The novel “Lord of the Flies” vividly portrays humanity’s worst hand, the barbarism that threatens even the most cultured citizens. William Golding gives the reader a straightforward storyline, realistic photographs of girls, a precise history of character behavior, and exotic locations to demonstrate man’s brutality. He provides the reader with events that progress from optimistic young boys to tragedy as they wait to be rescued from the populated and uncivilized island.
Following a plane crash, a group of young British boys finds themselves stranded on an isolated island. The group quickly divides itself into two: “littluns” who are around age six and “biguns” who are between ten and thirteen. They try to form the culture similar to which they previously had. Ralph is chosen as the group leader, and with advice from Piggy, he establishes rules concerning housing and hygiene. In addition, he sets fire to signal any passing ship that might come to their rescue. However, he faces opposition from Jack who also wants to lead. He slowly draws some boys from the influence of Ralph, who had same inclination and attraction towards hunting activities which symbolizes evil and violence
The battle that occurs between Ralph and Jack- the forces of barbarism is aggravated by the boy’s mythical fear of the roaring beast. One day an aerial fight happens directly above the island, and one of the survivors soars towards the island using his parachute. This scenario frights the boys, and they mistake it with the corpse of the feared creature. Jack reacts by forming a splinter group that is joined by a few boys who are interested in his protection due to his fierceness. They slaughter a sow and offer its head as a sacrifice to the beast.
Nonetheless, only one boy, Simon gets an insight of what the beast seen on the mountaintop is. After witnessing the offering, Simon begins to imagine. The staked sow’s head is the Lord of the Flies, being clear to what Simon had suspected. Terrified by the vision, he passes out.
When he recovers consciousness, he struggles to the mountaintop where he finds out that the beast was the corpse of a pilot. Trying to bring the message to the rest of the group, earns him a through beating till he dies for being mistaken to be the beast.
Soon Ralph’s camp remains with only three boys. Jack’s tribe steal Piggy’s spectacles, and they make Ralph unable to control the signal fire. When they go to ask for the specs, one of Jack’s boy throws a massive boulder towards Piggy, and it kills him instantly. They later capture Ralph’s remaining two men, and he is left on his own.
The hunters undertake a manhunt to get Ralph and murder him. They start an island forest fire to enable him to come out from his hiding place. Luckily, a captain in a passing ship sees a big fire on the Island, and he goes to save Ralph before he is killed.
Literary symbol of the boys compares to a real origin of humankind. The remote Island symbolizes the earth where civilizations are created, and the destroyed and new nations are formed. Ralph and Piggy symbolize civilizations while the separation of the boys symbolizes nations.
Carey, John. William Golding: The man who wrote Lord of the Flies. Faber & Faber, 2012.