Evil and Social Collapse in Golding’s Lord of the Flies

Length: 4 Pages 996 Words

The kids’ evil natures are brought out through the fire, the glasses, and the sow’s head. William Golding presented numerous themes and basic ideas that give the reader something to think about. One of the most basic and obvious themes is that society holds everyone together, and without these conditions, our ethics, values, and the basics of right and wrong are lost. Without society's firm rules, chaos and savagery can come to light. Golding is also showing that morals come directly from our surroundings, and if there is no civilization around us, we will lose these values. The Signal Fire is a symbol of commonsense and rescue from sin. The first duty that the boys make on the island is to build a fire, which like the conch shell brings the entire group of boys together in awe and wonder. When Jack steals Piggy’s specs and the signal fire can no longer be lit, Ralph loses his bearings, losing hope of being rescued and confused on what to do next. “ We can’t keep one fire going. And they don’t care. And what’s more, I don’t sometimes.”1 The flare of hope and knowledge is no longer there to guide Ralph who must then be regularly reminded by Piggy about what is right. To Piggy and Ralph, the fire represents the Continue...


At one point in the story Jack is not suitably prepared to kill, but he is approaching the point at which he can cause mortal violence on another, whether a pig or a person. Here-Let me go! His voice rose to a shriek of terror as Jack snatched the glasses of his face. In fact, the name "Lord of the Flies" is a translation of the name of the biblical Beelzebub, a powerful demon in hell sometimes thought to be the devil himself. It is important that he most supports building a fire, for it is an essentially destructive act. In this way, the Lord of the Flies becomes both a physical sign of the beast, a symbol of the power of evil, and a kind of satanic figure who suggests the beast within each human being. This idea of natural human evil is central to Lord of the Flies, and finds expression in several important symbols, most notably the fire, glasses, and the Lord of the Flies. In particular, this makes him useful for Jack, who remains more interested in hunting and causing pain and disorder than in contributing or constructing anything of use. Piggy is the most intelligent, sane boy in the group, and his glasses represent the power of science and balanced attempt in society. Ralph carefully realizes this trait when he reminds Jack that the most important thing that the boys must do is to build a shelter. Despite the boys' dislike for Piggy, he does prove useful. His specs-use them as burning glasses! Piggy was surrounded before he could back away. moral influence of their old life in England. As long as the fire is well maintained, the boys show a desire to return to society, but when the fire burns low or goes out, the boys lose sight of their desire to be rescued, having accepted their savage lives on the island. His glasses are the key to starting the fire on the mountain.