Lord of the Flies Copy


  • Awarded the Nobel prize for his work as an allegorist, a fabulist, and a mythmaker;
  • The mythic quality of his work = the ability to describe the human condition using a concrete story;
  • Uses realist literary precedents, which he turns around and uses only as a starting place for his unique perspective;
  • Uses modernist narrative techniques (parallelism, textual echo)
  • Uses narrative techniques indicating post-modernism, but is not a post-modern author: deconstruction;
  • Refashions the language of the realist novel tradition.

LORD OF THE FLIES  (published 1954)


  • Genre: allegorical fiction

The starting point is the realistic situation of a group of boys who are stranded on a desert island. The story embodies abstract ideas about human beings’ inherent savagery and violence and the dangers of totalitarian leadership and mob mentality. Traditional allegorical fiction uses characters who are symbolical and explores the way larger forces impact individual lives. Golding constructs complex characters, with certain degrees of ambivalence, who change throughout the novel.

  • Genre: dystopian fiction

The characters in the novel live in a nightmarish, oppressive society that results from their flawed natures. Initially, the setting appears as an Eden, it later becomes a dystopian landscape, where the children are hungry, dirty, fearful, and tyrannized by a sadistic leader. The novel employs fear, suspense, and violence to warn about the dangers of totalitarianism.


  • An unnamed, uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean;
  • Set during a fictional worldwide war around 1950.


  • Main theme: civilisation vs. primitivity

The novel presents the conflict between two competing impulses that define human beings: the instinct to live by the rules against the instinct to gratify immediate desires and enforce one’s will. Throughout the novel, civilisation is associated with good, and savagery with evil. The boy’s moral and disciplined behaviour dissolves into a brutal and wild barbaric life in the jungle.

  • Innocence;
  • Rules;
  • Fear;
  • Power;
  • Identity;
  • Religion;
  • Wisdom;
  • Youth.


A group of boys, aged 6 to 12, are stranded on a remote island after their plane crashes. With no adult supervision, they try to organise themselves and survive. Their first leader is Ralph, who builds shelters and a fire signal. Jack, another boy, wants to determine the boys to go hunting the wild pigs on the island. He convinces some of them, and they leave the signalling fire unattended and miss a ship. The boys, led by Jack, revolt against Ralph, and Jack becomes leader. They start hunting pigs and after that, they throw a party, during which one of the boys is killed by accident. Another boy is killed when he tries to talk it out with the “savages”. In the end, as the boys are hunting for Ralph, they are rescued by a ship of the British Navy.


Characters presented in the analysis of the literary fragment should be adapted to the fragment itself.

  • Ralph – 12 years old, he is elected the first leader of the group of boys on the island. He tries to coordinate their efforts and build a miniature civilisation. He represents the humans’ civilising instinct.
  • Jack – the antagonist, one of the older boys on the island. He becomes the leader of the hunters but wants complete power. He becomes increasingly wild, barbaric, and cruel. He is manipulative and manages to convince others to do what he wants. He represents the instinct of savagery, as opposed to the civilising instinct.
  • Simon – a shy, sensitive boy. He behaves kindly towards the younger boys and wants to work for the good of their community. He feels connected to nature and has a sense of morality that hasn’t been imposed by society. He represents natural goodness, opposed both to Jack’s evil and the imposed morality of civilization of Ralph.


  • 3rd person omniscient narrator;
  • The narrative voice doesn’t comment on the action.


  • Unflinching;

The author reveals the worst and darkest side of human nature (barbarism, murder) but only uses exaggeration and poetical language to highlight the idea.


  • Relatively straightforward, neutral;
  • Combines lyric descriptions of nature with lively action and dialogue
  • Use of metaphors and similes;
  • Use of generic words which create a sense of dislocation in the reader;
  • The language parallels the boys’ train of thought and is also foreboding, using symbols;
  • Uses a lot of imagery;
  • Most of the novel is allegorical, which means that all the characters and objects are infused with symbolism;
  • Religious, literary, and historical allusions.