Lord Of The Flies Political Allegory

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During William Golding’s time, World War II was coming to an end after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Golding, horrified by “mankind’s essential illness” and capacity for evil, wrote the novel Lord of the Flies to depict how the struggle to survive can birth the beast in society, which, unfortunately, can cause the destruction of civilization. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses political allegory to illustrate how power dynamics change when people revert to a primal id state. To start off, Golding uses a conch to symbolize democracy. However, as the boys base their survival on instinctual behavior rather than that of order, the authority of the conch diminishes, which, in turn, diminishes the control that the elected chief,…show more content…
For example, “[Piggy’s] specs” (60) are used to start the fire, which in itself, is a symbol of hope and returning home. However, Jack is preoccupied by his instant gratification in killing the pig that he forgets to keep the fire going. Ralph and Jack argue, and Jack is tempted to attack; he smacks Piggy’s head, causing the lens of his glasses to break (60). Jack’s id, and his desire to satisfy his anger without foreseeing the consequences, results in the boys decreasing their chances at being rescued. Additionally, after Jack and Ralph develop their respective tribes, Jack is driven by the need to stay “on the right side of [the beast]” (144) as well as prove to his tribe that he holds all the power. Therefore, Jack, along with Roger and Maurice, sets out to steal the one tool that can demonstrate his power-- Piggy’s glasses. After obtaining the glasses, Jack is “a chief now in truth” (151) because he is the only one who possesses the power to control the fire. “After Jack has broken one lens from his glasses and stolen the other, Piggy is doomed in a society where irrational fears and physical strength are more respected than science, law, and dialogue” (“Lord of the Flies”). The desire for power outweighs the…show more content…
Prior to being stranded on the island, Roger is “conditioned by rational society to avoid hitting the littlun Henry” (“Lord of the Flies”). The struggle between reason and emotion is evident because Roger wants to hurt Henry but remembers what he had learned in his old life, an indication of civilized behavior. However, on the island, Roger is represented as a sadist who is “liberated from shame and self-consciousness” (“Lord of the Flies”) and is “freed...from the ‘taboo of the old life...the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law’ to unleash his savage instincts” (“Lord of the Flies”). Roger’s ferocity is also evident when he is asked to “sharpen a stick at both ends” (171). After Piggy’s death, Ralph is the only representation of civilization left on the island. The sharpened stick is meant for his head, and Roger’s obedience indicates that he is not ashamed of attempting to take the life of another human being, and he, in fact, takes pleasure in it. The balance between reason and emotion has been destroyed, and now, nothing keeps Roger from hurting others, and inevitably, eradicating civilized
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