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The use of symbols in Lord of the Flies is a primary approach for William Golding to express his political and personal views. The shell is used to summon meetings in which the boys talk about problems and discuss possible improvements that could be made on the island. Much like a democratic parliament, where problems and improvements are also discussed for the better of the country. One of the main aspects of totalitarianism is the manipulation of individuals’ life actions and behaviours.

The Lord of the Flies states that he lives within all human beings. This statement symbolizes that Satan is within all humanity, including English boys, and that it is he that causes sinful and savage behaviour. The devil is the source of all evil.

Lord of the Flies is an allegory that explores the themes of totalitarianism and liberal democracy. Golding subtly implies his political views by insinuating liberal democracy, although flawed, is a superior governing system. He does this through the use of symbols, characters, setting and objects each of which represent real world political systems, leaders and attributes. Using Lord of the Flies as a commentary Golding expresses his political and personal views through symbolic means in the book that challenges its readers.

Lord of the Flies - Political Allegory essaysPolitical Allegory In William Golding

Power: An Analysis of Lord of the Flies as a Political Allegory Abraham Lincoln once stated ?Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.? For centuries upon centuries, the people of this world witnesses political power take a great man and slowly corrupt him. Sometimes that man victors over this snake, molding himself into a better man; sometimes that man falls, loosing sanity all together. William Golding allegorically justifies this belief on corruption and sense of responsibility throughout his novel, Lord of the Flies. In the novel, a plane filled with British school boys crashes on a deserted island, with no adult to govern them. In the barren environment, the boys, now away from the eyes of civilization, reveal their true characters. Forced to govern themselves, two leaders step up to the plate named Ralph and Jack. Ralph, a sensible, strong young boy, embodies the spirit of democracy, while his counterpart, Jack, embraces the dynamics of totalitarianism.

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When utilizing political allegory, the characters are used as symbols that, overall, represent some kind of political organization. In Lord of the Flies, the persons, or characters allegorized include Ralph, Jack, Piggy, Roger, the biguns, and the littluns; each considered an important component of their political establishments. For most every society, there is a system of government usually comprised of a certain conduct or manner. In Lord of the Flies, two political parties were established, causing conflict among the children. Ralph and Jack served as leaders for separate parties.

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Simon and Ralph represent goodness and reason, and both encounter the Lord of the Flies. The Lord of the Flies is the head of a pig which is sacrificially given to the beast in order to preserve the boys' safety. Simon is the first to talk with the Lord of the Flies, and when he does, he learns that the beast (evil) is not in an animal out in the woods, but in the boys themselves. "Fancy you thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill. You knew didn't you? I'm part of you," (Golding 143) says the Lord of the Flies to Simon. The Lord of Flies says that the beast is not a physical manifestation that is in the form of an animal that can be hunted and killed, but resides inside the souls of the boys on the island. The Lord of the Flies even says that the Beast is part of Simon, the symbol of goodness, suggesting that all human beings are born with both some evil and goodness. Later on while Ralph is fleeing from Jack and his tribe, he stumbles upon the Lord of the Flies. "Little prickles of sensation ran up and down his back. The teeth grinned, the empty sockets seemed to hold his gaze masterfully and without effort" (Golding 185). Soon after, Ralph hits the pig's head and smashes it into pieces. By destroying the Lord of the Flies, Ralph denies his internal evil and primitive instincts. The difference between Ralph's and Simon's encounter with the Lord of the Flies is that Simon accepts The Lord of the Flies and listens intently to what it is saying to him. However, Ralph destroys it and then walks away from it. Both Ralph's and Simon's experience with the Lord of the Flies states that "all men are capable of evil, and evil is inherent in all human beings, without exception." (Ridley 107)

The yelling ceased, and Samneric lay looking up in quiet terror. Roger advanced upon them as one wielding a nameless authority?(182). Adolf Hitler had the S.A. and S.S. to enforce his dictatorship among civilians. Joseph Stalin utilized the K.G.B., initiating fear throughout his sovereignty. Italy?s Benito Mussolini employed the black shirts to terrorize the civilians, creating a fear to go against him. On this particular island, the totalitarian Jack exploits the character of Roger to institute a fear, a terror, a ?country? scared of protesting against their leader. Golding crafts the character of Jack to expose the existence of totalitarian political allegory. William Golding creates a political allegory in Lord of the Flies through the characterizations of Ralph and Jack and their power conflict. Ralph?s perseverance, rationality, and purity allude to his connection to democracy. In contrast, Jack demonstrates impulsiveness, selfishness, and intensity to illustrate his inexorable link to totalitarianism. Through the political allusions inherent in Ralph and Jack, Golding proves that the power struggle between the purity of democracy and the evils of totalitarianism remains violent, unfortunate, and perpetual. Political struggles expose the natural spirit of man, and predictably transform his character into one of animalism and savagery.

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is the prompt for the final essay on Lord of the Flies.

Lord of the Flies is an allegory (essentially a story with a moral), about…well, something. People can't seem to decide exactly what. It's either about the inherent evil of man, or psychological struggle, or religion, or human nature, or the author's feelings on war (Golding was in the Navy during WWII), or possibly all of the above.


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When one is a member of a relatively stable society, it is fairly simple to declare that one would never engage in the kinds of violence that are observed in unstable societies. The reader of Lord of the Flies may be shocked by the way in which the boys' individually and collectively become violent. They become so unimaginably violent so quickly that it is difficult to understand how sweet boys could be so cruel. Write an argumentative or expository essay in which you explain why and how this devolution into extreme, base violence occurred. You may choose to incorporate theories from psychology and sociology, if appropriate. Be sure to address two important motifs: (1) the frequent insistence on the importance of rules (and their inadequacy to protect the boys from their own violence) and (2) the regular references to savages and animals.