It is Sunday night and time to finish that homework! I am pleased to see that some Year 11 students are emailing in their answers to the questions set last week.
Here are a couple of responses:
What do you think that Golding has to say about evil in Lord of the Flies? How does he convey his ideas to the reader?
Golding’s aim in Lord of the Flies was to show the nature of humans, to show that evil is inherently within us all. To convey his ideas, he uses a variety of different techniques – the use of setting and the boys actions are two techniques that he uses to great effect.
One of Golding’s main ways of showing that evil is in all of us was the use of a perfect island. By doing this he shows us that all the bad things that happen are caused by the boys themselves. This is a very effective way of conveying his idea without actually saying what he is telling us. Golding deliberately put the boys in a place that had everything they needed and without any dangerous animals. By doing this, the blame for the boys actions cannot be explained by outside influences, like unnecessary fear and antagonism. This is also the reason he placed them on an island, with no adults and no girls.
Another way Golding conveys his theme is the boys’ actions, especially Jack’s swift decline into anarchy. Jack’s changes during the story effectively show us how people, everyday people, can be lead astray and corrupted by power. As John Acton, the first Baron of Acton once said, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is apparent when Jack becomes leader of his tribe, and is corrupted by his power even more. Another way that Golding points the finger at us all being evil is by having English schoolboys, even upper class, English schoolboys, who are meant to be able to handle anything, and come out the other side alright.
Lord of the Flies begins with making friends and ends in death and violence. What do you think are the main reasons for this change, and what is the writer trying to show by it?
- The reason for the change from friendship to death and violence
- How the writer shows this change in the boys
- What you think he is saying about the boys and people in general.
In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding the English school boys start off as friends who turn on each other ending in death and violence. The boys break into two groups/tribes. Golding does this to show good vs. evil and that without rules and order everything turns into chaos.
When the English school boys find out that they are stranded on an uninhibited island they are happy and excited that there are no adults to tell them what to do. The boys start off as civilised students. Jack and his choir start to hunt and kill pigs for food. Ralph who is chief wants to build huts for shelter and a fire so they can get rescued. From this point on there is instant tension between Ralph and Jack. The group of boys start to break into two groups/tribes because of what they think is more important, food or getting rescued.
Ralph and Jack’s tribes, good and evil, begin to fight between each other and violence turns into murder. Without rules and order people go off into their own groups and do what they think is best and forget about what is important, getting rescued.
Good people like Ralph, Piggy and Simon take control and try and fix things that have gone wrong and think about what is important. Evil people like Jack go mad with power and try to kill off all the intellectuals because they are the people that are trying to put them in order and stop them from what they are doing. In this novel Piggy and Simon are both killed by Jack’s tribe. They were both trying to fix what had gone wrong this ended with their deaths.
Golding was trying to tell us about good vs. evil by showing us a group of friends who were trying to get rescued which turned into death and violence when they spilt into two groups because of what they thought was most important. Without rules and order evil will take over.