully developed personality.
He does this while maintaining a certain symbolism in the characters. Each characters, while being their own person, symbolizes some idea, but not to the point where the characters are flat. Ralph – Ralph is 12 and one of the older boys on the island. He is the leader throughout most of the book being determined, rational, and understanding. He is dressed as in a typical school uniform, but not as the choir boys.
He tries to understand the problem and the people on the island trying to give rational solutions. However, psychologically, he loses faith in the boys and decides that he has little hope to restore order into the island. His purpose is to show the reader through his eyes the degradation of the society on the island, and thereby show the innate evil within man. “This expresses his understanding and caring side.” Jack – Jack is also one of the older boys and about Ralph’s age. He starts as the leader of the choir boys, and develops into the leader of the hunters eventually taking over everyone on the island.
He is dressed nicely in a choir boy outfit. He is strong, villainous, and proud perpetuating the crimes committed by the boys on the island. He cares only for his own power and not for the common good. He disregards order and in him the reader clearly sees the innate evil of man since he was the one that cast off society earliest. He becomes Ralphs most powerful antagonist because of this.
“I ought to be chief because Im chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp.” Piggy – Piggy is slightly younger than Ralph and in the weakling in the group being overweight and suffering from asthma. He is dressed similar to Ralph in a typical school uniform and ears glasses. He is weak, smart, and friendly. While is put down by the other boys, he is necessary on the island as a source of intelligence and insight.
His insights are often ignored because of his weak appearance and he is killed by the Jack and his savages. “My auntie told me not to run on account of my asthma.” Simon – Simon is the saint in the story. He is skinny and dressed similar to Ralph in the school uniform. He is kind, caring and sincere. In the novel, he serves to bring a certain insight into the story. He is the one that seems to best understand the inner evil, and the first to understand the beast.
He takes care of the littluns. Sadly, his insight is lost among the boys as he is killed being mistaken for the beast. “Simon, sitting between the twins and Piggy, wiped his mouth and shoved his piece of meat over the rocks to Piggy, who grabbed it. The twins giggled and Simon lowered his face in shame.” 5. Setting The Lord of the Flies takes place on an island during World War II. This is significant since the isolation forms a sort of civilization and community, a sort of microcosm to the real world. At the same time, the island lacks a society and the societal laws and rules allowing for the boys to run wild and show their true, ugly, inner selves.
Since the island is a microcosm, Golding uses it to reflect our world and give comments on our world and his view of human nature. In this book, the setting is used less to create a mood than to put the characters in a particular situation 6. Themes 1. This book traces the faults in society to the faults in the individual person. Golding says that each person has in evil inner nature poorly covered by society. If the society is taken away, then the inner nature comes out and chaos and lawlessness erupt.
2. Each person has an evil nature and is capable of committing heinous crimes. In this book, virtually every person fell to the level of Jacks savagery except those that were able to see that evil such as Ralph, Simon, and Piggy. 3. The beast is human.
In the beginning of the book, a littlun told the others that he saw a beast in the jungle starting everyone’s fears. However, it turns out that the beast is actually a parachutist and human, symbolizing that what they should be scared of is not some evil creature, but their own selves and other humans. 7. Style Golding makes his novel come alive with a significant use of symbolism, physiological development, and general truths. His writing style is simple but the subject matter is deep. He uses a rather comparatively simple story to convey a weighty idea.
8. Diction In The Lord of the Flies, Goldings language is neutral. However, it is simple and it is as if he is telling the story himself rather than writing prose. The vocabulary and sentence structure are simply and easy to understand. Golding uses a lot of imagery and symbolic devices.