History Of The Creation Of “Lord Of The Flies”
The book, which we now see, was created in 1954. The press agencies refused to publish a little-known writer’s work, but they took a risk, and this risk was justified. After all, as soon as the book was published, all readers and critics found a response in their souls. At first glance, a children’s book about boys lost on the island, but how the author realistically describes the realities of that time, the terrible deeds of people no one would have thought.
During the 20th century, most readers believed that this novel is a warning and shows the real situation of what could happen to humanity, who will adhere to the idea of Nazism and Fascism. This novel is a historical heritage, and the book about boys needs to be taken more broadly since there is no simple meaning there. Through the boys, the author shows how adults can behave in small details, forgetting about morality, and in return showing a sinful soul filled with terrible deeds. And oddly enough, they completely forget that you need to be punished for what you have done; they don’t think about the consequences.
The author acts truthfully about the readers and does not hide that his plot is based on Coral Island. In essence, the plot remains the same as in the novel by another author. A group of boys finds themselves on a deserted island, trying to adhere to the rules, to be gentlemen. But in total, Golding shows that all principles and morals can be easily violated if there is a desire to become a leader, to be in charge.
The title points to the biblical themes of the Fall, original sin, the evil within a person, creates a multidimensional space of the novel, translating the story from the earthly, horizontal, plane into the spiritual. An appeal to biblical images allows the author of Lord of the Flies to build a story like a parable, to go beyond the framework of a “book for children.” The presence of Christian motives in the novel increases the number of possible interpretations and thus leads away from the literal, gives the action an almost cosmic scale, allows us to show the history of civilization by the example of a group of children.
“Lord of the Flies” Summary of the Novel by William Golding
The author himself wrote his novel to argue with the classic English literature Robert Ballantyne, who wrote Coral Island in 1858. The plot is the same – boys who have suffered from the war end up on a deserted island, adhere to gentlemanly behavior, principles, and morality. Golding wanted to show how naive such hopes are.
Chapter One: The Sea Horn
The duration has not been specified. During the war, all injured children are sent to a quiet place. But during the flight, their plane crashes, and they find themselves on the island alone. The first two heroes found themselves in the jungle and, waking up, go to the seashore. One of them is blonde; the other is fat with glasses. The boys realize that they know each other and start talking about the trouble that happened to them. A fat boy, called Piggy at school, decides to determine if adults are on the island. Ralph, on the contrary, proves to Piggy that they are alone, and all adults have died. They do not need to be looked for, but to think about what awaits them on the island and how to get out.
Piggy tells about himself: he wears glasses from early childhood (three years old) and has asthma. Ralph finds a pink granite square, and beyond it, he notices a beautiful cove. The blond boy swims; Piggy doesn’t. Ralph’s father is a second rank captain. Piggy has no father. His aunt, who owns a small pastry shop, was his guardian. Ralph is sure that his father will come to them and save them. Piggy interrupts Ralph and says that he listened to the pilots discussing a nuclear explosion during the flight, and hardly anyone survived. Piggy believes that they are alone, and there is no need to wait for help. They need to rely on themselves.
Ralph, Jack, and the boy, who are afraid of everything, decided to explore the island. The guys climb the topmost point of the mountain, examine everything around, and understand that they are on an island where there are no people. Ralph is happy; he considers his island. On the way back, the guys stumble upon a pig entangled in vines. Jack raises the knife to strike but cannot do it. The pig runs away. Jack gives himself his word that next time he will not be afraid.
Chapter Two: Fire on the Mountain
The boys return to camp, and Ralph calls a general meeting. At the meeting, the boy says that they are now alone and should take care of themselves. He was the first to decide to establish the rules, namely to let the one who is the leader or holds the horn speak out.
Out of the way in front of a crowd of boys, a baby appears with a birthmark on half of his face. He informs the entire team of survivors that he saw a snake crawling nearby at night, which turned into a twisting vine in the morning. The kids are afraid; they are trying to calm them down. Jack promises to explore the island thoroughly.
Ralph says that there is no monster on this small island. Ralph assures the guys that they will be saved. But the boys understand that the fire must see the ship, so they decide to make a fire at the very top of the mountain and settle there. Together, the guys kindle a fire with Piggy’s glasses. Jack takes over the maintenance and control of the fire.
Chapter Three: Huts on the Shore
All the rules were violated; no one adheres to the order, does not work, only to have fun. Jack hunts alone. No one is watching the fire. Ralph and Simon continue to build tents. The rest of the guys are resting and eating fruit.
Chapter Four: Long Hair, Painted Faces
The guys get used to the island and gradually get used to the wildlife. The smallest boy Percival is constantly hiding, as he expects to see the monster; he stops playing with the boys, constantly cries. Jack’s team go out of their way to build a big fire so that it can be seen everywhere. They succeed, a big smoke covers the island. Kids play on the beach, building sandcastles. They are kept separate from adult boys. Piggy comes up with an idea to build an hourglass. Suddenly, the guys notice a ship passing by. However, there is almost no smoke from the fire, which is why the ship sails by. Ralph climbs the mountain and sees everyone throwing a fire. Jack kills the first pig at this time. A serious quarrel starts between the guys. Piggy supports his friend, for which he receives a punch in the stomach. Ralph somehow manages to restore calm and peace, confirming his position in charge.
Chapter Five: The Beast Comes Out of the Waters
Ralph realizes that now you need to speak clearly and clearly. He gathers a meeting where he demands to observe the rules established by them: to maintain a fire, to walk in a particular place if necessary, and to cook meat on the mountain, near the central fire. The kids tell how they saw the beast in the middle of the night, either in the forest or coming out of the sea. The leader of the team decides to check if the mysterious beast exists and ultimately conducts a vote. Jack can’t stand it. The meeting is interrupted. All the guys, knocking down each other, rush after the beast to the sea to finally destroy it.
