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Critical Analysis of Golding’s Use of Tone in Lord of the Flies

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.6 
  • Words: 1331
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When viewing the atrocities of today's world on television, the starving children, the wars, the injustices, one cannot help but think that evil is rampant in this day and age. However, people in society must be aware that evil is not an external force embodied in a society but resides within each person. Man has both good qualities and faults. He must come to control these faults in order to be a good person. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding deals with this same evil which exists in all of his characters. With his mastery of such literary tools as structure, syntax, diction and imagery, The author creates a cheerless, sardonic tone to convey his own views of the nature of man and man’s role within society.


The use of diction is powerful, with the gripping use of words and description. Golding creates tension and reinforces his theme and tone with the use of specific words. Many are connotative and therefore create a story abundant in meaning and symbolism. Golding uses colors such as pink to symbolize particular things such as innocence, as shown in the piglets and the island. The word yellow makes the reader think of the sun, enlightenment and Ralph; the words black and red bring to mind evil, blood and Jack. With the use of words the author also creates the novel's own private symbols that are key to the tone. The conch comes to symbolize authority, democracy and order. Upon the mentioning Piggy's glasses, images of insight and reason come to mind. With this highly connotative language, Golding creates many contrasts as well to convey his underlying theme. He compares the dazzling beach's "pink granite" [Page 12], green feathered palm trees and endless sand [Page 10] to the "darkness of the forest", full of "broken trunks", "cables of creepers" [page 28], and dense vegetation. He also compares the day's "torrid sun" [Page 176] to the night which makes everything as "dim and strange as the bottom of the sea" [Page 62]. The lagoon's...

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