Lord Of The Flies Archetypal Analysis

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Lord of the Flies Heroic Quest Archetypal Criticism Throughout history, most fantasy writers have featured a hero in their writing. How do heroes in a story develop its theme? A novel by William Golding introduces a group of British schoolboys who survive a plane crash in the middle of World War II and find themselves stranded on an island. As they try to recreate the civilization they left behind, they elect a leader named Ralph along with his advisor, Piggy. However, a jealous Jack decides to lead his group against Ralph, and turns them into savages that create disastrous results. In the Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses the hero Ralph and his journey in a heroic quest archetype to portray the theme of civilization against savagery…show more content…
Just like other fantasy writers, Golding provides his archetypal hero with an archetypal villain. Its significance is explained, “Without the presence of an indomitable opponent, the hero's greatness fails to come to the fore. Though he may be an obstacle to the attainment of the hero's goal, the villain helps focus the hero's energies on it” (Ramaswamy). Jack, being the archetypal villain, helps emphasize the importance of Ralph’s journey. Without him, Ralph can’t battle against savagery and the book’s theme of civilization vs. savagery would not be the same. As tension rose between the two, Golding clearly features Jack as dangerous when he writes, “The words came from Jack viciously, as though they were a curse. He looked at Ralph, his thin body tensed, his spear held as if he threatened him” (Golding 119). Jack’s threatening motion causes Ralph to sense Jack’s danger and his transformation to savagery. After Jack’s intentional killing of Piggy, he responds violently, “‘...That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore...I’m chief!’” Viciously, with full intention, he hurled his spear at Ralph. The point tore the skin and flesh over Ralph’s ribs, then sheared off and fell in the water” (Golding 181). Jack’s jealousy of Ralph’s authority caused him to take away all of Ralph’s group members, and would lead him to wanting to ultimately take him down. Civilization has now become a rare thing on the island after having been overcome by savagery. The challenge for Ralph is to combat the savage, as he is the hero and the only civilized one on the
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