The Symbolic Masks In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

Good Essays
To begin, the beast is used throughout the novel presenting the theme of fear. At first, the existence of this beast was questioned upon as the beast is perceived as nothing more than a product of the boys' imaginations. This introduces an active source of fear and most importantly existing evil within the island. However, the beast is symbolic of natural evil within each child, ultimately leading to the downfall of civilization. Rather than the boys being blindly afraid of the unknown, they begin embracing the beast, providing physical characteristics, as well as a name. As time passes, the fear of the beast does not diminish. In fact, fear intensifies in strength as the story progresses as the boys’ behavior lead to the existence of what…show more content…
As the hunters apply clay paint, concealing their face, they immediately transform into vicious savages with new personalities, forgetting their previous regulations and laws of society. The masks, as stated, “... liberated from shame and self-consciousness.” When Jack first uses his mask to create his new, savage identity, “he began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling. He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing of its own” (p. 64). Surely, such actions would not have been carried in this manner if Jack was still present in his home society, however in a land where such rules do not exist, Jack behaves as the savage he truly is. In addition, Jack’s mask presents evil, terror and violence to the novel, demonstrated through the red, white and black plait Jack uses to conceal his face. Golding utilizes these pattern to establish these attributes which are inevitably part of human nature. The masks give the children a sense of power which enabled them to participate in the brutal and hunts. These hunts demonstrate the hunters desire for killing. In fact, it is evident that the boys kill animals for pleasure rather than for its actual purpose of serving food for the tribe. A majority of the hunters erase hopes of returning to civilization as they focus on hunting to be number one priority. As Ralph attempts to connect them back to civilization, recalling the importance of the fire, the hunters are more interested in the previous hunt in which has just occurred. “There was lashings of blood,' said Jack, laughing and shuddering, you should have seen it!” (p. 69). However, the children are blinded by savery to the extent where Simon is violently murdered by Jack and Ralph’s tribe. “The sticks fell and the mouth of the circle crunched and screamed. The beast was on its knees in the center, its arm folded over its face” (p. 152).
Get Access