In Lord of the Flies, the war paint represents the savagery that has taken over the kids. Towards the beginning of the novel Ralph said, “ ‘Well, we won’t be painted,’ said Ralph, “because we aren’t savages’ ” (Golding 66). This quote shows that at first the children had control over their savageness in them. When the the children were first introduced to the island they still had a lot of their manners, that controlled their savageness.
In the Lord of the Flies, the boys face major problems on the island. They try to act civilized and have order, but with Jack and his group of hunters rebelling, this order slowly goes down the drain. To makes things worse, Jack begins to act cruel and evil to the boys and even the animals. This lead to facepainting which symbolizes savagery, the “Beastie” which eventually means the boy’s fear and cruelty, and the pigs head on the stick, which was the turning point of complete evil, and a sacrifice to the beastie, which means a whole lot more that it seems.
In the Lord of the Flies, Jack is immoral for his poor choices making him a dangerous threat to the other survivors. Before the hunters are about to leave for the hunt, they decide to make masks. Jack creates his mask and puts it on. According to Golding, “[Jack] looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger. He spilt the water and leapt to his feet, laughing excitedly” (63). When Jack puts on the mask, it gives him the boldness and eagerness to act as a new person. This allows him to make unethical choices further along in the book, becoming a threat to his peers. Shortly after the ship had past the island, the hunters return to find Ralph overwhelmed with anger. Jack and Ralph convey, “‘you let the fire go out…I
Symbolism and Theme in Lord of the Flies “We saw your smoke. What have you been doing? Having a war or something?” (Golding 201).
His leadership was based on intimidation and hostility. He introduced the idea of warpaint early on but it then becomes very significant in his group. Jack wears so much he becomes unrecognizable to Ralph without it. “Jack, identifiable by personality and red hair, was advancing from the forest” (176). The war paint made Jack appear more intimidating to the other boys on the island.
Throughout history and literature, symbols have been used to represent the bigger picture or main ideas. This allows the reader to illustrate the symbol in their head and have a much better overall understanding of the book. A number of times during Golding’s Lord of the Flies, he uses symbols to illustrate the boys’ destruction and fall from order into savagery. The regression of the boys’ civilization is evident through Golding’s symbolic use of the conch shell, the signal fire and the beastie. All are critical for expressing Golding’s overall message.
In the first chapter “The Sound of the Shell,” all of the boys elect a chief. The way that Jack acts toward Ralph expresses how he is unhappy with the decision of Ralph being chief. The quote “[...] and the freckles on Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of mortification,” expresses how much he wanted to be chief and when he was not elected as chief, he was embarrassed and upset. In chapter 11 “Castle Rock,” Jack wants to become chief and behaves more violently towards Ralph. The text explains that the boys have became more vicious without adult supervision.
Jack’s temper flairs in this moment because he can’t accept the fact that Ralph’s qualities make him more suitable to be chief. Ralph then feels obligated to accommodate to Jack’s need for power. This part of the story symbolizes Jack’s ignorance for others’ opinions. Without accepting other people’s differences, conflicts are established. With that being said, near the end of the book, Jack couldn’t take not having any authority anymore.
One of these things is that he whips one of his tribe members, Wilfred, “The chief was sitting there, naked to the waist, his face blocked out in white and red. The tribe lay in a semicircle before him. The newly beaten and untied Wilfred was sniffing noisily in the background”(176) to ascertain that Jack has become savage, he has apparently beaten Wilfred for no reason and has taken to covering his face with paint. Another thing Jack does is lie to his tribe to keep them under control, “he came-disguised. He may come again even though we gave him the head of our kill to eat.
The use of symbolism is often used by authors to show a deeper meaning to an object within a story. These enhancements to the meaning of objects gives readers insight to what is really being represented. Although they may seem vague, they create a path to better understanding of characters and scenarios within a story. A proper use of this technique can be witnessed in Lord of the Flies. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, symbolism is used to depict a greater meaning within the objects that appear throughout the novel.
In the book, Jack represents the primal aspect of humanity and is shown to be both bloodthirsty and power-hungry. When Jack and Ralph begin to duel with wooden spears on top of the mountain, Jack attempt to kill Ralph by, “with full intention, he hurled his spear at Ralph. The point tore the skin (Golding 163)” The ferocity and desire for power of Jack makes him kill the person that he once worked with. The charisma and power of jack begin to transmit the “it” amon the kids.
Jack’s influence among the boys has been gradually growing, and calling his own meeting grants him with more immediate power than he has ever had before. Jack instantly abuses this power by unjustly criticizing Ralph and challenging his authority, demonstrating that no one on the island can hold a position of power without quickly abusing it. Shortly after, Jack forms his own band of hunters, giving him even more power to toy around with, and it doesn’t take long for him to begin to abuse it. For what appears to be no reason, Jack decides that he’s “Going to beat Wilfred…. He got angry and made [the other boys] tie Wilfred up.”
He is also more focused on surviving through rules than playing dangerously. “Inside the cloak he was a tall, thin, and bony; and his hair was red beneath the black cap. His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness. Out of this face stared two light blue eyes, frustrated now, and turning, or ready to turn, to anger” (20). This is describing Jack’s appearance.