Darkness In Lord Of The Flies Essay

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This essay explores the use of symbols in Lord of the Flies. It examines how the theme of darkness in man’s heart is incorporated into those symbols.

William Golding, a Christian, has proclaimed himself to be a ‘very late developer’, and only found his voice for Lord of the Flies from World War II, basing the book on the atrocities he had witnessed then. It was from there that he realized that evil was ingrained in human nature, and can appear at any time. Exploring the darkness in man’s heart is one of the main themes in Lord of the Flies. The characters in the book are all schoolboys, a concept of which Golding is very familiar with and all of them portray different personalities of Ralph. In this essay, I will examine the ways in which the symbols are written to portray darkness in the heart of man and
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Due to the brutal nature and darkness in all of the boys’ hearts, the island becomes destroyed after they have inhabited it, just like the Garden of Eden.
Contrast to the word ‘darkness’, the subject of study in this essay, the fire is another essential symbol that stands for hope and man’s dependence. It also plays a significant role in bringing out the innate evil in the boys. Golding creates the impression the fire has its own life, comparing the fire to different animals, first squirrels then jaguars. He uses phrases such as ‘scrambled up’ and ‘began to gnaw ’ to emphasise this effect. He also personifies the heart, giving it realistic traits such as the human heart, with the words ‘leapt nimbly’ and ‘swinging and flaring ’. The fire shows the innate evil in the boys through their desire of consuming meat. They resort to violent means in order to attain it. Piggy’s glasses were the only thing on the island that could start a fire, and was brutally stolen from him by Jack’s tribe. Jack’s tribe planned an ambush on Ralph’s side and resorted to ‘rolling over and over, hitting, biting scratching ’ just to get
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