The duality of the human soul in the guise of good and evil is the main preoccupation in the adventure novel ‘Lord of the Flies’. Throughout the novel, the conflict is traumatized by the contradicting views between Ralph and Jack, who represent civilization and savagery. The differing views are expressed by each boy’s strong attitudes towards authority. Ralph uses leadership to establish rules and to enforce the British moral codes that the boys were raised up to use. However, Jack demands the complete obedience of the other boys.
His lust for power drives him into savagery ND installs fear into the other boys who are too scared to reason against him. Despite being the main conflict between good and evil, Jack and Ralph are not completely one or the other. Roger represents complete evil. He is the one who carries out, to an extreme, Jack’s aggressive use of force. Roger represents the worst that develops in people when there is no civilization to keep them in line and symbolizes man’s natural tendency to cause harm to others.
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He becomes the centre of much wickedness, becoming the torturer of ‘Sameness’, pretending to be the beast ND finally is responsible for the death of Piggy. Roger is the one who rams a stick ‘right up [the] ass’ of a sow, killing her in a vulgar manner. Even at the beginning of the book when Roger throws stones at Henry, Gilding shows that the seed of anarchy has taken root and is spreading in the hunter’s mind. The complete opposites of Roger are Piggy and Simon who represent the pure goodness that is left on the Island. Both characters are good but both are victims, despite good characteristics they can’t stand up to Jack’s tribe.
They even look like victims. Simon faints a lot and is physically weak. Piggy is extremely fat, relies completely on his glasses, has Vass-mar’ and moans all the time of the littlest of things. Simon represents spirituality and notices the beauty of nature, not Just as somewhere to hunt. Whenever Simon is present there is religious imagery such as ‘candle-buds which is used to show light driving out the dark. He is the one who realizes that the beast is in the boys rather than a figure and his death is Christ like and religious.
He becomes a ‘silver shape’ floating away and the death of him makes Ralph realism that the island is turning the boys savage. Piggy is the first to recognize the conch and know to blow it and thinks of calling meetings and taking names. He is described as ‘not a leader’ however he is the intelligence behind Ralph and makes him see the importance of building shelters. His death is symbolic as it is also the death of all intelligence and adult order breaking down. The conflict between good and Evil is even present in the title of the novel. Lord’ and ‘Flies’ are completely opposite words as a Lord suggests a chief, ruler, king and power whereas flies suggests dirty, death and evil. Lord of the Flies’ is literally a biblical translation of Bellevue, the devil or Satan. It is a pitiful creature, a rotting pigs head and has no power except in the minds of the children. It becomes a Christ-like figure as ‘the Chief’ orders the tribe to “give it a head if you go hunting” almost like a sacrifice. There are many symbols that represent the conflict between good and evil in the ‘Lord of the Flies’. The fire is a symbol that represents both as it has a duality Just like the title.
It represents chaos, anarchy, threat, death but also represents hope, rescue, food and warmth. The fire is of high importance and is personified to highlight its significance. The “heart of the flame” shows that the fire is the heart of the island. Without it there is no life, no warmth, no food and most importantly, no chance of rescue. The fire can also be dangerous as it “began to gnaw’ at Ralph and it can also be rather sneaky as it “crept like a Jaguar”. The boys do not truly understand the real power of the fire. When the hunters “let out the fire” it shows that there may not be any hope for the boys whilst stranded. Gilding also uses other symbols within “Lord of the Flies” to show the conflict teens good and evil. The conch represents rules and democracy which is significant because piggy is the protector of the conch. It is him who first spots the conch and has the knowledge to blow it and have a meeting to see who is on the island. It is also piggy who sees the importance of having order which is by the use of the conch, further highlighting its power. The conch is pure good and is described as “interesting and pretty’. It is further described as “deep cream, touched here and there with fading pink. The conch is clearly beautiful however further on into the evolve Jack sees no use in it. He says “we don’t need the conch any more. This is a turning point in the novel as the conch is starting to lose power Just as evil is starting to gain power over the island. The death of piggy leads to the shattering of the conch as it explodes “into a thousand white fragments”. The destruction of the conch shows that civilization, like the conch, “ceased to exist. ” The beast is the complete opposite of the conch. It is represented in a lot of forms such as the choir, snakes, beast from the sea, a dead parachutist, the pig on the stick ND the tribe.
However despite all of these forms it is only Simon who recognizes the true form of the beast. He suggests that the beast is “only us” yet everyone thinks he is mad because they have a fear of the unknown. If Simon is true, then as the Lord of the Flies later suggests, it is absurd to think that the beast is something “you could hunt and kill. ” If it’s inside all of us not only can’t we hunt it, but we can never see it, never give it form, and never defeat it. When Simon has his meditation-scene with the pigs head, the Lord of the Flies says to him, “I’m the beast. His makes his other words true because they’ve already hunted and killed the pig and it’s still talking to him. Even later when Ralph smashes the skull, he only widens its smile, “now six feet across” as it lies “grinning at the sky. ” The beast Just wont die, and it torments Ralph so much because it “knows all the answers and wont tell. ” The Lord of the Flies had already given its knowledge to Simon but wit s EAI n en took that wisdom Witt him. It seems the beast is simply the darkness of man’s heart. Gilding uses many different ways to show the conflict between good and evil.
He sees the characters to show the different qualities of man and how when left to roam free without rules savagery takes over and civilization is left to fade away. The character’s all start balanced or slightly towards good but as their time on the island grows so too does the evil within. Not all are completely good or evil. Only Simon is completely good and Roger evil. He also uses symbols such as the conch, the fire and the beast to show that the boys need to have a sense of rules and ethical codes but with their minds left to roam the beast takes over all thoughts and again evil is the conqueror of good. Andy Boy