Author William Golding (1911-1993) – England – published in 1954, at the end of wwii

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Lord of the Flies – Notes


William Golding (1911-1993) – England – published in 1954, at the end of WWII

Point of View

Third person omniscient – told through Ralph’s eyes


  • Jack – savagery and violence

  • Piggy – logic and wisdom (< savagery)

  • Simon – faith, moral goodness (< savagery)

  • Ralph – leadership; humanity; stands for all mankind

  • Roger – lust for blood

  • Naval Officer – civilization

What is symbolism?

  • One object which represents many related ideas


  • Conch – order in society; authority

  • Glasses – wisdom; clear thought

  • Island – civilization

  • Beast – man’s savagery; evil in man’s heart

  • Pig’s Head – Satan (Beelzebub); loss of religion

  • Scar – man’s imperfection

  • Spear – (Roger’s) – both sides are sharp – it can harm the hunter and the prey (man harms himself and others)

Allegory – an extended metaphor – a story beneath the story of an entire work of literature – “otherspeak”

  • This novel may be viewed as an allegory for WWII (the holocaust)or the Bible (Satan vs. Christ = good vs. evil)

Biblical Allegory Throughout the Novel

  • Island = Garden of Eden

  • Savagery = sin

  • Simon = Christ’s selflessness and sacrifice vs. pig’s head (Satan)

  • Fire = destruction/hell/penalty for sin

  • Flies – Beelzebub (Satan) = evil

The allegorical message – mankind is inherently evil.


  • Order is necessary in society. Without it, man will self-destruct.

  • Man is inherently evil and looks out for his own wants and needs.

Notes – II

Symbols – used to build the message of the allegory

  • Two levels of allegory: literal, figurative

  • Characters and plot are not “real” on their own; they exist to reveal the deeper message and voice of the author (theme)

These characters represent different aspects of mankind. We see this by how they deal with life.





Violence, aggression



Intelligence, logic

Uses reasoning and strategy


Leadership, collaboration

Encourages others to act


Faith, belief

Sacrifices, acts on morals

Lord of the Flies Vocabulary

  1. Hiatus

  2. Recrimination

  3. Blatant

  4. Taboo

  5. Enmity

  6. Tirade

  7. Oppressive

  8. Tacit

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