Theme Analysis

By: Madison Ernst

Examples from Lord of The Flies

Numerous themes are presented in William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies.  Many of these themes exhibit the destruction of civilization through evil. Three themes presented in the novel are Need for a Governmental System, Civilizations vs. Savagery, and Fear of the Unknown.
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Example 1 (Need for a Governmental System)

Lord of The Flies

“What I mean is . . . maybe it’s only us.”(Chapter 5) In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, several children are stranded on an island after their plane had been shot down. They have no adults to show them how to fend for themselves and must do it on their own, until they are hopefully rescued. In Lord of the Flies Golding is making a point about how a power system will be needed. More specifically, how will all these young boys be able to create a government type system to help them establish a way to get things done and survive?
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Example 2 (Civilizations vs. Savagery)

Lord of The Flies

The most obvious theme portrayed throughout the novel is Civilization vs. Savagery. It depicts a conflict between the good and evil impulses that exist in all human beings. Ralph's group acted on their good impulses, and are known as the civilized group. They live by the rules, display goodness, and represent order. Jack's group acted on their evil impulses, and are known as the savages. They are careless, bloodthirsty beings who live primarily by impulse, and represent chaos. Laws, rules, goodness, and order are what make civilization. They keep the darker side of human nature away. If civilization is neglected, the evils of human nature are allowed to emerge; order is lost and chaos occurs.

Example 3 (Fear of the Unknown)

Lord of The Flies

The boy's fear of the unknown leads to their fear of the beast. A littlun informed the others of his sighting of the beast. The idea of a beast existing on the island seemed ludicrous, yet the boys somehow couldn't let go of it. Simon comes to realize that the beast is not a beast at all, but a dead human. This symbolizes that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. They shouldn't be afraid of some evil beast, but of their own selves and other human beings surrounding them. The only beast that exists on the island is fear itself.