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Lord of the Flies. William Golding’s Masterpiece. Author and Context. William Golding was born on September 19, 1911 in England 1940 Golding joined the Royal Navy Participated in D-Day experience in WWII had a profound effect on his view of humanity and the evils of which it was capable.

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lord of the flies

Lord of the Flies

William Golding’s Masterpiece

author and context
Author and Context
  • William Golding was born on September 19, 1911 in England
  • 1940 Golding joined the Royal Navy
  • Participated in D-Day
  • experience in WWII had a profound effect on his view of humanity and the evils of which it was capable.
  • His first and greatest success came with Lord of the Flies (1954)
summary
Summary
  • Lord of the Flies tells the story of a group of English schoolboys marooned on a tropical island after their plane is shot down during a war.
  • its exploration of the idea of human evil is at least partly based on Golding’s experience with the real-life violence and brutality of World War II.
  • Free from the rules and structures of civilization and society, the boys on the island in Lord of the Flies descend into savagery.
  • In his portrayal of the small world of the island, Golding paints a broader portrait of the fundamental human struggle between the civilizing instinct—the impulse to obey rules, behave morally, and act lawfully—and the savage instinct—the impulse to seek brute power over others, act selfishly, scorn moral rules, and indulge in violence.
  • Island is a microcosm of society, politics, and human psychology
ralph
Ralph
  • Ralph is the most charismatic of the group. He is initially chosen as leader due to his many positive qualities. He maintains a conflict with Jack throughout the entire novel, attempting to keep order whereas Jack isn\'t concerned with it. Ralph and Piggy together represent the struggle for order and democracy.
piggy
Piggy
  • Piggy is a short and overweight boy who wears glasses and represents order and democracy.He tries very hard to cling to civilization, and tries his best to keep peace. While probably the smartest boy on the island, he lacks any social skills whatsoever, and has trouble communicating or fitting in with the others. His glasses are a very important part of the book, as they are used over and over to start fires. Piggy\'s constant polishing of them shows his desire for clear-sightedness and civilization.
slide7
Jack
  • Jack is about Ralph\'s age, with a skinnier build and red hair. From the very beginning, he seems to harbor emotions of anger and savagery. At first, he is the leader of his choir group, who become hunters as the book progresses. He eventually overtakes Ralph as chief/leader.
simon
Simon
  • Simon is younger than the three previous boys, but older than other littluns. He is very good and pure, and has the most positive outlook.Simon often travels into his tranquil spot in the jungle, but also tries to help out when it is needed. He meets up with a pig\'s head skewered on a stick which leads him to an epileptic episode.
themes
Themes
  • society holds everyone together, and without specific societal conditions, our ideals, values, and the basic concept of right and wrong are lost.
  • People will abuse power when it\'s not earned.
  • When given a chance, people often single out another to degrade to improve their own security.
  • Inner savagery can only be suppressed for so long before it breaks out, given the right situation.
  • The fear of the unknown can be a powerful force, which can turn you to either insight or hysteria.
allegory
Allegory
  • A work of fiction carrying two levels of meaning:

- 1) a surface plot/narrative (literal)

- 2) symbolic/metaphorical meaning in which everything in story symbolizes something greater

a freudian allegory ralph jack and piggy
A Freudian AllegoryRalph, Jack, and Piggy
  • Id
    • The part of the personality reflecting unorganized, instinctual impulses. If unbridled, it seeks immediate gratification of primitive needs.
  • Ego
    • The part of the personality corresponding most nearly to the perceived self, the controlling self that holds back the impulsiveness of the id in the effort to delay gratification until it can be found in socially approved ways.
  • Superego
    • The part of the personality corresponding most nearly to conscience, controlling through moral scruples rather than by way of social expediency. The superego is said to be an uncompromising and punishing conscience.
  • Unconscious
    • Memories, impulses and desires that are not available to consciousness. According to the psychoanalytic theories of Freud, painful memories and wishes are sometimes repressed – that is, diverted to the unconscious where they continue to influence our actions even though we are not aware of them.
social influence
Social Influence
  • 1. Compliance
    • The person at whom the influence is directed (the target) publicly conforms to the wishes of the influencing source but does not change his or her private beliefs or attitudes. (The child eats the spinach but continues to dislike it.)
  • 2. Internalization
    • The target changes his or her beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors because of a genuine belief in the validity of the position advocated by the influencing source. (A middle-aged man gives up smoking after reading – and believing – the surgeon general\'s warnings that smoking causes cancer.)
  • 3. Identification
    • The target changes his or her beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors in order to resemble an influencing source that is respected or admired. (A high school girl takes up smoking in order to be like a group of older girls she admires.)
  • Deindividuation – sense of self diminished when in a crowd (mob mentality)
political allegory
Political Allegory
  • The world was divided into two camps, the free world and the Soviet Union, much like the camps of Ralph and Jack. In addition, the postwar Cold War Era suffered from fears of atomic destruction.  Lord of the Flies shows the world at the brink of atomic destruction.  The novel serves as a warning to the leaders of the world.
continued
Continued…
  • Possible allegory of the beginning formation and execution of political party and social order.
religious allegory
Religious Allegory
  • Garden of Eden:  It was a perfect island with good food, good weather, and good water.  The beastie is the snake in the Garden that lures (tricks) the others to refuse their duty. The parachutist and Piggy represent the fall of mankind.  Jack and Ralph are very much like Cain and Able. Simon is a Christ figure who sacrifices himself to save them.
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