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Lord of the Flies Loss of Innocence by William Golding

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William Golding is a British Author born on the 19th of September 1911 in Cornwall, England. The inspiration from his book comes from during WW2 with all the violence surrounding the world. He got the idea for the book from another Novel called ‘the Coral island’.

There are a lot of covers for the book but throughout them all, the same message is carried, the savagery and evil is always depicted in the images on the front of the covers. If you hadn’t read the book then they would seem very random as some are abstract images of what seem to be tribal men and some are of dying animals while others show a forest and trees, there wouldn’t seem to be anything linking all of them together but after seeing the evil hidden within the characters and how the Pig head symbolizes the evil hidden inside all of the characters and how immoral some scenes can be. I think that it makes more sense especially with the cover that includes the bleeding Pig Head with a white background as it says a lot about the story if you spend time actually trying to analyze it.

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The title of the book is very interesting and seems to captivate a lot of people and keep them thinking and contemplating about what the plot of the novel could be about. If you had not read the book some might think that it was a fiction novel while others might think that it was a mystery novel. The Title does refer to a scene in Chapter 8 when Simon has a vision of himself talking to the ‘Lord Of The Flies’.

The story is set during a ferocious war and it begins with an airplane that is evacuating a group of schoolboys from Britain being shot down and landing on a deserted island with no way to contact the rest of the world. Two of the boys, Ralph and Piggy discover a conch shell on the island and use it as a means to tell the other boys where they are so they can regroup. After the Group is assembled they all elect a Leader and the leader is Ralph. Ralph then decides to put Jack in charge of the hunting squad which will devise a plan to get food for the group.

Ralph, Jack and Simon then go off to explore the island and learn more about it. When they return Ralph says to the other boys that they should light a fire to get the attention of passing ships. They are able to light a fire using deadwood by using Piggy’s Sunglasses. Unexpectedly the forest is quickly covered in flames due to the fact the boys monitoring the fire messing and playing around. One of the youngest boys sadly disappears leading everyone to believe he died in the flames. After a while, the boys calm down and start to relax and enjoy their Life without adults with the exception of Jack putting more effort into hunting. One day a ship passes by and to Ralph and Piggys horror the signal fire wasn’t lit which had been the responsibility of the hunters to try and maintain. Ralph becomes engulfed in rage to Jack but to all the hunters notice he has just returned with his first kill making the dance and celebrate.

Soon after we learn that one of the younger boys known as littleuns has been having nightmares of a monster lurking around the island since they first came to the island. The older boys try to debunk this by saying that there was no such place that a monster of the sort could be residing and that it was highly unrealistic to believe such things. One of the littluns then proposes the argument that the monster is then hiding in the sea and this comment makes the other boys scared. Later that night when everyone is asleep including the twins responsible for watching the fire a fight takes place above the island between military planes and a parachute falls down to the earth and lands on the signal fire mountain.

After waking up and thinking that the parachute resembles a monster the boys organize a group to go on a hunting expedition. Jack and Ralph who have increasingly more friction travel up the mountain and see the parachute and think it is a deformed ape. After returning back to the island Jack declares that he should be the new Leader of the boys as Ralph is a coward but the other boys refuse to vote Ralph out of power.

Jack declares himself the leader of the new tribe of hunters and organizes a hunt and a violent, ritual slaughter of a sow to solemnize the occasion. The hunters then decapitate the sow and place its head on a sharpened stake in the jungle as an offering to the beast. Later, encountering the bloody, fly-covered head, Simon has a terrible vision, during which it seems to him that the head is speaking. The voice, which he imagines as belonging to the Lord of the Flies, says that Simon will never escape him, for he exists within all men. Simon faints. When he wakes up, he goes to the mountain, where he sees the dead parachutist. Understanding then that the beast does not exist externally but rather within each individual boy, Simon travels to the beach to tell the others what he has seen. But the others are in the midst of a chaotic revelry—even Ralph and Piggy have joined Jack’s feast—and when they see Simon’s shadowy figure emerge from the jungle, they fall upon him and kill him with their bare hands and teeth.

The following morning, Ralph and Piggy discuss what they have done. Jack’s hunters attack them and their few followers and steal Piggy’s glasses in the process. Ralph’s group travels to Jack’s stronghold in an attempt to make Jack see reason, but Jack orders Sam and Eric tied up and fights with Ralph. In the ensuing battle, one boy, Roger, rolls a boulder down the mountain, killing Piggy and shattering the conch shell. Ralph barely manages to escape a torrent of spears.

Ralph hides for the rest of the night and the following day, while the others hunt him like an animal. Jack has the other boys ignite the forest in order to smoke Ralph out of his hiding place. Ralph stays in the forest, where he discovers and destroys the sow’s head, but eventually, he is forced out onto the beach, where he knows the other boys will soon arrive to kill him. Ralph collapses in exhaustion, but when he looks up, he sees a British naval officer standing over him. The officer’s ship noticed the fire raging in the jungle. The other boys reach the beach and stop in their tracks at the sight of the officer. Amazed at the spectacle of this group of bloodthirsty, savage children, the officer asks Ralph to explain. Ralph is overwhelmed by the knowledge that he is safe but, thinking about what has happened on the island, he begins to weep. The other boys begin to sob as well. The officer turns his back so that the boys may regain their composure.

As the boys on the island progress from well-behaved, rule-abiding children longing for someone to come and rescue them to cruel, bloodthirsty hunters, they naturally lose the sense of innocence that they possessed at the beginning of the novel. The savages depicted in Chapter 12 who have hunted, tortured and killed animals and human beings are a completely different from the innocent and oblivious children swimming in the lagoon in Chapter 3. But William Golding doesn’t portray lord of the flies loss of innocence as something that is done to the children rather, it results naturally from their increasing openness to the innate evil and savagery that has always existed within them.

The fact that the protagonists in the novel are young boys tells us that the potential for evil is inherent even in small children. Jack, for example, is initially strict on rules and order but becomes obsessed with hunting, frightened and empowered by the promise of violence. Jack’s desire to control all the others proves more powerful than his desire for rescue and civilization, and Jack becomes a violent leader. Even Ralph and Piggy, who both strive to maintain their sense of humanity, ultimately join in on the mass murder of Simon, momentarily surrendering to the thrill of violence. While Piggy tries to ignore their participation, Ralph is devastated when he realizes that he is no better than Jack and that he has a darkness inside as well. 

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