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Lord of the Flies - a Critical View

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:21 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.9 
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In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, the author depicts his criticism of the culture in which he lives. He attempts to use his novel as a venue to portray the defects in society by using his characters’ flaws to show that the origin of humankind is defective as well. By using the personalities of Piggy, Ralph, Jack, and Roger, he portrays the different levels of intelligence and ignorance, leadership and following, spontaneity and sensibility that are present on the island on which the boys are marooned. These flaws in persona can be interpreted as defects in character, which can be traced to the defects in the development of human society.

In society, often two personalities develop.   One of these is a dominant figure. In Lord of the Flies, both Jack and Ralph covet this role. Ralph considers himself leader because it is he who blows the conch, a shell used to signal meetings, as well as he first summoned the boys to a meeting. Jack, the choir leader, believes that he should be leader because of his hunting skills. The two fight often and this results in the division of the island, with Jack and his followers on one side of the island, and Ralph and his followers on the other. This desire for power is a flaw in their characters because their tempers flare easily, as well as this causes discontent in the community of boys. Ralph is a controlling boy, yet he is passive aggressive, this resulting in his inability to use force when it is required. Piggy must solidify his attempts at unity and at building a signal fire, and this eventually leads to Ralph’s near demise. Jack is forceful and impulsive, as well as controlling, and this leads to the murder of Simon, as well as the murder of Piggy. The other boys follow him partially out of fear, and partially because all Jack wants to do is have fun, and not worry at all. Jack also refuses to follow other’s advice, and will not let anyone stop him from doing what he wants to do. This flaw will lead to the...


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