Academic Master


A review of Golding’s novel “Lord of the Flies”

William Golding wrote the selected novel for analysis and focused on the author’s perception of humanity. Golding faced many rejections when the book was to be published, as no publisher was willing to release Lord of the Flies. Golding’s novel mainly focuses on the duality of human nature. Golding was concerned about the way society was progressing not only socially but politically as well. Evil is predominant in the novel’s plot to reflect the community of which Golding was a part.

The central conflict in the novel is civility versus savagery, which is revealed in the conflict between Ralph and Jack. The stranded boys form a society that depicts the community Golding was a part of and was deeply concerned about. Golding used various symbols in the novel, two of them are the pig’s head and the conch shell which play a significant part throughout the novel. The pig’s head is an essential symbol in the novel as it represents the evil embedded in people’s hearts and minds. The conch shell symbolizes leadership and gives authority to anyone holding it.

During the time of a destructive war, a plane responsible for the evacuation and flying out of a group of British boys gets shot down. It crashes onto a desolate, barren, uninhabited island. The pilot is dead on impact, and the children are left without adult supervision. Ralph and Piggy, who wander around the island, come across a conch that Piggy figures could be used as a horn. Once assembled, the boys choose someone to lead and plan a way off the island. Ralph is elected to take on this role, and he starts off by assigning Jack responsible for the group of boys that will be hunting and gathering food. However, as the novel progresses conflicts arise and the group breaks into two. The older boys make a group of their own, and the younger ones are prepared to follow leaving Ralph and Piggy on their own. Three boys are killed by the end of the novel as Jack and his group hunt them down for not abiding by the rules.

The novel centers on four main characters, Ralph, Piggy, and Jack, as each plays a vital role throughout the novel’s narrative. To begin with, Ralph who is the protagonist of Golding’s selected book, the readers can see that Ralph is the only character who has a sound mind and acts rationally. He assembles all the children and divides them according to their strengths and capabilities. Ralph is the only character in the novel hopeful about being rescued, unlike the group that has given up on it. He is a visionary and builds huts for everyone to live in (Golding). Ralph keeps the team together by acting neutral and solving their problems. However, he is no match for Jack and the older boys who break away from the group and form their own.

There is a constant conflict between Jack and Ralph as Jack represents savagery and Ralph reflects civilization. Jack can be considered the antagonist as he is responsible for Piggy’s death. His aggressiveness surfaces from the moment Ralph is elected as the group leader. Despite the group’s decision, Jack tries time and again to show his authority by being violent and threatening the younger children. He spreads fear in their hearts and punishes those not doing his bidding. Jack’s savagery is reflected in his eagerness to hunt and kill boars. He paints his face to take on the character of a savage.

On the other hand, Piggy is shown as a weak character who is always bullied for being fat. Jack resents Piggy for not doing his bidding and for taking Ralph’s side in every group meeting. Piggy represents the lower class of society, which the elites most often neglect and crush. He becomes a victim at the end of the novel and is killed at the hands of Jack and his group.

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Penguin, 1983.



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