In Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, deals a lot with characterization. Each character symbolizes certain personality traits. Ralph, Jack and Simon and their symbolic importance are characters with the most symbolism for their characters. Ralph, the impression of being a tall boy with fair hair, was chosen as the chief by the other boys, which shows the natural civilized instinct within humans. He possesses the leadership qualities of man, but does not have the initiative that is needed when being a leader. For example, when Jack says “You shut up,” Ralph does nothing to stop Jack from insulting Piggy or from hitting him. Ralph does not have the initiative to protect his friend or punish Jack for his misbehaviour. Ralph was deeply troubled by the murder of Simon, which symbolized the humanity left in them.
When Jack and his hunters were supposed to be watching the fire, they instead went off to hunt. They did successfully kill a pig, however this sparked conflict between Jack and Ralph, as there was a ship and Jack may have destroyed their rescue. This kill not only symbolized the start of their savagery, but it also caused the first conflict. The next hunt was not just the kill of a pig, but a mother pig. This is much worse, as when you kill the mother pig you also kill the piglets. Those piglets have no one to rely on and will die shortly. Unfortunately the savagery did not stop there. Although it could be argued that it was an accident, Simon was murdered by the hunters.
The real symbolism of savagery in this situation is the complete lack of remorse felt by Jack and his group. Simon is one of the younger boys and he stands out from the rest. Simon seems calmer than the other boys and doesn’t jump to conclusions. He represents the “Christ figure” in Lord of the Flies. Simon represents the recognition of good and evil. Simon is the one who finds out that the beast does not exist, and is the one who finds out that evil lives among all the boys. Once Simon died, all evidence of good left with him. The only thing left on the island is the boys’ evil instincts.
It is quite amazing how Golding added many different symbols to describe the story that may not be noticed. Golding achieves his goal of expressing the story in an in-depth manner with the use of symbols.
Courtney from Study Moose
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