Symbolism Of Savagery And Civilization In Lord Of The Flies

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Symbolism of Savagery and Civilization in Lord of the Flies The use of symbols and imagery in literature allows the audience to engage themselves in the novel. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies portrays the diverse aspects of humanity through detailed symbols. The symbol which gives the novel its name, the severed pig’s head on a stick, and Simon’s encounter with it, visually displays the sadist side of humanity and the temptation of evil. From the beginning of the novel, the child-like fear of an unknown beast represents the growing savagery that exists in humanity. Also, Piggy’s spectacles, as they are destroyed, reflect the destruction of intellect and civilization on the island. The novel Lord of the Flies depicts the mutinous aspects …show more content…
The severed pig’s head which represents the tempting devil residing in humans, is the most compelling symbol in Lord of the Flies. This figure gives the novel its title, since “Lord of the Flies” is a literal translation of the name “Beelzebub”, a biblical name recalling the devil itself. The author uses grotesque detail in describing the physical representation of evil. Golding uses the technique of imagery to allow the readers to relate with the darkness on the island, by stating, “The head remained there, dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackening between the teeth.” (Golding 137). The vivid description of the sow’s head situated on a stick is a tangible way of showing how the savagery on the island has changed the boys from innocent to corrupt. The sadist creature also represents the temptation of evil, when the head says to Simon, “‘we are going to have fun on this island! So don’t try it on, my poor …show more content…
The majority of the boys, especially the “littluns”, assume that the beast is an external source of fear. The author uses many physical objects to support the boys’ imaginations, such as creepers, and a dead parachutist. As Ralph, who assures the “littluns” that there is no beast, and Jack investigate the island, they believe they have found the creature as the text states, “Then the wind roared in the forest, there was confusion in the darkness, and the creature lifted its head, holding toward them the ruin of a face. Ralph found himself taking giant strides,” (123). Ralph is filled with child-like paranoia of a beast residing on the island, as he disregards what he preached to the younger boys. Unlike the other boys, Simon depicts that the beast is within everyone, when he thinks, “Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick.”(103). Simon, who is a God-like figure in the novel, is not convinced by the idea of a beast, but thinks that the savagery created by the boys is what they should fear. Although the boys have a child-like fear, they use it to their advantage and manipulate others. As Jack rises to leadership, he uses the beast to instill fear in his tribe and show his authority. During a meeting, Jack states, “‘-and then, the beast might try to come in… No! How could we kill

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