I think William Golding purposely chose the same setting as The Coral Island, but with a different ending of course, showing readers that us humans beings, as hard it might be to admit, unfortunately we have a wicked side and without supervision castigation to keep it in check. This sophisticated society that we live in would’ve turned into a barbaric anarchy instantly and still today, we have people who choose to ignore the civilization, take the risk and act like savages despite the “sophisticated society” but those people end up in jail.
One of the major themes, isolation. What better way can you put it? The boys are stranded on an island, not mentioning the fact that they are still kids, innocent kids without adult supervision. This was obviously slowly making them hopeless as they realize that there is no way they’ll be rescued. But if you give it some thought, the island is similar to our society in many ways. Firstly, Golding makes the conch delineate power and authority, like the government today, because whoever held the conch in the story had the authority to speak. That rule is official when Ralph says “And another thing. We can’t have everybody talking at once. We’ll have to have hands up like at school then I’ll give him the conch.” (Golding 31) This shows the effort Ralph was putting into bringing rules and order so it could bring all the other boys closer together as a society.
The island is basically a microcosm, Golding uses it to imitate our world while giving comments and his own view of human nature and how it is. For that to happen, he uses objects that are symbolic referring to his ideas like the previous example I gave about the Government. Golding also uses the characters that duplicate historical and/or religious people and finally the setting where all the conflicts happen, having parallels in the real world and society. The boys show what happened in the story isn’t just a story. They help present Goldings belief that humankind is savage and evil under all that civilization.
So, Lord of the flies is a microcosm, just in a smaller civilization. The physical location (the remote island) which Golding set to serve the theme of constructing civilisation. However, as the stranded boys progressed on this island together, savagery eventually invaded their instincts and this helped develop the theme of loss of innocence. Again, this story was set on an isolated island, it had all you needed, food, wood for shelter and fire and no dangerous animals, there werent any humans either, the boys were probably the first to set a foot on this island.
As Ralph, Jack and Simon were climbing the hill for the first time together, they noticed the tracks and started wondering who them. They started following. “Animals” were Ralph’s answer. The setting here was kind of like paradise for the boys, it took all of society’s rules and orders on behavior and allowed the boys to do whatever they want, since they were in charge this time.
Courtney from Study Moose
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