The theme of the central thematic dichotomy in lord of the flies is conveyed through many ways through out the first three chapters. The once majestic island has begun to seem as if it is only a mask for the true concealed “beastie.”
The seemingly paradisiacal island is very similar to the Garden of Eden as it obtains beauty by the vast amounts of growing foliage such as the “blue flowers,” “candlebuds,” and dense green forest. On the crust the cool, calm and peaceful persona is vivid and clear however just below lies the greed and savagery of all man kind which in the biblical story says that evil was exposed through Eve when she gave into temptation and disobeyed god’s commands however, in Lord of the flies the sinister one who gives into temptations and leads others with him is Jack as he gives into his primal urges and disobeys his civilized upbringing because of his constant rationalizations of the fact that they need meat but, in reality his interest in meat for the boys is clouded by his desire to kill.
The garden of Eden references are also foreshadowing devices as at first the Garden is full of joy and laughter and then humans fall because of greed and temptation which is what happens to the boys at first they believe “this is a good island” but soon they fall to the primal instincts from within. This shows that the island although beautiful on the surface is merely a disguise for the underlying evil that is rooting itself into the boys.
Secondly in my opinion I believe the island and the boys is very much like Libya, it has a hierarchy, it has an infrastructure, it has rules and regulations. It seems civilized. However it is not. As we know, the hierarchy is a dictatorship conducted my Gaussian, much like Jack who is urging himself to be a dictator which is shown when he says “Come on, Follow me!” leaving only Piggy and Raplh alone as well as, his control over the choir boys, even though Ralph is leader. Its infrastructure is weak, as is the shelters built by the boys, and lastly the rules and regulations are kept but enforced in a cruel , barbaric way which is how the boys are beginning to edge towards as shown when Ralph makes the boys stand until one collapses and he is left and teased for his lack of stamina. Although the boys try to stay within the paths of civilization they slowly are drifting onto the trail of savagery.
Also the components of civilization they brought or found are slowly being destroyed and replaced with demonist items such as fire. They begin with their clothes. Clothes have been worn for 170,000 years, since the dawn of civilization, at first the purpose of piggy removing his “school sweater” is because of his desperation to escape the heat and although Raplh strips, during the first chapter he eventually puts his clothes back on, showing that within him he still sides with humanity rather than savagery however, as time continues the boys slowly begin to rip and destroy as well as remove more clothing and the most covered, Jack, who begins wearing his long black cloak in the first chapter becomes the least clothed with his “bare back” described when he is hunting in the third chapter. This shows the backwards evolution of the boys where they are beginning to strip away all that is civil and proper and go back to the nature they were created with.
As if the once civilized island is now manipulating them to become Neanderthal like creatures. Secondly Piggy’s glasses represent intelligence and humans overpowering nature and the boys use them as ”burning glasses” which shows that they are starting to lack respect for human kinds inventions and innovations and interchange over to a side where items/technology are not worth what they would be in a civilized town. Also the fact that they took the glasses forcefully without Piggy’s consent is a sign that the children have not only begun to loose respect for items but also for manners which coincides with the theme that the boys are loosing respect for proper behavior and therefore loosing respect for civilization. This again also foreshadows the future because Piggy’s glasses are also broken just like the shattering of civilization on the island.
Lastly the fire the boys create begins as a sign of hope, they try to create a signal so someone might rescue them however it slowly turns into a much larger fire than expected and sets fire to some of the trees and eventually kills a young boy. This is Goldings way of saying that even something that has good intentions can quickly turn into something heinous if given the chance. It is foreshadowing the boys development from good natured English school boys to savage, cold, cantankerous monsters of human beings.
To conclude on the surface the boys and the island seem, pleasant, empyrean and majestic however, the inner core opposes the outer drastically and surfaces when times are tough. This shows that the primitive barbaric attitudes of our ancestors comes fourth when in a time of crisis and pressure even if we have the greatest of intentions in the end as Golding shows no-one has the ability to deny or defeat our urges even ones as pure as Simon. Our greatest enemy is truly ourselves.
Courtney from Study Moose
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