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Lord of the Flies

Fire in Lord of the Flies

In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. one of the main elements of the plot is a fire created by the boys. While the fire’s foremost purpose Is for rescue, It also represents other underlying symbolistic themes. Order is one ot the tlrst things established once the fire is built. The fire’s initial purpose, to get the kids rescued, represents hope. Also, the very being of the fire represents the Idea of life. From the very beginning of the novel, Ralph is determined to keep a signal fire going, in case d ship passes near to the Island.
That’s all well and good, until the first signal ire the boys light begins burning out of control, and at least one boy is missing, As Piggy tells Jack, “You got your small fire all right” (2. 210). The fire thus becomes a symbol, paradoxically, of both hope of rescue and of destrucuon. Ironically, it Is because of a fire that Jack lights at the end of the novel”in his attempt to hunt and kill Ralph”that the boys are rescued. And It makes sense.
If the boys’ world is Justa symbol for the real world, then they’re not being rescued at all: they’re just going on to a larger scale of violence”to grow up into soldiers getting sent off to war. Hence, rescue equals destruction. The Signal Fire Is a representation of commonsense and rescue from immorality. When the signal tire can no longer be lit, because Jack stole Piggy’s specs that light it, its beacon of hope and knowledge is no longer present to guide Ralph who must then be constantly reminded by Piggy about what Is right.

The Fire s Relationship Towards Civilization. In Lord of the Flies, the fire is a main symbol through out the story. It represents amount of civilized strength left within the boys. When the fire burns stronger, it means that they are getting closer to society and when the fire Is not burning or Is eak, they too are weakening. The signal fire becomes an indicator of the boys connection to civilization. Throughout the book, the fire is a key symbol that means not only rescue, but hope and civilization.
Even the forest fire In the end of the story, that was meant to destroy, ended up being the boy s key to rescue. In the beginning of this book, one of the most Important parts is when Jack let the fire go outto go hunting. Although hunting Is not necessarily barbaric or a loss of clvlllzatlon, It Is still what leads up to the loss of civili7atiom When Ralph realizes the power of the fire nd admits that if everyone does not do their duty and cooperate in keeping the fire going, all hopes In contacting clvlllzatlon outside are shattered.
The tire Is their only chance of survival and if it goes out, their destined to stay on the island forever As long as the fire Is well maintained, the boys show a desire to return to their civilization, but when the tire burns low or goes out, the boys lose sight ot their wish to be rescued, because they have accepted their barbaric lives on the island. Fire in Lord of the Flies By SgtBlackScorp In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, one of the main elements of the plot s a fire created by the boys. While the fire’s foremost purpose is for rescue, it also represents other underlying symbolistic themes.
Order is one of the first things represents hope. Also, the very being of the fire represents the idea of life. in case a ship passes near to the island. That’s all well and good, until the first signal fire the boys light begins burning out of control, and at least one boy is missing. As symbol, paradoxically, of both hope of rescue and of destruction. Ironically, it is because of a fire that Jack lights at the end of the novel”in his attempt o hunt and kill Ralph”that the boys are rescued. And it makes sense.
If the boys’ world is Just a symbol for the real world, then they’re not being rescued at all; they’re The Signal Fire is a representation of commonsense and rescue from immorality. When the signal fire can no longer be lit, because Jack stole Piggy’s specs that light it, be constantly reminded by Piggy about what is right. means that they are getting closer to society and when the fire is not burning or is not only rescue, but hope and civilization. Even the forest fire in the end of the story, f this book, one of the most important parts is when Jack let the fire go out to go hunting.
Although hunting is not necessarily barbaric or a loss of civilization, it is still what leads up to the loss of civilization. When Ralph realizes the power of the fire going, all hopes in contacting civilization outside are shattered. The fire is their only chance of survival and if it goes out, their destined to stay on the island forever. As long as the fire is well maintained, the boys show a desire to return to their civilization, but when the fire burns low or goes out, the boys lose sight of their wish

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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies: Themes

The theme of hunting is recurrent throughout the novel, and is used to track the boy’s descent into savagery. It starts as a necessity and simply a means of getting food, a common need that the boys all share and benefit from. However, it soon turns into a cultish way of life which divides the ultimately kills members of the group. The restraints and rules of society are taken away from the boys quite abrubtly and without warning, and at the beginning it is apparent that they do not really know how to react to this sudden change of lifestyle.
However, as the book progresses the boy’s newfound freedom, paired with their immaturity and their fustration with being trapped on the island manifests in a primeval obsession to hunt. Golding portrays the desire to hunt and kill as a primitive urge which lies dormant in each of us, but can take over when in an unnurtured and unrestrained environment. It seems to pronounce itself in each of the boys at different points of the novel; at Simon’s death, even Piggy and Ralph found themselves “eager to take part in this demented but partly secure society”, where “the desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.
I think this is one of Goldings main moral messages, not to let your primeval instincts or the mentality of the people around you to detract away from your moral sense of what’s right and wrong, and ultimately it is this fatal flaw and the “darkness of man’s heart” which led to the downfall of the island. This descent from civilization into savagery is tracked by the progression of hunting, and the transformation of characters in the novel.

