Lord of the Flies Critical Analysis
In the novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, Golding illustrates many different themes. One of the themes he demonstrates is being away from a civilized society causes a person to become barbaric. Throughout the novel the conflict is demonstrated between Jack and Ralph who represent savagery vs. civilization. The ways Golding demonstrates this theme is how the boys’ language changes throughout the story. Also the way their behavior changes, and how they lose their identities through out the novel.
One-way William Golding demonstrates the theme is by the change of language. The story is based upon a group of British boys who are stranded on a deserted island. They are all brought up to be proper speaking young adults. Throughout the story the boys have reverted back to a nomadic way of speaking. They don’t speak in complete sentences and they don’t use proper English. Also the way that William Golding talks about the boys has changed throughout the novel. He calls them savages and demoniac figures. “.. savage raised his hand.. ” (pg. 148). “Demoniac figures with faces of white and red and green rushed out howling, so that the littluns fled screaming. ” William Golding now classifies them as savages because of their behaviors. Another way that Golding illustrates the theme is by the actions the boys acquire. Jack and his group, the choir boys, enjoy hunting. So in the story they attempt to kill a sow. Once they do they re-enact the hunt. They saw Robert, a young boy who is stranded on the island, as the pig.
They acted as if they were hunting the pig by jabbing Robert with sticks. Jack and his group also beat the other boys up. Jack and his boys tie up Wilfred, another young boy who is stranded on the island, and beat him up. Also Simon, a boy who is a Christ-like figure in the novel, tries telling all of the other boys stranded on the island that there is no beast. The boys mistaken Simon as the beast and kill him. And Roger, a boy who is in Jack’s group, pushed a boulder down a hill and the boulder killed Piggy. Sharpen the stick at both ends” says Jack. He first said this when he wanted to kill the sow; he then says this again when he wants to kill Ralph. Jack and his boys set fire to the island trying to kill Ralph. Claire Rosenfield states, “the narrative follows the children’s gradual return to the amorality of childhood, a non-innocence which makes them small savages. ” Rosenfield is saying that children throughout the narrative turn into savages and become uncivilized.
Compton’s by Britannica says, “The story portrays a group of school boys isolated on a coral island who gradually abandon all moral constraints and revert to savagery, including ritualistic murder. ” Which means that the boys regress into savages and don’t follow morals. “Each time they re-enact the same event, however there behavior becomes more frenzied, more cruel, less like dramatization or imitation than identification. ” A third way that the author portrays the theme of this novel is how the boys lose their identities.
They use to all have their own identities then they formed groups. Sam and Eric, these twins, became samneric. All of the little boys became littluns, and all of the older boys became bigguns. Also how the boys paint their faces. They paint their faces red, white and green to in a way change who they are. When they put the paint on they act as if they’re in camouflage. Also when they have the paint on their faces they act as more barbaric. The boys throughout the story lose who they really are. They have no adult supervision or guidance to guide them in the humanitarian aspects.
So they lose sight of whom they really are through out the course of time. Lastly, William Golding personifies the theme of this novel by needing rules and law to remain civilized. Each time the boys re-enact the same event it gets more cruel and evil. “…The story shows that laws and rules…are necessary to keep the darker side of human nature in line” says W. Meitcke. Meitcke is saying that you need to have laws and rules to keep people in line and civil. If you don’t have any guidelines people get out of hand and become savages who don’t follow moral behavior.