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 ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:   Publisher: Penguin Books, 2003  Softcover

LOF-Intro--themes--rules--leadership--characters

Few works in literature have received as much popular and critical attention as Nobel Laureate William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Since its publication in 1954, it has amassed a cult following, and has significantly contributed to our dystopian vision of the post-war era. When responding to the novel's dazzling power of intellectual insight, scholars and critics often invoke the works of Shakespeare, Freud, Rousseau, Sartre, Orwell, and Conrad.Golding's aim to "trace the defect of society back to the defect of human nature" is elegantly pursued in this gripping adventure tale about a group of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island. Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin, and evil. Part parable, allegory, myth, parody, political treatise, and apocalyptic vision, Lord of the Flies is perhaps the most memorable tale about "the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart".

LOF-Intro--themes--rules--leadership--characters

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In the end, Piggy is murdered by Roger, much as Pol Pot and other dictators destroyed intellectuals in their own countries to keep their people ignorant and obedient.

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Roger represents the senselessly violent factions who are suppressed by the laws of a stable society but who rise to bloodthirsty heights in times of war.

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On a symbolic level, the novel deals with the effects of war on the human race and the ways in which it can turn Earth, our own used-to-be-Paradise, into a living hell.

The only thing that stops Roger is the arrival of the naval officer.

Ralph realizes the necessity for a structured environment for the boys who look up to him, even if they don’t think it’s necessary, but at the same time he wants to give in to his own selfish desires. Ralph does not have the inborn charisma of a “natural” leader, but he is the most capable leader amongst the boys. He has the conch, which Golding uses as a symbol of leadership and just government. He is not perfect, but he has the sense to ask advice from boys (such as Piggy) who know more than he does.

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Unfortunately, he is not able to maintain control when the boys start to fight. Once he is deposed, he symbolizes the spirit of resistance and the struggle for justice in oppressed people.

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In the beginning of the novel, the reader is presented with a group of British boys who have been stranded on a tropical island. The boys are all young, the oldest ones not more than twelve, and the island is seemingly serene and gorgeous. The stage seems set for the boys to have a wonderful romp in paradise, but as disagreement breaks out amongst them, their life on the island becomes increasingly violent and hellish.

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In the end, he is shown to be the true leader of the boys, but only after the adult world intervenes in the form of the naval officer arriving to end the chaos.

Lord of the Flies [William Golding, E

Piggy represents weakend intelligentsia. His obesity and asthma prevent him from playing and working with the other boys. His isolation and alienation due to his physical problems and his sheltered life with his aunt mirror the separation and alienation of the scientific/academic community from mainstream world affairs.