While Ralph and Piggy remain civilized embassadors of law and order, Jack and the other boys progressively become more and more deranged with every hunt. At the beginning Jack and Ralph were morally and ethically much more similar, but he soon becomes obsessed with the violence and glory that hunting entails, and his appearance and behaviour mirror this descent into savagery. For example, Jack’s once innocently “freckled” face becomes obscured by a mask that “repelled them”.
This indicates a loss of identity, and sheilded by the mask he feels at ease to commit deeds of faceless malevolence against those with which he was once friends. In addition, Jack’s identity evidently disappears completely when he loses his name. He is now so far distanced from the life that he used to lead that he decides to not conform to the use of a forename, and instead answers only to “the chief” – a somewhat tribal phrase which suggests inferiority and submission.
This failure to abide by the standard expectations of society is suggested very early in the book, when on introduction Jack states “Why should I be Jack? I’m Merridew. ” The way each character reacts and responds to Jack and his growing tribe and hunting obsession, is key to how they will prevail in the novel, and it is around the motive of hunting and the unmaintainable equilibrium between it and “building shelters” that the main group division is formed.
For example, Jack as head of choir falls automatically into the position of head of the hunters. Unknowingly to him and the rest of the group, this initial taste of power and violence will lead to the formation of his savage tribe and the barbaric way of life they end up adopting. Opposingly, Ralph’s negative response to the idea of hunting is an indication as to how he will retain his level head and his sanity throughout the book.
The idea that Jack and his boys hunt to kill pigs is very indicative of how events will unravel, and when Jack’s thirst for violence can no longer be satisfied by the killing of a pig, they move onto who they deem as the most unhuman and unworthy member of the group, Piggy, who after weeks of being compared to a pig, is killed in the same manner as one. There are parallels drawn between most of the main characters and the progression of hunting, and Golding uses this to help the reader to track the development of them and the novel.

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Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies and Psychology

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, narrates the story of a group of English boys as they struggle to survive on an uncharted, uninhabited island. The boy’s airplane crashes into the island and kills any adults on board — leaving the boys to fend for themselves. Ralph and Piggy meet each other first and, upon Piggy’s counsel, Ralph decides to call a meeting of all the boys by blowing on a conch shell. The boys quickly begin to form a society in which they elect Ralph as their leader.
A boy called Jack quietly disagrees and believes that he should lead the group. As times passes, Jack and his choir become hunters for the rest of the boys and they begin to enjoy the ways of a predator. As Jack grows more savage, he becomes unhappy with the way that Ralph leads the boys and decides that he will go to the other side of the island and start his own tribe. Boys slowly begin to leave Ralph to join Jack. The boys become so savage that they kill two boys and they plan to kill Ralph.
Just as Jack has cornered Ralph, a naval officer appears and rescues them all. Golding depicts not only the struggle of the boys to survive, but also the psychological reasoning that leads the boys to abandon the civilized nature that they know. Through characterization and setting Golding creates in his novel, an ideal forum for validating psychological principles introduced by Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Carl Jung. Sigmund Freud was a psychologist who pioneered the thought that the mind contains three different levels, the id, the ego, and the superego.

