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Q300 English Literature : Intellectual Aspect of a Civilization

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Explore the significance of FEAR in the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding .
Must meet this criteria
1.1Evaluate the main ideas (identify and evidence this by picking the right quote and evaluate the strength or weakness of that choice by Golding .
1.2Explain the linguistic features(Identify+evidence this by picking the right quote and explain the effect of the linguistic method.
1.3 Interpretations of other readersIdentify and explain by picking the right quote.
1.4 Give reasons for their opinions and explain why.
2.1 Evaluate themes and moral values
2.2 Relate themes to literary features ,identify ,evidence and explain how the method convey meanings
2.3 explain the theme put forward by evidencing the right quote.

Answer:

Lord of the flies by William Golding is allegorical in nature and represents many things under the blanket of the theme chosen by the author. There have been many arguments where many people draw parallels between the novel and the bible, so much so that they feel that there is a lot of similarity between Simon and Jesus. But sticking to the theme of the novel, Golding very well explains the impulse towards civilisation and how savagery is a part of almost every human being. All of them are full of rage and thats a fact. It happens to be within each individual and only the magnitude of it differs from time to time. That is why, the novel is allegorical as the author has tried to put across many points in metaphors and motifs. Each character in the novel represents an aspect between civilisation and savagery. From the start, Ralph wants to maintain order among the boys so he creates it in order to build a stable society on the island they are stranded on.

Talking of Piggy, he represents the intellectual aspect of a civilisation which is scientific more often than not. As we move towards someone who is very extreme in comparison to the others is Roger. His drive for violence and lust for blood is pure which is the scary part. Now the one on the end of the spectrum is Jack. He is not like either of them. He is impulsive when it comes to savagery and he if you look at him closely, he has a desire for denomination and power which is unchecked till now. Taking this characteristic forward, he manipulates the boys by using the beast very well.

He establishes the beast as the common enemy of his tribe stretching it to be the common idol  and even a common belief system. He is so good at manipulating that he used various aspects of the beast in accordance with what he wants out of whom. He knows how to use the fear that the boys have to their utmost and never once stops to think otherwise. All the boys are petrified of the beast and that is what works in his favour. In order to achieve what he needs to, he emotionally blackmails the boys as he knows that they will do whatever he wants because of the fear they have in their heart for the deadly beast. He manipulates them to justify his control which is iron fisted and  the violence he thrives on. It is ghastly to see how he perpetrates on violence. He is so out of hand that he establishes an idol to fuel the blood lust of the boys so they can be a cult towards the hunt. Probably because of these ways, many people think that such a plot gives the novel some religious undertone. The boys believe in the monster which helps the thought. The author also mentions that the boys have nightmares about the monsters which somehow takes a form of single mother fears them. They are so scared of the thought of the nightmares that they have that they fear that monster badly.

As we talk about the reality of the nightmare that the boys are going through, what solidifies their belief is when they collectively leave the sow’s head in the forest. Honestly, the skull somewhat becomes a religious totem with a psychological power that is extraordinary. They feel that this drives them to give in to their violent impulse. As Jack is the one with all the schemes, Ralph and Simon are the only ones who are always motivated towards goodness throughout the novel. Both the boys want to maintain harmony of the group in any situation as they feel that this is the only thing that will get them through anything that might arise.

They are also very protective with the interactions with the littluns. But as graduate in the novel we also see how Ralph is rather innate. He acts to moral guidelines but somehow has a dark instinctual  urge.  Slowly, he gets swept with all the blood lust that happens during the hunt and all the dancing afterwords. Simon is the one whose display of kindness is not imposed by civilisation. Instead his kindness seems to flow from the connection he has with nature. He is kind, thoughtful and helpful by nature. Ralph shows signs of leadership but with that we also see the hidden urge towards violence just like jack and his tribe. But towards the end of the novel it is Simon who proves to be a good leader and not Ralph. Simon recognises the truth which makes him much more effective than Ralph. “What I mean is . . . maybe it’s only us, feels Simon.”  He stands by the fact that the beast does not exist in any tangible form we may think it to be but it exists in an impulse towards the evil in any given person. That is what we need to look for in ourselves. He is a shy, sensitive boy but we find out that he is the ones who knows the most about life.

“There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast. . . . Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! . . . You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are the way they are?” As we read thorough the pages of the novel, we see the author has used the theme of loss of innocence in these little boys very well.

The most prominent theme that runs through the novel is fear. It changes from time to time. It starts with the feeling of being alone when the boys are stranded on the island. “ His lips quivered

and the spectacles were dimmed with mist. We may stay here till we die,” Piggy shows the reader. As we move forward into the novel, this fear also starts to take many shapes and forms. Later in the novel, Piggy also fears turning into barmy and crackers if they stay here for a long time. He also feared that without any adults present with them, they would end up destroyed and that is exactly what happened with them. While Piggy died, others became what we never thought they would.

They start by being well behaved and kind to cruel and blood thirsty in a jiffy. Frankly, the naturally lose the essence of being innocent children as we progress towards the end of the novel. They have tortured and even killed animals and are a far cry from when they were little children swimming in a lagoon. Maybe it always existed inside them and the hunt was just a means to bring it out of them. Golding also implies that civilisation can only mitigate but never wipe away the evil that is inside all of us.

References:

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Golding, W. and Lowry, L. (n.d.). Lord of the flies. 1st ed.

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