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Lord of the Flies. An Allegorical Tale. ALLEGORY.

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lord of the flies

Lord of the Flies

An Allegorical Tale


Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy. Thus an allegory is a story with two meanings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

four allegorical meanings
Four Allegorical Meanings
  • Moral Allegory
  • Social Allegory
  • Religious Allegory
  • Psychological Allegory
Moral Allegory

Morality refers to the concept of human

ethics which pertains to matters of right and wrong

("good and evil“) on three levels:

  • individual conscience;
  • systems of principles and judgments — sometimes called moral values —shared within a cultural, religious, secular or philosophical community;
  • codes of moral behavior or conduct
Moral Allegory

The characters in Lord of the Flies have very different ways

of approaching problems and are guided by different moral

ways of thinking:

Ralph is lead by Common Sense and judges morality on

what makes the most sense for the group.

Jack is lead by raw Emotion and makes moral judgments on

the whim and will of his every emotion.

Piggy is lead by Intellect and scientifically calculates his

moral decisions and judgments.

Simon is lead by the Soul and looks inward for a sense of

moral purpose and direction.

Social Allegory

The term “social” implies relations and interactions between peoples, and membership or belonging to a group. Social organization is also heavily related political rule.

Social Allegory

Ralph represents fair and democratic government. He tries

to achieve unity between the boys on the Island and tries to

find balance between the opposing forces of the boys.

Jack represents a dictatorship full of one individual’s

tyrannical wants. He has the desire to get power and hunt .

He puts his own needs above the needs of other people.

Piggy represents technology and intellectual rule.

Simon represents socialism or humanism, political

affiliations aimed at working fairly and honestly for all


religious allegory
Religious Allegory

Ralph represents everyday man who is searching for

hope and salvation in a confusing and wicked world.

Jack represents the evil corruption within society. He

does not think beyond himself.

Piggy represents the pure intellectual who does not

understand spirituality and therefore cannot have faith

In his own salvation.

Simon represents a deep spirituality and faith in


religious allegory1
Religious Allegory

Lord of the Flies is also a religious allegory of the Garden

of Eden.

The island is very much like Eden – a seeming utopia.

The beastie represents the snake (the devil) that tempts

Adam and Eve. That temptation – original sin – is evidence

of the innate evil within humans.

The boys exist in a state of frequent nakedness – a state

that Adam and Eve shared in the Garden of Eden.

Ralph and Jack are symbolic of Adam and Eve’s sons Cain and Abel.

psychological allegory
Psychological Allegory

Psychologist Sigmund

Freud theorized that

humans are controlled by:

ID – emotional, instinctual

needs and wants

SUPEREGO – moral

conscience, tells us right

from wrong

EGO – considers reality and

balances the needs of the id

and superego

psychological allegory1
Psychological Allegory
  • Jack represents the id.  This is the part of the unconscious mind that works always to gratify its own impulse.   Jack is always working on his instinctual immediate wants and needs.
  • Piggy represents the superego.  This is the part of the mind that seeks to control the impulsive behavior of the id. Piggy always reminds Ralph and the others of their responsibilities. 
  • Ralph represents the ego. He is the conscious mind that mediates between the id's demand for pleasure and gratification and the social pressures brought to bear by the superego. Ralph plays a careful balancing game.