Symbolism in Lord of the Flies By: Jackie Jacobs Erik Halvorsen Michael Breslin Alexandra Steinhaus Christian Bramwell
Ego <ul><li>EGO is the rational part of someone’s personality. It uses reason and judgment to, in most cases, overpower the ID. Normally, when your ID tries to take a wrong action, your EGO takes control and thinks it through beforehand. </li></ul><ul><li>An example of the EGO in Lord of the Flies is Ralph. </li></ul><ul><li>He tries to maintain order and reason throughout the story. When most of the boys are hunting and playing games, Ralph builds huts and tries to keep their fire burning. </li></ul><ul><li>Until the end, Ralph overpowers his ID by not giving in to Jack’s temptations of becoming a savage. Instead, he tries to keep the fire burning so the reality of being rescued stays alive. </li></ul><ul><li>Because he is EGO, Ralph is able to gain leadership over the boys of the island at the beginning of the novel. But as time progresses, there becomes too many IDs to maintain his control. </li></ul>
Jack <ul><li>Primitive, animalistic (ID): Jack’s animalistic, irrational, and impulsive behavior is well illustrated by the way he worships hunting. All he ever feels the need to accomplish is a kill. The only thing he desires is meat and power. Jack and the hunters paint their faces and savagely hunt each day. The first night as a new tribe, he and the others go straight for the sow when they come across a group of pigs, which displays his barbarism in that he doesn’t realize that killing the sow will lead to fewer piglets to kill later. All he thinks about is the present with no regards for future hunting or rescue. Jack is also a leading cause in Simon and Piggys’ deaths. </li></ul><ul><li>Savagery: Jack’s cruelty and barbarity is demonstrated in the way he and his tribe tear Simon apart and the way he feels powerful as Piggy is horribly murdered. Jack feels no sympathy or kindness for others, only cruelty. The only thing he understands is the need to hunt. </li></ul>
Jack Cont. <ul><li>“ Rescue? Yes, of course! All the same, I’d like to catch a pig first---” (Golding 53); “But we want meat!” (Golding 54); “If I could only get a pig!” (Golding 55); “ I got you meat!” (Golding 74) </li></ul><ul><li>These quotes express a few examples of Jack’s savagery and need to hunt. He hardly even remembers what rescue is. When a ship passes because he let the fire out, Jack only becomes angry because no one acknowledges his first kill. </li></ul><ul><li>Anarchy: Jack throws everything into anarchy throughout the novel. The chaos and mayhem that he creates when his tribe performs the dance after eating a feast draws everyone in chanting phrases such as “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in.” (Golding 75) The dance causes the children to lose their minds and to desire more meat. It brings them away from all rationality and into anarchy and disorder, which unfortunately triggers the brutal killing of Simon. Jack’s tribes camp is an anarchism under the lawlessness of Jack Merridew. </li></ul>
Jack Cont. <ul><li>Snake in the Garden of Eden: Meat can symbolize fruit in the Garden of Eden. Knowing that there is more fruit (meat), the snake (Jack) is able to tempt the others through this knowledge of meat so they desire more. </li></ul><ul><li>Desire for Power: Throughout the novel Jack is constantly jealous of Ralph being chief, and he feels the necessity for his own power. He uses meat to manipulate younger children to bring them into his new tribe. The temptation of meat is too much even for Ralph and Piggy to deny. Jack is willing to have Piggy killed just to make Ralph the lone member of the old tribe. </li></ul><ul><li>After Piggy is killed, Jack said, “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone </li></ul><ul><li>---…I’m chief!” (Golding 181) </li></ul><ul><li>This quote displays Jack’s savage side very well as he shows no sympathy for Piggy when he is killed. Jack destroys everything he can for power. When the conch and Piggy are destroyed by Jack and Roger, Jack’s desire for power is conveyed. </li></ul>
