Golding’s Lord of the Flies
Golding’s Lord of the Flies reveals boys who have nowhere to go on the island. The kids come across different aspects and elements that are symbolic to concepts and ideas. William Golding uses symbols such as beast, Piggy’s Specs, and pig’s head shows characters in people regarding rules, regulations, and taboos that control their capacities for actions to dominate their actions.
Beast in the novel reveals themes. The boys see the beast in their imagination that shows a source of an evil spirit that is tangible on the island. On the other hand, it is a symbol of natural spirit existing in reality within the boys or any other person that makes their life miserable on the island. Simon who is a character in the novel notices the evil long before meeting the Lord of Flies. At one point, he narrates the ordeal about existing beast where he gives his account and insight with other people. Simon says that maybe there is amidst us. Consequently, his colleagues who had conducted a prior meeting about the same topic harshly reply to his comments and the crowd gives Jack a whoop upon his rebuke towards Ralph saying they have the strength to hunt and kill the beast (p. 91). The cry indicates timid and fears among the boys whenever they think about the beast (Golding, 1954).
The beast in the novel is an imagery that represents evil instinct within the heart of people living on the island. The savagery in the society commences at the time the author introduces the beast. As the boys grow in the culture, they experience more savage and believe in the beast. At the peak of their growth, the boys worship savage or the beast and can see shifting shapes and atrocities such as killings in their hallucination state. Also, the beast in the novel represents a totalitarian system where false information is propagated among the public to instill fear. In the story, Jack can command the boys through scaring them that indeed the beast is real and making Ralph guilty of not protecting the kids. He later goes to Castle Rock boasting about his success (Golding, 1954).
The Pig’s Head
Another symbol in the novel is the head of a slaughtered pig. The head has faint eyes that are dim with some black clotting blood between its teeth full of flies that cover it (Golding, 2016). The description of the head reveals the extent of the evil and activities as well as darkness in the story. At the same time, the source of the evil starts to show up immediately when Simon speaks with the unique object. Simon realizes that the frightening beast that constantly torments the boys on the island can be killed and is not an external force instead of force within a person. Though his hallucination cannot be disputed, the head of the pig speaks and reveal to him that the beast can be killed. Therefore, Simon knows that there is a devil on the island which is indeed a force within a person that even forces such a person to faint or have a blackout. For example, towards the end of the conversation Simon faces blackout immediately he looks into the mouth cavity of the skull head of the pig and cannot see anything apart from darkness (Golding, 2016).
Masks and Goggles
William Golding throughout the novel reveals Piggy’s specs to indicate kind of civilization and rule within the island. The boys live in a society that is separated from civilization and norms hence the kids are unable to see the importance of civilization. The onset of the story shows that Piggy can see within the lenses while the boys are civilized(Golding, 2016). The boys meet at the first moment and make their own decision that they cannot allow everybody to talk at the same time. Later on, the civilization diminishes as they continue hunting and only concentrate on killing a pig instead of returning to civilization. Thus, they continue in a loud voice demanding the killing of the pig. In the meantime, both Piggy and Ralph engage in the explanation on the importance of ensuring a continuous fire burning as a signal (p. 69). However, Jack retaliates and knocks Piggy glasses from the face which leads to the destruction of one lens hence he cannot have a clear vision. Therefore, the specs in the novel are the channels for detecting activities that are either right or wrong. The moment Piggy loses his glasses he loses vision, power, and technique to discern any evil or good event(Golding, 2016).
The masks that the boys wear also show the absence of civilization on the island. The boys do strange activities during the pig hunt that reveal the primal behaviors and anarchy. Most of the boys demand to slaughter the pig and neglect a need for hope to return to the civilization as well as forget about the fire signal burning. The boys cannot realize the kind of hope in the signal fire for returning to the society. Therefore, they could not comprehend the enthusiasm and idea of seeking rescue(Golding, 2013). Thus, they are unable to understand the discernment of civilization in the brightness of signal fire. Instead, Jack out of his bizarre obsession with power and success leads his group of boys uncontrollably slaughter the pig. Besides, the kids mistake Simon for the beast and kill their members (Golding, 2013).
In conclusion, Golding in his novel Lord of the Flies reveals the savage extent and uncivilized society that is full of dark and outdated lifestyle originating from the mind of a person. Such evil thinking controls human mind when they are free to make their own choices to rule in the society. The different symbols give more details on the theme as well as portraying the central message that Golding puts across.
- Golding, W (1954). Lord of the Flies. New York: Berkley.
- Golding, W. (2013). Lord of the Flies: Text, Criticism, Glossary, and Notes. Al Manhal.
- Golding, W. (2016). Lord of the Flies:(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition). Penguin.