Lord of the Flies

By: William Golding

How is the Lord of the Flies an allegory?

The Lord of the Flies is an allegory because it strongly represents the Bible. It represents the Bible because several characters in the book are like Bible Characters. Simon is Jesus. He shows parallels to Jesus because he doesn't side with one of the groups in the books, he is kind of like the median between the two groups. The Lord of the Flies is the devil. It is the devil because when it "talks" to Simon, he is trying to tempt him and then it tells Simon that he is going to have "fun" with him. When Simon went off by himself the night before his death, this has a parallel to Jesus praying in the garden. Jack and his hunters are like the Jews because they are the ones that kill Simon. Ralph is like Peter who denies that he was friends with Jesus in the Bible. He is like Peter because after he helps the hunters kill Simon, he realizes what he had done and he feels bad about it. This is why The Lord of the Flies is an allegory.

Chapter Events

  1. The Sound of the Shell- Ralph blows into the conch shell; The boys elect Ralph as their leader; Simon, Ralph, and Jack search the island; Jack sees a pig and tries to kill it but he can't.
  2. Fire on the Mountain- The boys have another meeting on the beach when Ralph returns; One of the younger boys claims to have seen a "beast"; The boys build a signal fire; The fire is knocked over and in the chaos to rebuild it one of the boys goes missing
  3. Huts on the Beach- Ralph and Simon are trying to build huts; Jack doesn't listen to Ralph because all he is interested in is killing the pig; Ralph and Jack begin to fight and dislike each other; Simon wanders into the glade alone to admire the island.
  4. Painted Faces and long hair- The littluns are troubled by nightmares; Roger torments the littluns; Jack camouflages his face and finally kills the pig; Ralph and Jack continue fighting until they completely hate each other.
  5. Beast from Water- Ralph calls a meeting where he yells at the boys for not managing to uphold the group rules; Ralph says there is no beast which is the one thing that Jack and him agree on; a littlun says that he actually saw the beast saying that it comes from the ocean at night; This causes the meeting to break out into chaos; Ralph is thinking about not being leader anymore.
  6. Beast from Air- While the boys sleep, military airplanes are flying above the island; a parachutist lands on the island, dead; his parachute catches on a tree and flaps in the wind, at night this looks like the wings of a beast; The boys make a search party to look for the beast.
  7. Shadows and Small Trees- Ralph starts to doubt that he will ever get home but Simon reassures him that they will; the hunters begin searching for another pig; Ralph joins them on the hunt and realizes how much fun it is; Ralph, Roger, and Jack climb the mountain at night and see the flapping parachute and get scared and run down quickly to tell the other boys.
  8. Gift for the Darkness- Jack tells everyone that there is for sure a beast on the mountain and claims that Ralph is a coward and should be removed from his role as leader; the boys still vote for Ralph to be leader; Jack leaves the group and says that anyone can join him; Simon is staring at the Lord of the Flies (the pig) and it seems like the pig starts to talk to him and tell him that he will have some "fun" with him.
  9. A View to a Death- Simon wakes up and he sees the "beast" for what it really is: a parachute caught in a tree; Simon stumbles to Jack's feast to tell the other boys what he saw; At the feast all the boys are chanting and dancing until they see a dark figure approaching them (this is Simon); the boys, not knowing it was Simon, run over and rip him apart with their bare hands and teeth. Simon tries to explain who he is but he trips on a rock and falls over a cliff and dies.
  10. The Shell and the Glasses- Piggy and Ralph go to the beach where Simon died and they were ashamed of their part in it so they just say it was an accident; Jack now rules on Castle Rock where he punishes boys for no reason; He does this to warn boys of what would happen if they went to Ralph's tribe; Jack's hunters raid Ralph's camp to get fire materials and steal Piggy's glasses.
  11. Castle Rock- Ralph calls another meeting to discuss what to do about Jack's raid; They go to Castle Rock to confront Jack and get back Piggy's glasses; Jack and Ralph fight; As the fight is going on, Roger shoves a giant rock and it hits Piggy who is knocked off the mountain and the conch shell is shattered.
  12. Cry of the Hunters- Ralph hides in the jungle and thinks about how much chaos has taken over the island; Sam and Eric tell Ralph that Jack plans to send the whole tribe after him; Ralph is chased out the jungle by Jack's hunter's and onto the beach; Ralph looks up and sees a naval officer and all the boys begin to cry because they are finally saved!

The Characters

  1. Ralph- leader of the boys on the island; wants to make a miniature civilization until they can get saved; main goal is to get them saved; represents imposed morality of citizenship.
  2. Jack Merridew- becomes the lead hunter because he was obsessed with trying to kill a pig; he longs for total power; tortures the boys; represents savagery
  3. Simon- the only "good" character on the island; represents Jesus or a natural goodness
  4. Piggy- the intelligent one; Ralph's "lieutenant"; represents the science side of civilization.
  5. Roger- Jack's "lieutenant"; even crueler than Jack; murders Piggy; represents savagery of humans
  6. Littluns- the youngest boys on the island; have nightmares; represent the young and innocent because they didn't know truly what was going on and just voted for who everybody else was voting for.
  7. British Officer- saves the boys; represents the order of civilization, which the boys had lost

Symbols

  1. Conch Shell- civilization and order
  2. the fire- the boys desire to be rescued
  3. Piggy's eyeglasses- intelligence and science
  4. pig's head on stick- the devil

Biblical Motifs

The biblical motifs are that The Lord of the Flies represents the devil and Simon represents Jesus. When The Lord of the Flies "talks" to Simon on his last night, this strongly resembles Jesus' 40 days in the desert.

Themes

  • Civilization vs. Savagery- This theme is represented because of the boys constant battle between civilization and savagery. Ralph represents extreme civilization and Jack represents extreme savagery.
  • Loss of innocence- This theme is represented because all the boys lost their innocence because they were forced act grown up and make decisions that kids can't make. They lost their innocence when they watched or helped kill two people.
  • Nature of fear- The nature of fear is represented because everyone has fears and the boys make up this irrational fear that there is a beast on the island. The boys nature of fear is even stronger because they don't have anyone to comfort them and they are only little kids and don't know how to live by themselves, especially on an island where they have to find and cook their own food. The boys nature of fear kicks in because they don't know what else to do, so this leads them to making up this imaginary "beast" and believing that they see it.

Why does Ralph cry at the end of the novel?

Ralph cries at the end of the novel because he had been through so much in the last few weeks and all the anxiety and adrenaline had to come out somehow, so he started crying. His adrenaline was up because he was running for his life and then to figure our 5 seconds later that he was saved caused him to let out his emotions. He had gone on a roller coaster of emotions because one minute he was scared and the next minute he was happy. He showed this fast change in emotions by sobbing.
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Video SparkNotes: William Golding's Lord of the Flies summary