Lord of the Flies1954 Introduction and Background
Title Translation “Beelzebub” a Hebrew word for LUCIFER However, the literal translation of “Beelzebub” into English is LORD OF THE FLIES The “Lord of the Flies” represents the incarnation of evil itself.
Lord of the Flies Author William Golding 1911-1993
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)
WWII Korean War In the decade before LOTF was published, Britain had been involved in two wars:
As a child, Golding had witnessed WWI, which was referred to as “the war to end all wars” HOWEVER, 22 years later Britain was again involved in ANOTHER WAR to end all wars, which caused more devastation than was imaginable
Through LOTF, Golding is making the statement that we cannot escape our savage, violent tendencies…
Notes on Lord of the Flies Natural Goodness of Man Theory: Left to themselves, humans would live good lives, and it is the influence of civilization that corrupts people. • For Consideration:
Notes on Lord of the Flies Golding has said that Lord of the Flies is “an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature.” He acknowledges evil as a force that lurks within every person. • For Consideration:
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
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.
Symbols in the Novel(Symbol : Objects, characters, figures, or colors that represent ideas or concepts) Piggy’s Glasses = The last surviving evidence of the lawful, structured world Conch Shell = New democracy on the island Snake = Evil…reference to the serpent in the garden of Eden
Symbols in the Novel • The Beast = The imaginary evil that is projected onto the island by the boys’ paranoia • Lord of the Flies = A pig’s head on a stick that becomes the physical acceptance of evil on the island
TERMS to REMEMBER • Microcosm = A small world that represents the world at large • Edenic =Eden like, paradise like, a setting that has not yet been spoiled by man • Freudian = agreeing withthe theories of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis.
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
Freudian Theory of Personality • 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 • 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.) • 4. Deindividuation – sense of self diminished when in a crowd , mob mentality. (A child who is normally quiet and well-behaved shouting and screaming at a football match because everyone else is doing so.)