Social Allegories in Lord of the Flies

Essay by blackvirusHigh School, 10th grade April 2005

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The Lord of the Flies if taken at face value can be taken as a short book about the struggle to stay alive on a deserted island and its physical and psychological influences on its residents. However, when the reader looks deeper, they see a story that is an allegory filled with rich and detailed imagery in almost all facets of the novel. An allegory is defined as a type of writing that presents abstract ideas or moral principals in the form of symbolic characters, events, or objects. "The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature" (204). Ralph and Jack represent opposing views on control, Piggy symbolizes technology, and Simon represents the humanity within us all. The novel begins as Ralph wanders along the beach.

Ralph characterizes the civilization of the island. He uses his influence for the benefit of the people, especially to look after the "littluns."

The littluns symbolize the people regulated by a government. In their case, the "bigguns," take advantage of the little ones and soon overlook them entirely. Ralph is the charismatic, athletic central character of Lord of the Flies. Voted the chief of the boys at the start of the novel, Ralph is the prime representative of order, society, and productive leadership in the novel. Whereas most of the other boys at first are concerned with having fun, avoiding work, and playing, Ralph sets about constructing shelter and thinking of ways to boost their chances of getting off the island. For this reason, Ralph's control and authority over the other boys are safe at the beginning of the novel. However, as the group steadily yields to savage nature over the course of the book, Ralph's position declines sharply while Jack's rises. Eventually, most of...

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