Exploring Good Versus Evil In "Lord Of The Flies" Lincon High School Essay

1237 words - 5 pages

In William Golding's “Lord Of The Flies,” the theme of good versus evil is widespread throughout the text. William Golding has cleverly incorporated it throughout the story with his application of symbolism as a literary device. There are three significant pieces of evidence of symbolism depicting good or evil. The first being the Lord of the Flies itself, The second being the literal and symbolic meaning of Piggy’s glasses, and the third being the shocking and ultimately premature death of Simon. As Golding has taken such trouble in utilising this theme, it becomes plausible to the reader that this critical theme is overall worthy of our learning.
One paragon of good versus evil symbolism is the Lord of the Flies itself. “There was blackness within, a blackness which spread.” The Lord of the Flies, or in a literal sense, a pigs head on a spear, is symbolic of the continually expanding company of both the external and internal evil seen in the boys inhabiting the island. The readers can understand that the lord of flies is representing both internal and external evil as the description is in a physically revolting manner: “…blood blackening between the teeth.” “…a black blob of flies that buzzed like a saw.”
In addition to this, Simon has a hallucinatory exchange with the Lord of the Flies. This conversation in itself is remindful that the evil of the Lord of the Flies is existant inside Simon himself. The Lord of the Flies literal words “I’m part of you.” explicate this idea.
Not only this in the discussion, but the head also speaks in a profoundly unsettling way on a psychological level. It is condescending, deceptively kind, patronising and authoritative. Snippets of the conversation such as “Aren’t you just a silly little boy?” and “…so don’t try to escape!” “…or else” are all notable examples of this. All previous elements combine to confirm beyond doubt that the Lord of the Flies is a profoundly compelling symbol of evil. The alarming essence of this single part of the narrative compels the reader to ponder more in-depth about the conflict between good and evil that is becoming considerably obvious on the island. The care taken in pushing us to think more deeply about the theme convinces us more that the issue is compelling and relevant and thus valuable to study.
Another exemplification of symbolism portraying the contest of good versus evil is Piggy’s glasses. Piggy’s glasses embody what society thinks is order and intelligence. Golding cleverly uses the idea that the state that they’re in mirrors the state of the social law on the island.
The quote “Piggy’s glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks.” is referring to Piggy’s glasses breaking. This incident is representative of the fact that corruption has begun to obtain the upper hand furthermore is approaching taking over wholly.
“He took off his glasses and looked for something with which to clean them.” In this quote, Piggy frequently has to wipe his glasses and this, also, is suggestive of wrong starting to overshadow right and being ordered back by clear-sightedness, in this case, Piggy's.
The notion of glasses embodying intelligence and intelligence being a good quality is one firmly bound into the attitudes of our society. Because of this, the symbol is one of the most apparent ideas, making it more friendly to a broader range of readers. It ensures that all have a higher chance of understanding the theme, thereby strengthening Golding's belief in the value of learning it.
The final of the symbols conveying the thought “good versus evil” in the “Lord of the Flies” is the passing of Simon. The character Simon itself was symbolic during the novel. Both his remarks and presentation strengthen the impression of him as pure and innocent. Consequently, his brutal murder displays as symbolic too, in two ways. The massacre of purity and integrity that is Simon, shown through the morbid portrait of his floating carcass: “The water rose farther and dressed Simon’s coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble.”
Further, it is representative of the preeminence of evil and decline into savagery among the outstanding boys: “There were no words and no movement but the tearing of teeth and claws.” Piggy and Ralph, a pair of the leftover boys who seized onto the most of their morality and humanity, participated in this act also, caught up in the pack mentality, stripping Simon of his humankind. This action proves that in one way or another the whole island has now succumbed to evil. “The beast was on its knees in the centre, its arms folded over its face.” Here this quote emphasises the control of the now fully present evil. This section of the story is one of the most powerful, and the strong metaphor makes it quite challenging to not notice the force of the internal and natural contest between good and evil.
Near the close of the book, any reader ought of noticed it difficult not to have reflected on the theme of good versus evil at some stage in the story. This realisation is because of robust communication of the idea through the use of such potent symbolism. It means that whether or not the idea is worth learning about is hardly vital because you both learn and consider so much about it subconsciously. Nevertheless, the theme is worth discerning as it is globally pertinent to humanity no matter what their background, current situation or date of life. It has always been apparent in society, and will likely continue to be.
In his novel, by conveying the theme of good versus evil, William Golding is confirming this balance and how sensitive and precarious it is. The conditions that the boys found themselves in was all that was needed for that balance to vanish and for evil to be unleashed. It is this relevance and striking depiction through the symbolism of the idea which makes it so worthy of study. This exhibit also secures the novel its status as a classic and through that, which means that analysation of the literature and its themes will be explored for periods to come.
The theme of good versus evil has been unmistakable in world philosophy and religion as well as popular culture throughout human history, and because of this, there is a surplus of examples and concepts from numerous people regarding the matter. The seeming cause for this apparent fascination that society has with good versus evil is its remarkable connection to our existence. It fits in also with themes of tension and balance evident across many cultures: Superhero and supervillain, hot and cold, God and Lucifer, cause and effect, light and dark, Cain and Abel, light and dark, Yin and Yang, just to name a few. There are many proposals that within all and any of these couples, one will cease to matter, or in some cases exist without the other. That one determines the other and that for an ideal existence they are both needed. Humanity is itself comparing; it requires two extremes to appreciate them both. It is also supposed by some people, that individuals themselves carry both good and evil within themselves furthermore that in some people, the scale merely is slanted in one direction or the other, for any range of reasons, or only by chance.


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