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Characterization, Symbolism, And Theme Of Evil In Lord Of The Flies

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The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. Everyday we have opportunities to stand up and change things for the better and many of us choose to sit by and do nothing. In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, he uses characterization, symbolism, and theme to prove that man is essentially evil.

William Golding proves that man is evil through characterization. ¨We ought to die before we let the fire out.¨ (Golding 81). This indicates that man is evil, Ralph worries that if the fire goes out then the boys will lose their chance to be rescued, but as their time on the island progresses the boys descent into savagery. Jack’s tribe does not worry about the fire because they don’t care if they get rescued. This clearly indicates the evilness of the island. The boys on the island are trapped on the island. The boys are in a war and the plane gets shot down. The boys are stuck on the island from the time the plane crashes to the time the boys get rescued. The boys’ descent into savagery is not quick; they gradually get worse as their time on the island Proggreses. ‘There was a shout from beyond the thicket, then Ralph was running with the swiftness of fear through the undergrowth. He came to a pig-run, followed it perhaps for a hundred yards, and then swerved off…. Ralph thought of the boar that had broken through them with such ease’ (Kennard). This shows the essentiall evilness of man. The shout from the thicket was from Jack’s tribe. Ralph told Jack that he had one thing to do which was to keep the signal fire going, Jack ended up failing to look after it and now Ralph is mad. Ralph keeps making a point that he let the fire go out. This proves the evilness of Jack. He got mad at Ralph for throwing him under the bus about letting the fire go out. Jack also wants all the power even though he doesn’t have the power. The boys agreed that Ralph was going to be the leader. Golding’s characterization proves that man is evil because the boys are stranded on an island with no grownups with them. The boys have set up rules to follow. After a while the boys are too busy trying to hunt. The only thing all the minds of Jack and his tribe are the desire to kill.

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William Golding indicates man is evil through symbolism. “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” (p 181) This indicates the image of civilization and its ending within the novel. The conch represents a civilized society and once it breaks the boys appear to become savage and therefore the thoughts of civilization are destroyed together with the shell. This shows the savagery on the island, it ties in with everything. In chapter 6 Jack says “we don’t need the conch anymore.” That proves Jack might have been planning this all along. Jack has been mean to piggy since they first met. ‘He was intimidated by this uniformed leadership and the offhand authority in Merridew’s voice. He shrank to the other side of Ralph and busied himself with his glasses’” (p. 32). The evilness of Jack shows the descent into the wrong path. Piggy shrank to the other side of Ralph and busied himself with his glasses. In chapter 4 iggy complaints about the hunters’ immaturity Jack slaps him and breaks one of his lenses. This clearly justifies the evilness on the island. It seems like everytime Piggy tries to speak up for himself Jack always means to make Piggy feel bad, but yet he is nice to everybody else. Piggy did not do anything to him. The symbolism of the conch depicts that when there are no rules evilness always seems to be lurking around the corner.

Finally, William Golding proves man is evil through theme. ‘Semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with coloured clay, sharp sticks in their hands’ (Tiger) This shows the evilness of the boys on the island because the boys have not been in the civilized world in so longThey have been on the island for all this time and they have no grownups to listen to so they don’t know what is right and what is wrong. They seem to follow the actions of each other. The only person they seem to be following is Jack, This results in the descent into savegery and they become more and more evil. This shows the evilness of the boys on the island because the boys have their bodies clayed and they have sharp sticks. Before, the boys would not do that because they would still be in the civilized world obeying the rules of life. ‘We’re English; and the English are best at everything; declares Jack’ (Tiger) Jack says this but yet he is the one who starts the descent into savagery. This is super ironic because even though Jack says that he is the one who starts the descent into savagery and that is the reason everybody else becomes savage. They go as far as killing the pig and Simon. This is super ironic because even though Jack says that he is the one who starts the descent into savagery and that is the reason everybody else becomes savage.

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. Everyday we have opportunities to stand up and change things for the better and many of us choose to sit by and do nothing. Think about that next time you are in the position to stand up and do something good.

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Characterization, Symbolism, And Theme Of Evil In Lord Of The Flies. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/characterization-symbolism-and-theme-of-evil-in-lord-of-the-flies/
“Characterization, Symbolism, And Theme Of Evil In Lord Of The Flies.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/characterization-symbolism-and-theme-of-evil-in-lord-of-the-flies/
Characterization, Symbolism, And Theme Of Evil In Lord Of The Flies. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/characterization-symbolism-and-theme-of-evil-in-lord-of-the-flies/> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
Characterization, Symbolism, And Theme Of Evil In Lord Of The Flies [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/characterization-symbolism-and-theme-of-evil-in-lord-of-the-flies/
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