Lord of the flies3 Book Report

This essay has a total of 1481 words and 6 pages.

lord of the flies3

Lord Of Flies By William Golding

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a sordid tale about a group of kids who are
stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. The story is set during the
Atomic War and plenty of references are made to the fact. However, the real key to the
story lies in the role of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies. Beelzebub has a central role in
the story as he represents the Beast, or evil, that dwells within all humans. The Beast
cannot be hunted and since it dwells within all humans, humans are all guilty because
mankind is sick. The destruction of mankind is a point that Golding makes apparent often
in this novel. He establishes early on that Beelzebub is a force within all humans that
drives them to destroy and maim. In the story the central emblem of the story lies in the
dead airman. The boys mistake him for Beelzebub and basically begin to worship him. In
fact, the most effective portrayal of Beelzebub appears early in the novel in the form of
the dead airman. The parachute carries him through the night to the top of the mountain,
where his body is entangled in the trees. It is in the way in which he is hung that makes
it appear as if he was sitting on a throne of some sort. Sam n Eric first come upon it and
are scared to death at the mere sight of it. However, when the whole group returns to the
site the horrific monstrosity bewilders them. In this quote from the book it clearly
states the group’s actions. “ Behind them the sliver of moon had drawn clear
the horizon. Before them something like a great ape was sitting asleep with its head
between his knees. Then, the wind roared in the forest, there was confusion in the
darkness and the creation lifted its head, holding toward them a ruin of a face. “
The experience alone accelerates the deterioration of the already weak civilization of the
group. The experience brings young Jack to committing himself fully to the newfound dark
religion. (Johnston, 126) Beelzebub was the cause for accelerating the destruction of the
boys. He was not the outright cause. The Atomic War generated the novel; it was the sole
reason that brought the boys to live on the island in the first place. It is in this sense
that the boys only duplicated the adult society that had been crashing down around them
while they were part of the civilized world. Golding uses the dead airman to continue the
war on throughout the novel. With each new day the boys become more and more savage. One
by one the boys lose sanity. Beelzebub is slowly entering the boys, and through the use of
Jack as a minister of evil, delivering the boys to insanity and corruption. (Gindin, 160)
Golding however does offer mankind hope through the character of Simon. Simon is the one
character in the story that knew how to deal with Beelzebub. The day before Simon dies he
learns that Beelzebub dwells within and cannot be hunted by humans. Simon finds that the
evil Beelzebub represents is inside people and ineradicable. Simon is the only character
in the novel to come to terms with the darkness and impending doom of the group’s
situation. Simon looks darkness in the face and, with great courage, comes to terms with
the ignoble nature of mankind. Beelzebub has blinded every other member of the group.
Piggy, for instance, pins all blame on Jack. Piggy misses the point because Jack is only
the minister for a greater evil. Jack is to blame only in the sense that he lives in all
of us, that we are all guilty because mankind is sick. Still, Simon is the one exception
to this general condemnation. Simon is the one spiritually sound person on the island.
Simon is an epileptic and it is sickness that makes him a saint. Simon is not interested
in leadership and prefers to keep to himself. Rather than involve himself in the promotion
of the self, Simon concentrates on the nature of reality. He is one of the meek, of the
poor in spirit, who are promised the kingdom of heaven, not the congratulations and
rewards of earthly fortune. After the group removes Simon the decline in morality is
greatly accelerated. Golding does not immediately symbolize this acceleration though. He
allows it to flow from a series of events instead. First, the “littluns”
complain of seeing an imaginary beast; the fear that has manifested itself out of their
own imaginations. Beelzebub finds an outlet through the dead airman. The hunters, who
revert to the most primitive form of expiation, plant the head of a dead pig on a stick as
a blood sacrifice to Beelzebub. Simon comes upon the head, and his confrontation with it
is dramatically heralded by the disappearance of the butterflies. (Dick, 38) Simon has a
vision in which the head speaks to him. During this vision the pig’s head tells
Simon that Beelzebub cannot be hunted because it lives within all of humans. Simon is
overwhelmed by the experience and faints. Simon comes out of the vision with a newfound
knowledge and understanding. He knows what Beelzebub is and he knows how to conquer it.
However before Simon can ever reach the others Beelzebub has already spread its darkness
Continues for 3 more pages >>

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