Lord of the Flies
A running theme in Lord of the Flies is that man is savage at
heart, always ultimately reverting back to an evil and primitive
nature. The cycle of man's rise to power, or righteousness, and his
inevitable fall from grace is an important point that book proves
again and again, often comparing man with characters from the Bible to
give a more vivid picture of his descent. Lord Of The Flies symbolizes
this fall in different manners, ranging from the illustration of the
mentality of actual primitive man to the reflections of a corrupt
seaman in purgatory.
The novel is the story of a group of boys of different
backgrounds who are marooned on an unknown island when their plane
crashes. As the boys try to organize and formulate a plan to get
rescued, they begin to separate and as a result of the dissension a
band of savage tribal hunters is formed.
Eventually the "stranded
boys in Lord of the Flies almost entirely shake off civilized
behavior: (Riley 1: 119). When the confusion finally leads to a
manhunt [for Ralph], the reader realizes that despite the strong sense
of British character and civility that has been instilled in the youth
throughout their lives, the boys have backpedaled and shown the
underlying savage side existent in all humans. "Golding senses that
institutions and order imposed from without are temporary, but man's
irrationality and urge for destruction are enduring" (Riley 1: 119).
The novel shows the reader how easy it is to revert back to the evil
nature inherent in man. If a group of well-conditioned school boys
can ultimately wind up committing various extreme travesties, one can
imagine what adults, leaders of society, are capable of doing under
the pressures of trying to maintain world relations.