Lord of the Flies – William Golding – 1954

Ralph Piggy and Jack are the key characters. A group of boys are left stranded on an island after a plane crash.The conch shellis used as a signal to call all survivors and becomes the symbol of control.

Ralph is made leader and the goal of the group is to have fun and keep a signal fire burning for rescue. They use Piggy’s glasses to light it.

Jack begins to hunt for food and forms another group of boys which eventually separate and form another tribe.

This is the group that becomes more savage and eventually kill another boy.

Jack’s tribe steal Piggy’s glasses to take control of fire, kill Piggy in an accident and capture the last two remaining members of Ralph’s tribe. They set the island alight with fire searching for Ralph to capture him and the fire is seen by a passing ship and the boys are rescued.

Lord of the Flies is a microcosm of society and man with the key themes being:
Conch represents law and order, smoke symbolises hope, glasses represent voice of reason.

Golding’s main theme was to trace the problems of society on the sins of man. Anarchy defeats order and this is the underlying belief that Golding had about society. Law and order is a tenuous calm at best.

Lord of the Flies is considered a classic in much the way that Shakespeare is, in that human nature has not changed, and in the Flies it reduces society onto a small island where all the issues that man faces were brought to the forefront.

It has been continually debated for nearly 60 years and is still studied in schools.

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