Chapter Six: The Beast Descends from Heaven
Deep night falls, and strange events take place over the island. A dead parachutist falls into the thicket of the forest. The next morning, the twins, making a fire, stumble upon the body of a heavenly guest. Blinded by horror, they run to the camp and talk about what they saw. A meeting is convened, after which Ralph and Jack go to kill the beast, leaving Piggy on the shore with the kids. The boys search the place but find no one.
Chapter Seven: Large Trees and Shadows
The boys explore the island thoroughly all day. They reach the mountain closer tonight. Simon decides to return to the team at the camp and warn the frightened Piggy that the squad will return in the late afternoon. Ralph loses his confidence. Jack takes advantage of these and makes him climb high in the mountains. Arriving at the scene, they see the beast with horror, although it was that dead parachutist, just the moon shone in such a way that it created the monster’s shadow.
Chapter Eight: A Gift to Darkness
Jack organizes a meeting where he accuses Ralph of cowardice and offers to remove him from the dominant position. Not receiving support, Jack runs away into the forest. Simon proposes to explore the mountain again. Ralph says that it’s all over: there is no hope of salvation, the fire is out, and the beast is interfering with making a new one. Piggy argues that fire is better for a network closer to the seashore. A little later, Simon wanted to leave and was looking for a suitable place, but suddenly he saw how the guys’ detached part was hunting. Jack’s squad kills a large pig, intending to make such a sacrifice to the “Beast.” This is Lord of the Flies – the pig’s deadhead is covered with flies.
Chapter Nine: The Face of Death
A thunderstorm is moving to the island. Simon sees this picture and realizes that there was no beast. It is just the body of a parachutist. He frees the corpse from the slings and hurries to the camp to tell his friends about it. Ralph and Piggy decide to go to Jack’s feast. After dinner, the squad, excited by the thunderstorm, begins to perform a frantic dance. Having lost control of themselves, they mistake Simon for a monster and beat him to death. The corpse of the parachutist is carried away by the wind into the sea.
Chapter Ten: Sink and Glasses
Ralph tells Piggy that a group of hunters killed one of them. The fat boy does not want to believe it and tries to make the situation an accident. In the tribe of hunters, Jack becomes the Chieftain. They settle in a rocky Castle, protected by guards. With the help of a simple structure, large stones can be thrown down from a high. The chief leads his followers on the hunt. One of the nights, the Leader with several boys attacks sleeping Ralph and Piggy. In the dark, a fight ensues, as a result of which Piggy’s broken glasses go to the hunters.
Chapter Eleven: The Castle
The blonde Ralph calls a meeting for the remaining boys. A team of separated guys decides to go to the enemies and score Piggy’s glasses. The main leader of the other team is very vicious against the guests. Ralph calls Jack a thief. They fight with spears. Ralph is injured. The chief of the tribe orders the twins to be tied up and taken prisoner. Roger uses a mechanism to lower a stone block that kills Piggy. The former “chief” is left all alone and starts running.
Chapter Twelve: The Cry of the Hunters
Left alone, the boy realizes that the savages will not let him live. He rushes around the island in search of shelter. Later, the twins tell him that Jack forced them to go over to his side with physical violence and also warn the former Leader about the impending hunt for him. Ralph decides to hide near the camp and asks the twins to “take” the savages away from him. The beaten brothers give the Leader the location of the fair-haired boy. The tribe throws down a stone block. The guy runs away into the forest, from where he is forced to go out in smoke. Ralph manages to run out of the thicket to the seashore, where he meets two sailors and a naval officer. The guys are saved.
Images and Characters in the Book
Description of the main characters:
- Ralph – blonde boy, 12 years old; at first, he was elected chief on the island;
- Jack Meridew – “skinny, tall” “boy with red hair, the church choir leader, and then the hunter and leader of the savages;
- Piggy is a fat boy with asthma raised by an aunt; Piggy got the nickname because he was called at school;
- Simon is “a small, skinny boy with a sharp face,” one of the church choir’s choristers;
- Twins Eric and Sam, Maurice, Roger, Robert, Percival Weems Madison are the boys who ended up on the island after the plane crash.
Main Idea and Reasons to Read “Lord of the Flies”
William Golding never thought that his novel would be read in all schools in the world. And only after a while, he will understand why he will receive the book’s Nobel Prize, which vividly describes humanity’s actions. After all, before that, he considered himself an ordinary writer while he was admired.
Ironically, it was this novel that became his magnum opus. Like most of the currently recognized works of literature, “Lord of the Flies” did not gain popularity immediately. For several years and more than 20 times, publishers refused to publish Golding. And the writer himself considered this novel boring, gray, schoolboy. First, the author had to change the original title from the literal “Strangers that came from within” to a symbolic one.
“Lord of the Flies” is allegorical through and through. Symbols in the text are everywhere. They can be viewed from different points of view: as elements influencing the development of the plot or philosophical paradigms, they do not relate to the story itself as they represent a separate idea. Thanks to the symbols, the reader needs to consider such elements as a ship, a pig’s head, a fire, boys, as usual details, and understand what exactly this meant.
Golding considered himself an optimist and did not see even a hint of hopelessness in his writings. It is interesting to suddenly get acquainted with the novel, having defined it as optimistic – a look at events, heroes, and allegories can lead to unexpected conclusions.
Golding’s first parable novel, Lord of the Flies, brought him fame and is still considered his most extensive work. Golding’s novel was one of the first post-war English books to reflect on the recent war’s bitter experience with the Nazis. This work has the characteristic features of a teenage adventure story. But the novel is addressed to adult readers and is a philosophical parable that combines the features of dystopia.
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