The id bases itself on the pleasure principle; it meets basic needs. The id wants a quick satiation of needs and has no consideration for the reality of a situation. The ego bases itself on the reality principle, it understands that other people have needs and desires and that impulsiveness or selfishness can cause harm in the future. The ego meets the needs of the id, while taking the reality of the situation into consideration. The Superego develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on a child by influential adults in their lives.
One could compare the superego to the conscience, as it dictates belief of right and wrong. Golding acknowledges these different states of consciousness within his novel by using characters to represent each one. For instance, Jack represents the id. Jack never takes into consideration the best thing for the group or himself in the long run and he holds himself accountable to no set of rules or any code of ethics. “Bollocks to the rules! We’re strong – we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down!
We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat” (91). Jack addresses the issue of a beast believed to inhabit the island by filling his thirst for violence and neglecting to take into consideration that confronting a beast will most likely lead to danger. Jack’s reasoning involves selfish motives; he wants to get rid of the beast, he wants to kill, he does not care that he has potentially placed the others in a dangerous situation, nor does he realize the ludicrousness of the beast, Jack has neglected reality entirely. Piggy represents the ego.
He constantly tries to reason with the other boys, when he and Ralph first meet, Piggy understands that the other boys also landed on the island and someone needs to find and help them. “We got to find the others. We got to do something” (14). Piggy also realizes that the boys will most likely stay on the island for a while before someone rescues them — if someone ever rescues them at all. Piggy understands the boys while staying in touch with reality and he knows that if he does not find the smaller boys and take care of them, they will die.
Piggy comprehends the seriousness of their predicament and realizes what it will take to keep everyone in order and alive. Simon represents the superego because he adheres to the principles instilled in him by society and civilization. After Jack has killed a pig for the first time, he and his clan approach while chanting, Piggy whimpers and “Simon hushed him quickly as though he had spoken too loudly in church” (69). Simon’s conscience keeps Piggy in line even when dealing with savage Jack.
Towards the end of the novel, the other boys savagely murder Simon; when the boys kill Simon they also kill their conscience, they kill the rules and implications set upon them in order to keep society civilized and from this point until the boys get rescued their savage nature completely takes over and nothing holds them back any longer. Alfred Adler believed that personality difficulties are rooted in a feeling of inferiority. He also believed that people focus on maintaining control over their lives.
Golding shows these ideas in his novel. Piggy, Ralph, and Jack all have issues with inferiority and control, in some way each of them feels inferior and each them strives for control. The other boys consider Piggy substandard to them because physically he is not their equal, Piggy realizes that the other boys perceive him this way and tries to make up for it with his intellect and emphasis on the rules, which leads into Piggy’s control issue he tries to use control to counter act the feeling of being out-classed.
Jack always strives for superiority, from the very beginning Jack feels that he should be chief instead of Ralph. Jack crumbles underneath his need to become more superior than Ralph and decides to takes control of his situation and forms his own tribe. Jack tries to control his life by getting his way and convincing other boys to get his way as well. Ralph fears inferiority, leadership thrusts itself upon Ralph but he holds his position in very high regard. As Ralph loses support from his tribe, he loses his superiority and he begins to lose faith in himself and become more nervous.
Ralph does not like the loss of control in his tribe or in his life, the signal fire and getting the boys to help him make shelters was so important to him for this reason. Adler studied various types of people and he came to the conclusion that there are the four main types of people: The ruling type that tries to control others, the getting type that tends to go along with others ideas, the avoiding type that tries to isolate themselves to avoid defeat, the socially useful type that values having control over their lives and strive to do good things for the sake of society.
Jack represents the ruling type with his demand that the boys do as he says “‘go on’ the two savages looked at each other, raised their spears together and spoke in time. ‘The chief has spoken’ “(141). Jack thrives off of ruling and absolute power. Sam and Eric fit into the category of the getting type, they tend to go along with and do what others tell them to do. Whenever Ralph is their chief they listen to him and go along with what he says, and then when Jack captures them and takes them to his tribe they adhere to his code and do what he says.
Sam and Eric follow — they do not contribute to creative thought but they willingly take part in its aftermath. Simon represents the avoiding type, he largely keeps to himself, and he goes and finds a secret place where he can sit alone in the quiet with his thoughts. Ralph represents the socially useful type, he likes to have control of the boys but, unlike Jack he wants them to do things for the betterment of the group. Adler’s ideas come to life in Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
Psychologist Carl Jung believed that symbol creation was a key in understanding human nature. Symbols express something essentially unknown in the best way possible. The boys in Lord of the Flies create a symbol for their fear, at times the boys feel afraid and they cannot exactly express why. The boys create the symbol of the beast because they cannot touch or see their fear and so they imagine a beast that they could touch and see. Whenever Simon recognizes that the thing to fear lies within the boys he also creates a symbol, the Lord of the flies.
Jung also believed that the introvert and the extrovert make up the main components of personality. The introvert, like Simon, tends to keep to themselves, and find more interest in ideas than in people. “Simon paused. He looked over his shoulder as jack had done at the close ways behind him and glanced quickly around to confirm that he was utterly alone” (56). The extrovert however, is outgoing and socially oriented. Both Jack and Piggy fit the description of extroverts because, they both freely express their ideas and long for others to hear and admire them.
According to Jung a person that has a healthy personality can realize these opposite tendencies and can express each. Ralph most closely adheres to Jung’s theory about healthy personality. Ralph has a need for socialization but, he also knows when he needs time for reflection and thought, many times Ralph wishes that he had time to gather his thoughts before he had to go and present them in front of the rest of the tribe. When reading Lord of the Flies some readers may miss the latent meaning and only focus on the manifest.
Readers who do not take in deeper psychological nature of the novel would attribute the boy’s different reaction to the island, to differences in personality and background instead of the boys taking on the image of the different levels of consciousness. This reader might think that they could not keep order simply because they are just young boys when their real motives were their subconscious need for superiority. The entire novel deals with the psychological principles set forth by Freud, Adler, and Jung; it could be considered a case study that verifies the very things that these psychologists believed.