Lord of the Flies Setting EssayGet Your
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In the text “Lord of the Flies”; written by William Golding, the presentation of the setting effectively developed the main themes of civilization and the loss of innocence. The physical location (the remote island) which this novel was set in helped serve the theme of constructing civilisation. However, as the stranded boys progressed on this island savagery overwhelmed their instincts and this helped develop the theme of loss of innocence. “Lord of the Flies” was set on an isolated tropical island which has fresh water, fruit, wood for shelter and fire and no dangerous animal life.
There were no other human inhabitants on the island and, it was suggested, there never had been. As Ralph, Jack and Simon climbed to the top of the hill for the first time, they asked who made the tracks that they followed. “Animals” was Ralph’s conclusion. Essentially the setting was a virtual paradise and took away all society’s restraints on behaviour and allows the actions to take place. Life for the boys should be easy. This way, the island became similar to a bare slate waiting for humans to create their society and make their mark.
This contributed to Golding’s idea of building up civilization. The lagoon was one of the major settings where events took place; this is where the protagonist Ralph discovered the conch shell. He summoned the other boys with this shell and used it also to govern them. To be used in this capacity, the conch shell became a powerful symbol of civilization and order in the novel. This shows us that Golding effectively integrated the theme civilization by providing the boys the essentials to survive in the setting.
The time span in the novel was a very important element of setting that contributed to the development of the main theme of the loss of innocence. “Lord of the Flies” took place over several weeks. This was enough for Golding to successfully build up the theme, but not long enough to stretch the reader’s credibility that the events could have happened without illness, hunger and predictable outcomes as a result of stranding a group of young boys on an isolated tropical island.
In this period of time Golding explored the idea of whether evil might be within us all. As the boys progressed on the island, they turned from well-behaved, orderly children to cruel, bloodthirsty savages that hunted and had no desire to return to civilization. This change could be seen in Chapter Twelve; ‘Cry of the Hunters’, the painted savages who hunted, tortured and killed the animals and human beings were a far cry in contrast to the guiltless children swimming in the lagoon in Chapter Three; ‘Huts on the Beach’.
They naturally lost their sense of innocence that they possessed at the start of the text. Golding portrayed this loss of innocence as something that was not done to the children; rather, it resulted naturally from their increasing openness to the innate evil and savagery that had always existed within them. Through the events in “Lord of the Flies”, Golding explored the ideas of civilization (democratic, the right) and the shift of power as the children lost their innocence; turned savage, in context to the chronological time in which this novel is set.
Golding showed us the strengths and weakness of the two sides as the boys tried to make decisions such as, who would keep the fire going, who would gather, and ultimately, who would lead. At first the influence of civilization is strong and the boys behaved in an orderly fashion however, slowly they grew savage and fond of blood and killing. In the text, after Jack hunted down their first pig for meat, this signified the beginning of this turning point, which their innate evil began to emerge. Later, the boys began hunting each other.
This reform of power in the novel could be juxtaposed to the time when it was written. Golding published this novel in 1953, because the world had just been through the trauma of World War Two. The powers in the world revolutionised and Hitler’s atrocities against the Jewish had come to light and the world asked itself “how could this happen in our so-called ‘civilisation'”. Looking back at the text, Golding himself wrote of his novel: “the boys tried to construct a civilisation on the island; but it broke down in blood and terror because the boys were suffering from the terrible disease of being human”.
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From this we learn that civilisation could mitigate but never wipe out completely the evil that exists within all human beings. Throughout this text; “Lord of the Flies”, setting was important in the development of the main themes. The place in which all the events unravelled; the remote tropical island, was the key to build up the theme of civilisation. Over the time span of this novel, this civilisation was then over-ruled by the darkness that existed within the stranded boys and in turn served the theme of loss of innocence.
