Totemism, Homoeroticism, Sexual repression: their relation to the issue of power and civilization in William Golding's Lord Of The Flies.

Essay by soumitraB-, April 2004

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#Golding's LOTF is one of his most thought-provoking work and by far the most debated.

In LOTF the author/narrator is absent. In the matter of style, therefore it is a romance. The issues that it brings forth under the façade of boys' adventure-romance hit hard the traditional perception of human nature and its relation to civilization.

It is beyond the need of any proof that LOTF works as a modern allegory. It raises the issue of the "fallen nature of humanity" and how what we define as civilization is almost preordained through this nature.

In the island that the boys land up we see the building up of civilization from scratch. It is set against a backdrop of primitive natural elements. From apparent neutrality (not to use the word 'innocence') of position we see the emergence of power, order and civilization; or at least the semblance of the last two.

In order to understand the process of this construct we will fall back upon the Freudian concepts of Totem and Taboo. Golding dramatizes the presence of totemism and taboo in the anatomy of society at large, of which the boys' community is a micro-reflection.

According to Freudian percept, totemism and taboo involve strong elements/flavors of sexuality. It is the desire of sexual expression and the counter-desire of sexual repression that builds up the anatomy and history of power and authority. This necessitates the presence of 'femaleness' in the narrative.

However, LOTF is conspicuously bereft of any 'femaleness'. We will try to show the presence of intense repression of sexual identity, and the presence of elements of homoeroticism. We will also try to show elements of sexual sadism and anal fixation as a result of sexual repression. We will try to establish how the homoerotic desire of domination/subjugation is strongly...