Political/Societal Allegory in Lord of the Flies
The novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, can be interpreted as a political and societal allegory. Golding includes many aspects in the novel that can represent two contrasting political societies. Golding chooses to represent Ralph and Jack as leaders of the two political societies, in which he shows their two contrasting ways of ruling them.
Ralph can be viewed as the leader or president of the democratic society on the island, and he uses several tactics to attempt to stabilize the assembly of boys. For example, Ralph uses the conch shell to bring the boys together on the island for the first time and attempts to establish a set of rules, as well as list the group’s necessities. Ralph portrays himself as the leader immediately when he says, “We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. The same up here as down there. (Golding 42). This shows that once Ralph was elected leader, he instantly wants to compose rules for the entire island. Ralph claims that he knows what the most important needs on the island are, like fire as a signal and shelters to sleep in. One of Ralph’s most significant tactics to maintaining order is the use of the conch shell to call meetings in which he could give orders and discuss issues. Ralph tried his best to establish a democracy, which is shown when he says, “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking” (Golding 30). This illustrates the idea that Ralph wanted to give everyone a say in the decisions that were made on the island, although one person would have the authority if they had possession of the shell. He made the conch shell a significant part of the society, since he gave everyone a chance for their input and created order. The conch shell could represent freedom of speech and all the boys on the island could represent the House of Representatives. Another major part of Ralph’s society is Piggy, who can symbolize Ralph’s Vice President. On the island, Piggy represents intelligence because he believes that logic can be used over violence and physical strength. For example, Piggy voices his priorities when he feels it’s necessary and he usually agrees with Ralph, like when he says, “How can you expect
Social Allegories In Lord Of The Flies
The Lord of the Flies if taken at face value can be taken as a short book about the struggle to stay alive on a deserted island and its physical and psychological influences on its residents. However, when the reader looks deeper, they see a story that is an allegory filled with rich and detailed imagery in almost all facets of the novel. An allegory is defined as a type of writing that presents abstract ideas or moral principals in the form of symbolic characters, events, or objects. "The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature" (204). Ralph and Jack represent opposing views on control, Piggy symbolizes technology, and Simon represents the humanity within us all. The novel begins as Ralph wanders along the beach.
Ralph characterizes the civilization of the island. He uses his influence for the benefit of the people, especially to look after the "littluns." The littluns symbolize the people regulated by a government. In their case, the "bigguns," take advantage of the little ones and soon overlook them entirely. Ralph is the charismatic, athletic central character of Lord of the Flies. Voted the chief of the boys at the start of the novel, Ralph is the prime representative of order, society, and productive leadership in the novel. Whereas most of the other boys at first are concerned with having fun, avoiding work, and playing, Ralph sets about constructing shelter and thinking of ways to boost their chances of getting off the island. For this reason, Ralph's control and authority over the other boys are safe at the beginning of the novel. However, as the group steadily yields to savage nature over the course of the book, Ralph's position declines sharply while Jack's rises. Eventually, most of the boys except Piggy leave Ralph's group for Jack's, leaving Ralph without help to be hunted by Jack's tribe. Ralph's commitment to civilization and morality is deep-seated, and his main wish is to be rescued and come back to the world of adults. At the end of the novel, this perseverance gives Ralph a moral victory, when he casts the Lord of the Flies to the ground and takes up the stake it is placed on to protect himself against Jack's hunters.
Jack Merridew represents a need for power along with savagery comparable to primitive nature. Jack uses his influence for pleasure only, slowly evolving into a complete ruler by the time the tribe splits. "There isn't a tribe for you anymore! [...] I'm chief" (181). The egomaniacal, strong-willed...
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