Golding is one of the most controversial writers in the history of English literature. His novel The Lord of Flies became a parable. The World War II changed the life of the author. He personally faced the consequences of the introduction of the fascist ideology and its destructive power, which almost turned into a real catastrophe for human civilization as a whole. Golding comprehended the terrible truth of life during the War. It is a vice in every human’s heart, and this understanding was the basis for his first novel, which he wrote after the war.
The action of the novel takes place on an isolated island. An aircraft doomed to crash left the kids evacuated from the place of military action there. The main characters are Jack and Ralph. Both are leaders by nature, but they are completely different. Living on an island without adults, kids try to develop a new unit of civilization without senior commanders and their instructions and rules. Jack is prudent and cruel. Ralph is humane and vulnerable. Ralph finds a big beautiful shell in the lagoon, which becomes a symbol of power, but Jack is not happy that Ralph became a leader. He wants to get this position himself. He is the leader of the kids’ choir and creates a team of hunters who are tired of eating only fruit and bored of monitoring the signal light that the guys have dissolved in the hope that they will be survived. Jack becomes a dexterous and ruthless hunter. His team is killing the wild pigs living on the island. Kids do not regret even those animals that have young cubs and hunger is no longer the main motive of the murder. The thirst for blood and unreasonable, inexorable cruelty guide Jack and his friends.
Once Jack goes on a hunt, forgetting about the signal fire entrusted to him and the fire went out. The ship that swam by did not notice the signal and deprived the kids of the last hope for evacuation. This moment becomes crucial in Jack’s and Ralph’s relationships. Ralph, noticing the disorder, swears with Jack, but he only laughs, rejecting the authority of the leader. Jack’s cruelty continues to gain momentum. Starting with the killing of pigs, in a fit of blind stiffness and a sense of impunity, he kills those guys who do not belong to the gang of hunters. Blinded by the thirst for blood, kids begin to destroy everything that surrounds them. Ralph is left alone. All his friends are killed, and he realizes that the same destiny is waiting for him. He aware that Jack is already lost to society, killing the pig and then a boy once, he will continue to kill, so Ralph has to fight a gang of hunters and save his life alone. Jack and his associates set fire to the island, wanting to find Ralph, who escaped from them. It seems that there is no hope. Fortunately, the flaming island was noticed by military sailors, and British boys were rescued.
The main theme throughout the novel is an attempt to analyze the shortcomings of society up to the defects of human nature. The moral of this work is that the form of society should depend on the ethical nature of the individual, and not on the political regime, however logical and reasonable it may seem. William Golding shows the reader that the expansion of civilized restrictions does not lead to the creation of a new, more harmonious and healthy society, on the contrary, society degrades and destroys itself.
The novel ends quite peacefully. But the attentive reader will not miss the author’s allusion to the ambiguity and irony of this salvation. The sailors who saved the boys bear death and destruction since their ship is a military one. This is due to this reason the author claims who will rescue the sailors.
His whole novel is full of profound meaning and allegories, which sometimes is difficult to understand. Speaking of the kids, he talks about society as a whole. Golding underlined the most important and terrible of its problems.
The confrontation between Ralph and Jack is not just a conflict between boys fighting for power. This is a confrontation between Good and Evil, Anarchy, and Order. Golding says that in real life, Good does not always win. Sometimes it also has to fight.
The novel “The Lord of the Flies” is a parable in which the author tells us about the Good and Evil. These are the most important concepts of our life, which determine the existence of a human. He tells us about the importance of being human regardless of the situation. The lesson of humanity is the lesson everyone should learn. The anger and natural cruelty that the Lord of the Flies symbolizes in the novel lives in each of us, but only we are able to defeat this. We should do this not to boast of our intelligence and correctness, but to live as a human should live.
- The principles of Christian ethics, Albert C.Knudson – Abingdon-Cokesbury Press – 1943
- Principles of international law, Sean D.Murphy – Thomson/West – 2006