Author: Wallace Hartsell
Lord of the Flies Setting Essay
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The ‘ Lord of Flies ‘ written by William Golding talks about a group of boys whom their plane was crashed in an isolated island and it shows how they tried to build their own society . However, most of them get totally affected by the primitive life , so the boys splinter into factions, some behave peacefully and work together to maintain order and achieve common goals, while others rebel and seek only anarchy and violence . The overarching theme of Lord of the Flies is the conflict between the human impulse towards savagery and the rules of civilization which are designed to minimize it. Throughout the novel, the conflict is dramatized by the clash between Ralph and Jack, who respectively represent civilization Vs. savagery .The differences are expressed by each boy’s distinct attitudes towards authority.
Civilization can be seen as cultural and intellectual refinement in human society . In the Lord of the Flies , the boys started off adopting civil rules and creating civility amongst themselves. These rules last for some time , and during this time no chaos breaks out. Within the novel there are many signs showing the boys attempt in establishing a civilized society on that island . First , there is the conch which represents order and encourages the boys to have respect and patience for each other ; this is illustrated in the quote ” I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak , he can hold it when he’s speaking . ” . The second thing to show how they tried to be more civilized is their need to elect a leader . The boy’s electing a leader is perhaps one of the greatest displays of democracy and civilization that happens in the book . “Yes! Let’s vote ! Vote for chief” this shows they were aware that electing a leader is the only thing to make things work out , especially in a large group of young boys . Another representation of civility in the book is the huts that the boys made. These shelters provide the practical purpose of using shelters to protect them from weather.
They also provide a substitute for home , a place where the boys can gather togother in the hours of darkness to seek comfort from being close to other people . They provide an escape from the darkness and unknown which lies outside their walls . At last , the barometer of the boy’s connection to civilization is the signal fire . In the early parts of the novel , the fact that the boys maintain the fire is a sign that they want to be rescued and return to society . When the fire burns low or goes out , we realize that the boys have lost sight of their desire to be rescued and have accepted their savage lives on the island .Thus , the signal fire functions as a measurement of the strengths of the civilized instinct remaining on the island . Ironically , at the end of the novel , a fire finally summons a ship to the island , but not the signal fire . Instead , it is the fire of savagery – the forest fire Jack’s group starts as part of his quest to hunt and kill Ralph .
On the other hand , Savagery is the fierce , violent and uncontrolled society which is lacking the restrains which are normal to human beings . In the Lord of The Flies , the boys descent to savagery is a gradual process . There are some influential factors for there descent . First reasons may be the lack of faith and fire . As the days go by without any sign of a rescue ship , the boys start to doubt if they ever will be rescued. This discourses them from working to keep the signal fire going . “I’ve been watching the sea . There hasn’t been the trace of a ship , perhaps we’ll never be rescued ..” , as a result for Roger saying this the boys stop guarding the fire and make ir go out ; therefore , a struggle happens to make the fire , also piggy’s glasses are broken which symbolize loss of intellect and civilization and the rise of savage instincts . Another thing to illustrate them getting more savage is the War Paint , Jack uses white and red clay and makes black marks with a stick of charcoal . He wishes to camouflage himself so that the pig won’t spot him in the jungle.
However , once he applies the paint , Jack becomes aware the ‘ behind the mask ‘ of his painted face he is free from all restrains and responsibilities , he can in effect do what he wants . When the boys follow Jack and apply paint to themselves they almost instantly change . The war paint starts to reveal the hunters’ inner savagery and it conceals their true identities so they can do whatever they want with no consequences even murder . The other thing is the Lack of democracy , Rebellion and Fear . When the younger boys started following Jack things got out of control . Jack influenced the boys and made them follow his rebellious ways . He leads them into killing and this the most brutal display of savagery , he also leads them into believing that there is a beast and evoking fear upon them.
This fear of the beast eventually leads to the death of Simon , the most civilized of them all . The last stage happened to the boys is the Loss of innocence . After the boys ‘ most riveting display of brutality and savagery , the boys’ sense of morality is completely gone . Their innocence goes along with it . They are no longer little church boys but brutal savage beinngs completely misguided by an even more brutal leader . In conclusion, in the novel The Lord of the Flies, Golding succeeds in showing the actions, decisions and thinking of young children. At many points throughout Lord of the Flies, he writes for the characters to become gradually more and more evil . He manages to show us how human beings can move from civilization to savagery easily as it’s one of the prime instincts in human beings .