Create a new account

It's simple, and free.

Lord of the Flies

The remote setting and isolated situation of William Golding's Lord of the Flies allow for a focused examination of basic human tendencies. The characters of the novel exhibit fundamental flaws of human nature and are ultimately unable to transcend these flaws in order to create a peaceful, harmonious society on the island. Lord of the Flies isolates what is basic to man by segregating the child characters from the grown-up world, and employing this devise permits Golding to effectively symbolize the failings of society at large. The failings of society remain a constant throughout history, and Golding states the theme of Lord of the Flies "'is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature'" (Epstein 204). The novel presents Golding's belief that "'the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable'" (Epstein 204). The various defects of human nature that characters in the novel possess all generate from one elemental psychic force. Describing this basic force and examining Golding's depiction of this force within characters of the novel, particulary Ralph, illustrates that the defects of the individual do account for the evils that plague society and supports Golding's thesis as a plausible explantion of the human condition.

In his "Notes on Lord of the Flies," E. L. Epstein explains that the novel manifests "a modern picture of the personality"

which "inevitably includes" the "anarchic, amoral driving force the Freudians call the Id" as "the fundamental principle of the Natural Man" (205). Epstein notes that the function of this force is to ensure the survival of the individual and argues that one could "find this great basic drive defined as underlying the most fundamental conclusions of modern thought" (205-206). The rational force of the human psyche predominates over the anarchic o...

Page 1 of 7 Next >

More on Lord of the Flies...

APA     MLA     Chicago
Lord of the Flies. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:18, July 24, 2024, from