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Lord Of The Flies Essays

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The human mind is something that is very complicated, when people think of what they might do in a certain situation they usually make themselves the hero and they don’t care how they got to that outcome. In the novel Lord of The Flies, it’s a story of boys who get stuck on an island and who have to try to survive on this island that they have never seen before. Ralph, the main character, goes through many different changes in his mindset, so do the other kids. Jack another character, who in the start of the book couldn’t kill a pig would go on to kill one of the other kids whose name was Simon. Golding uses the theme of how humans all possess some sort of demon inside of them, that it depends on the situation and environment when it wants to come out.

The kids in the book have no problem at the end killing each other, which shows how the situation of the boys being stranded on the island can affect the human mind. A quote from Symbol hunting Golding’s Lord of the Flies from Jerome Martin Says, “If Golding is describing human nature, it is natural to ask, “when is human nature best studied?” The answer is “under a crisis or trauma.”. This quote says that the best place for humans to be studied is under a crisis this agrees with the book in the way the boys change over time. The boys to start the book couldn’t kill a pig but by the end they would go on to kill one of their own. The situation changed how the boys thought and brought out their demons and this resulted in the death of Simon and Piggy. This change would cause the deaths of those characters and also the way each one of the boys thinks about going on.

When people want to stop something or fix something they usually think of the options before they commit to it. When people are out there and fighting for their life their mindset changes and they only start to think for their own best interest. A quote from William Golding says “He snatched his knife out of the sheath and slammed it into a tree trunk. Next time there would be no mercy”. (31) This quote was said by Jack and this shows the start of the evolution of the boys. Jack would start to change as the book would go on, he would fight with Ralph for the power of the group to then eventually leaves with some of the boys to start his own group with his own visions. The next quote from William Goldings shows where the boys are now at with their savagery “They surrounded the covert, but the sow got away with the sting of another spear in her flank. The trailing butts hindered her, and the sharp, cross-cut points were a torment”. (135) The evolution of the boys is shown in these two quotes here. Golding wants to show how people/kids would react in that type of situation, he was able to capture that with the evolution of the boys and their savagery.

The way people think is contributed to the environment and it is very apparent in the way Golding’s words and novel. A quote from Notes on Lord of the Flies by E.L. Epstein says, “The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature”. This quote says that us humans have a very different ways of handling certain situations. Golding supports the idea of change in the kids from the start to the end. Way he says how they couldn’t even kill the pig at first to them then kill one of their own. This contributes to the theme Golding puts forth throughout the whole book. A quote from Lord of the Flies says “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”. (152) This quote is said several times in the page, and this was the result of the boys believing that there was a beast, but it was actually Simon who the boys would go on to kill. Golding wants to show how kids/people are able to handle a tough situation by showing the evolution of each of the kids in the book, he wants the readers to also think what they would do in this type of situation.

Golding uses a lot of different ways of showing the theme of how people might react in these types of situations. Golding is able to convey every move and is able to give the reason to why the boys do what they do, he is able to make the readers think in every situation the boys get themselves into. A quote from the Lord of the Flies by Golding says, “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!”. (143) This quote was said to Simon by the “talking pig head” that was talking to Simon, even though the pig head was not actually talking to Simon, but it was really just Simon talking to himself at that point. The quote also suggests that the beast was never real but that each one of the kids is actually the beast and the environment and situation is starting to bring it out. Golding is able to show this message very well, he does it throughout the whole book with the fight for power between Ralph and Jack and the way the kids handle the task of surviving on the island.

Golding was able to tell a story of how kids who are stranded on an island with no adults and how the kids are able to survive and how they handle each of the situations. The quote from Symbol hunting Golding’s Lord of the Flies by Jerome Martin Says, “The others in the novel, not given labels, are known by the generic title of “Littluns”. Human nature is too complicated to be able to label all its facets”. This the quote that shows how Golding shows the readers how situations can change many situations and that the little ones in the novel are not important and this shows how the boys think in the situation they are stuck in. A quote from ‘Lord of the Flies: Beelzebub’s Boys by Patrick Reilly says “Golding’s explanation of how his book came to be written seems infinitely more convincing: `I set out to discover whether there is that in man which makes him do what he does, that’s all …” This quote says that Golding’s reasoning for writing the book was to set out to discover if there is something that makes a man do what they do. The boys change from the start to the final line of the novel and they will never be the same, some lost their lives and others also lost their whole childhood on the island and that shows how the human mind is one of the most important things to take care of during the different types of situations. This situation the boys were in was going to change anyone and it changes the boys and their lives forever.

Overall Golding conveys the message of how people in certain situations and environments can change their minds, and also their lives. Golding was able to tell the readers how the characters were able to change throughout the book. The boys from the start showed some parts of their personalities when they were introduced, and Golding was able to bring out each of the boy’s personalities from how they would interact with each other throughout the book. Golding showed readers how the environment and situation can change one’s mind.

Works Cited

  1. Golding, William, and Edmund L. Epstein. Lord of the Flies: a Novel. Perigee, 2006.
  2. Martin, Jerome. “Symbol Hunting Golding’s Lord of the Flies.” English Journal, edited by Allison Marion, vol. 58, no. 3, Mar. 1969, pp. 408–413. Gale Literature Resource Center, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.
  3. “Notes on Lord of the Flies.” Lord of the Flies: a Novel, by Edmund L. Epstein, Perigee, 2006, pp. 203–208.
  4. Reilly, Patrick. “’Lord of the Flies’: Beelzebub’s Boys.” The Literature of Guilt: From ‘Gulliver’ to Golding, edited by Roger Matuz and Cathy Falk, University of Iowa Press, 1988, pp. 138–161. Gale Literature Resource Center, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.
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