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The theme of hostility in the novel lord of the flies by william golding

Background The geography of a tropical island There is a long history of islands in literature, and Lord of the Flies was heavily influenced by one particular work — R. Ballantyne's The Coral Island. Written 100 years before Lord of the Flies, this novel tells the story of three boys stranded on a desert island. However, while the boys of Coral Island spend their time having jolly adventures, Golding's characters suffer hunger, loneliness, and the fatal consequences of political conflict after they are deserted.

To strengthen the comparison between his own novel and Coral Island, Golding keeps the names of two of Ballantyne's characters, Ralph and Jack. However, where Ballantyne's interpretation of the situation is innocent and implausible, the pessimistic character of Golding's story reflects the author's emphasis on the necessity of democratic civilization.

What is the main theme of the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding?

Paradise lost The island setting is significant too since the isolation creates a sort of microcosm of the real world. The island lacks a society — its laws and rules — and this allows the boys to run wild and show their true, ugly, inner selves. Since the island is a microcosm, Golding uses it to reflect our world and give comments on our world and his view of human nature.

In other words, the setting is used not so much to create a mood than to put the characters in a particular situation. Early in the novel, Golding clearly establishes the sinister influence the island has on the boys and how quickly they are overcome by destructive impulses. Questions for you to consider: How is the island described at the beginning of the novel?

The weather on the island grows increasingly more hostile and ominous when Simon kills. But why?

How is the island described at the end? Consider the action and how each setting relates to events.

  1. Some act of God— a typhoon perhaps, or the storm that had accompanied his own arrival—had banked sand inside the lagoon...
  2. To strengthen the comparison between his own novel and Coral Island, Golding keeps the names of two of Ballantyne's characters, Ralph and Jack. So we would expect these incredibly well-bred young boys to exemplify civilized values in how they conduct themselves on the island.
  3. They attend what in England is called a public school, which is actually the name given to an elite fee-paying institution, not a public school in the American sense of the term.

What is significant about the shape of the island? Where does the plane crash? What is the significance of the scar? What was the smell like on the island? Describe the boys' exploration of the island?


For example, the island is a beautiful place during the day, as the littl'uns discover when they are bathing in the lagoon or munching fruit from the trees. At night, however the same beach becomes the setting for nightmares; the boys imagine "snake-things" in the trees. Similarly, Golding builds a contrast between the rocky side of the island that faces the sea, and the softer side that looks over the lagoon.

On the ocean side of the island, "the filmy enchantments of mirage could not endure the cold ocean water. On the other side of the island, swathed at midday with mirage, defended by the shield of the quiet lagoon, one might dream of rescue; but here, faced by the brute obtuseness of the ocean.