Theme Of Fear In Lord Of The Flies

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The Power Of Fear in “Lord of the Flies”: No Greater Illusion Than Fear

Fear is intangible yet has perceptible effects. It plays a significant role in human behaviour. Each individual reacts to fear differently, some overcome it, while others give in to it. In William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” the theme of fear is discussed and it becomes clear that fear has the power to take over not only one’s mind but also control one’s actions.

The collective fear of the unknown leads to the untimely and accidental death of Simon. The distress present in the boys causes their impulsive action, of Simon’s horrific murder. Fear of “the beast” an imaginary creature causes the boys to act irrational, and provokes survival instincts as a result of life threatening terror. The fear of the boys in this moment is epitomized when they chant, “Kill the beast!, Cut his throat, Spill his blood!” (168). On the beach, the littluns are in disarray, they scream “...and [blunder] about, fleeing from the edge of the forest, and one of them broke the ring of biguns in his terror. Him! Him!”(168). Furthermore, the literary technique of syntax adds to the theme of the power of fear by portraying Simon’s death as a gruesome and savage, spur of the moment incident through exclamatory phrases, repetition and word choice. The chant reveals the unification of the boys due to a mutual fear. The unfortunate death of Simon was a result of the boys behaving off of their terror and distorted reality.
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