The theme of cruelty in william goldings lord of the flies

He began reading Tennyson at age seven and steeped himself in Shakespeare's work.

Lord of the Flies

Simon proposes to face the beast together, but everyone is just too scared to go. His father wielded a tremendous influence over him, and, in fact, until leaving for college, Golding attended the school where his father taught. Boys are reluctant but Ralph persists, so they go to the fire site, led by Jack.

He believes that because of the fundamental potential in every person to commit evil acts there will always be criminals and wrong doers in society no matter how well intentioned a society's ideologies.

He develops into a true tribal chief and dictator, his savages are ready to follow him even into a conscious homicide, and only the arrival of adults puts him back into a place of a twelve-year child, where he belongs in spite of his cruelty and possible madness.

During this planning and theological discussion, Ralph and his followers decide to keep the fire burning only at daytime, because smoke is invisible at nights, but mostly because there is not enough boys capable to supply the necessary wood for burning: If this kind of assignment is unfamiliar to you or inspiration has suddenly left you, our writers and editors are eager to help.

He often scolds his mates, stating that they behave like kids, reminding about the discussed or pressing matters, and even tries to get them briefed in psychology, when everyone is scared of the beast. Jack does exactly this and returns scared.

This rationalist viewpoint was not tolerant of emotionally based experiences, such as the fear of the dark that Golding had as a child. A former school teacher, William Golding was familiar with many unpleasant aspects in behavior of well-educated children.

Summary In times of an unnamed war, a plane crash brings a group of British boys to a paradise-like tropical island, where they try to survive.

Lord of the Flies

But in Lord of the Flies, Golding presents an alternative to civilized suppression and beastly savagery. The immediate fun and visceral rewards of hunting, chanting, and dancing around the fire are more attractive than the work of building a sustainable society.

Each of the four main characters embodies one of these characteristics: Even more, these are English schoolboys who have, presumably, been well trained in following rules.

He is curious, bright-eyed and thoughtful, as well as probably the only one of biguns who cares about littluns by helping them to pick better fruits. On an island with no infrastructure whatsoever and no clear practical reason to be civilized, the darker side of human nature wins out--because it is as powerful as man's higher nature or because it is man's truer nature.

Lord Of The Flies Themes: Human Nature, Society, Fear

His reason is man himself. Jack immediately goes to mountain top to build a fire; boys are enthusiastic about this, so they follow him.

Literary Guide for William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

Jack enjoys his dictatorship, amusing himself by tying and beating one of those who angered him somehow. Ralph and Piggy believe that structure, rules, and maintaining a signal fire are the greatest priorities, while Jack believes hunting, violence, and fun should be prioritized over safety, protection, and planning for the future.

While the storm is building, Simon awakes from his fit and goes to see the beast. The boys' assemblies are likened to both ends of the social or civil spectrum, from pre-verbal tribe gatherings to modern governmental institutions, indicating that while the forum for politics has changed over the millennia, the dynamic remains the same.

Initially the boys listen to their consciences and act according to the moral code they were taught during their upbringing. Biography of William Golding.


Sir William Gerard Golding () was a British novelist and poet, a Nobel Prize laureate in Literature (). During World War II he served in Royal Navy and participated in D-Day in Normandy.

His first novel, the famous Lord of the Flies, was published in Following the publication of his best-known. Lord of the Flies study guide contains a biography of William Golding, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

About Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies. In William Golding 's ¨Lord of The Flies¨ and Shakespeare 's ¨Hamlet” the theme of abuse of power is present amongst few characters. Jack from “Lord of the Flies” and Hamlet and King Claudius from “Hamlet” all show signs of misuse of power, which will be explained with evidence from each book.

In his novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding places a group of boys on a deserted island without any authority figures or laws.

Even more, these are English schoolboys who have, presumably. Get free homework help on William Golding's Lord of the Flies: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes.

What are the central themes of William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

In Lord of the Flies, British schoolboys are stranded on a tropical island. Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel, which means that Golding conveys many of his main ideas and themes through symbolic characters and objects.

He represents the conflict between civilization and savagery in the conflict between the novel’s two main characters: Ralph, the protagonist, who represents order and leadership; and Jack, the antagonist, who represents savagery and the desire for power.

The theme of cruelty in william goldings lord of the flies
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Lord of the Flies Themes | LitCharts