The text Lord of the Flies by William Golding is an excellent exploration of the dark side of humanity and the savagery underlying even among the most civilized individuals. The author intended to bring out the intrinsic evil nature of human beings and the adventure tales of children. The chronology of events in the text Lord of the Flies by William Golding is an excellent exploration of the dark side of humanity and the savagery underlying even among the most civilized individuals. The author intended to bring out the intrinsic evil nature of human beings and the adventure tales of children. A chronology of events is presented for the reader surrounding a group of boys. The young boys have a disastrous adventure trying to survive their isolated, unsupervised, and uncivilized surrounding till they are rescued. The stranded group of boys chooses to elect a leader and establishes rules that would enable their survival in the tropical island. William uses various aspects to bring out the plot and the theme of the memoir, including the setting of the story, the leadership conflict between Ralph and Jack, the beast which the boys encounter in their adventure, and religion. This paper critically analyses how William used the setting of the narrative, with a closer analysis of the role played by the landscape in characterization, plot, and theme.
William formulated a setting to put the reader into a specific mood and subject the young boys into a situation that would shape his narrative, characterize, and build on the theme of the text. The story is first set in a tropical island where the group of boys finds themselves stranded with no adult supervision and are forced to build their society ruled by their rules. The island in which they are stranded is boat-shaped (page 29), which is ironic in that it gives them hope of rescue, which hardly comes for quite a long time. The boys perceive the jungle as their source of food, shelter from their enemies, a path through the island, and a symbol of evil because of the location of the Lord of Flies. The jungle contains plenty of fruit trees and exotic plants that act as their most important food source before they killed a pig. The jungle has various pig trails that the boys use as paths to lead them through it. The jungle has plants with good material which the boys use to construct a shelter. For instance, the wood from trees is used to build a fire for signaling down at the beach and on top of the mountain. The jungle assists in building on the theme of leadership. The building of shelters was done here, an idea of Ralph and which demonstrates his understanding of what the boys needed and their future. He knew that building the shelters made the boys feel more secure, which made him a better leader compared to Jack.
Golding uses the jungle to illustrate the theme of evil and religion. In the last chapter of the novel, Ralph uses the jungle to hide from the hunters and Jack. Also, in chapter three, Simon uses the jungle to rest and envision from which he discovers his area of nature. He is the Christ-like figure used in the book that cares for the sick, respects life, and always communes with the natural world and God. The other boys and acts later kill Simon as a sacrifice to them for their evils, just like Jesus. Golding uses many elements of religion to bring out the religious persecution theme. The same place where Jack and his hunters bring and revere the pig’s head is also the place where Simon discovers his nature area. This creates an irony since this was also a holy place. It is discovered that the rotting head on the stick is the Beelzebub, the dark, the Lord of the flues, and the Evil. Through the encounter of Simon with the Lord of the Flies, William forms the key passage of the book since the pig’s head utters the gist of the fable “Evil is not a threat from the outside, it is the inside of humans.” In his description of the killing of the sow, Golding mentions “stick sharpened at both ends.” This is also used in the Bible when David killed Goliath. Using the ‘Lord of the Flies’ element, which translates to Beelzebub, suggests that religious evil is the epitome of the book. William Golding used the jungle as the setting for Simon’s encounter with the Lord of the Dung significantly. First, he wanted to show how men struggle to locate evil, an adventure which is misleading and confusing. For instance, the young boys try to find the beast from the water and the air. They did not know that the beast was manifested in them and was interior. The mystery of the beast illustrates how it was difficult for them to find their way out of the island, and the world, which was new to them and evil.
The mountain represents hope, responsibility, and significant status for the potential of the rescue of the boys. The first chapter reveals how Simon, Jack, and Ralph climb the top of the mountain and realize that they were stranded on the island. The boys decide to light a fire on the island’s highest spot, which could cause a possible rescue. The meaning of the place, however, changes in Chapter six when a parachutist mistaken for the Beast from Air lands on the top of the mountain. The theme of the beast is first introduced by a six-year-old, who the narrator describes as “a shrimp of a boy, about six years old, and on one side of his face was blotted out by a mulberry-colored birthmark.” The boy describes it as “a snake-thing, ever so big.” The description makes the beast seem quite a strange thing whose identity is not even known, keeping it a mystery. The initial perception of the beast is, therefore, a snake-type animal, although this later changes to a possibility that it was an entity of a ghost or a creature that rises from the sea. Through the use of the beast, the author wanted to illustrate that every human has a dark side, which is human nature. This is shown through the boy’s conceptualization of all their worst experiences as a beast, which to them was a supernatural creature or an actual animal inhabiting the island. However, the boys possess the persona of the beast through their actions on their animal impulses. For instance, the author conveys the identity of the beast through Jack’s literal actions and his tribe as well as through Simon’s vision, which sends the abstract concept. It is, therefore, internal. They, however, fail to realize this and move the rescue fire to the beach, changing the mountain’s meaning to the opposite since henceforth, the location is avoided because the supposed ‘beast’ lives there. It is therefore seen that the mountain was significant to the narrator’s revelation of the theme of the beast, fear, and evil.
William uses the landscape of the beach in which the boys held meetings to bring out the plot and the character’s qualities as well as the theme of leadership. The beach was located opposite the mountain and formed the first encounter of viewers with the islanders. When Ralph and Piggy find the conch at the lagoon near the beach, they call the first meeting of the boys. This location henceforth serves as the boy’s assembly point in case of any meetings called by Ralph, who is voted as the leader. This assembly place is surrounded by palm trees and tree trunks, which the boys use as seats during the meeting. William describes the beach as a delightful place, “Beyond the platform; there was more enchantment. [The sea] had banked sand inside the lagoon so that there was a long, deep pool in the beach with a high ledge of pink granite at the further end” (Golding 12). Immediately they discover the place, and Ralph seizes the opportunity to bath in the warm water. It is here where Ralph is elected as a leader, and where he calls the boys for meetings. He demonstrates how his leadership would have order and stability when he says, “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking.” Making these rules portrays the authority figure in him, and enforces his role as the leader.
How Golding describes the landscape is entirely symbolic. Through The Lord Of The Flies analysis the readers learn how the island provided conditions such as soil, which facilitated the growth of the palm trees. The trees grow high into the air, although their roots reach shallowly in the ground. By this comparison, Golding purposed to show the true nature of the children who miss the social network holding them just like the “young palm trees” (Golding 12) missed the excellent soil. The plane crashed when the islanders had not been fully formed by society, which is the reason why they continuously fail through the narrative. Golding’s use of the landscape to plot, characterization, and the different themes is commendable and significant throughout the story. The narrative shapes the landscape, and the landscape shapes it too.