Stick sharpened on both ends: <ul><li>The stick sharpened at both ends symbolizes a complete transformation into savagery. Roger was no longer bound to his super ego. He and the tribe want to pop off Ralph’s head and put it on a stick. Roger no longer had common sense, he began to listen to his –id or animalistic side. He wants to kill Ralph with the two sided sharpened stick. </li></ul><ul><li>Jack says “Tomorrow,” went on the chief, “we shall hunt again.” He pointed at this savage and that with his spear…. “I shall take a few hunters with me and bring back meat..”(Golding 160). Shows that Jack is showing his animalistic side. </li></ul><ul><li>“ But tomorrow we’ll hunt and when we’ve got meat we’ll have a feast.”(Golding 161). Id is shown again. </li></ul><ul><li>The twins tell Ralph, “Roger sharpened a stick at both ends.” (Golding 190). Shows that Roger is going to try to kill Ralph if he finds him. </li></ul>
The Scar <ul><li>Literal </li></ul><ul><li>The scar is the indentation that the plane made when it crashed.When the plane hit the island, it left in its wake broken trees and </li></ul><ul><li>“ the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat”(Golding 1) </li></ul><ul><li>“ the jagged end of the trunk” (Golding 2) </li></ul><ul><li>“ a broken trunk” (Golding 3) </li></ul>Symbolically William Golding begins Lord of the Flies by describing the scar. This is his introduction to the theme of the novel, man’s destruction, and the scar represents the start of man’s downfall. The scar is the physical evidence of what humankind can do to a perfect place. It is the interruption of man’s selfish and animalistic actions to the peacefulness of nature. The scar is the destruction of society as well as each individual’s own nature. Before the island was inhabited by humans, it had no imperfections. However, the minute the boys land on the island, they damage it. The scar can be interpreted as foreshadowing to what the boys eventually end up doing to one another. They begin by destroying the island, but will end destroying themselves and the others around them. It establishes the fact that the boys are doomed from the very beginning, as their world slowly goes from order to chaos. Without man’s impact, the island would have remained the peaceful and serene place that it was. The scar will always be on the island as a reminder of the imperfections on mankind. It is the symbol of the ugly, everlasting imprint that mankind makes on the world.
Roger <ul><li>Symbolizes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Devil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The evil in every person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The spark that causes disaster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The pain and suffering in the world </li></ul></ul>
Roger <ul><li>Quotes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ There was a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy.” (Golding 22) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This shows that Roger is a sly boy that isn’t known by the other boys yet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Roger led the way straight though the castles, kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones.” (Golding 60) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This shows that Roger is trying to destroy anything that is good on the island. </li></ul></ul>
Roger <ul><li>Quotes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law.” (Golding 62) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This shows that Roger doesn’t dare cross authority but still has the idea of harming Henry. </li></ul></ul>
<ul><li>QUESTIONS </li></ul><ul><li>EGO- REASON </li></ul><ul><li>SCAR- MANKIND’S DESTRUCTION </li></ul><ul><li>JACK- EVIL, ANARCHY </li></ul><ul><li>STICK SHARPENED AT BOTH ENDS: MAN’S SAVAGERY </li></ul><ul><li>ROGER- THE DEVIL, EVIL </li></ul>
Bibliography Brook, Peter. "Lord of the Flies | Organic/Mechanic." Organic/Mechanic by Adam Harvey . 04 Jan. 2009 <http://www.organicmechanic.org/2007/08/lord-of-the-flies/>. Golding, William, and E. L. Epstein. Lord of the Flies . New York: Perigee Trade, 2001. "Lord of the Flies «." Dangerous Books . 04 Jan. 2009 <http://dangerousbooks.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/lord-of-the-flies/>. "William Golding Lord of the Flies CD Unabridged Audio Book." Audio Books at Audio Book Bargains UK audio books . 04 Jan. 2009 <http://www.audiobookbargains.co.uk/william-golding-lord-of-the-flies-cd-unabridged-audio-book-1005-p.asp>.