Allegory in Lord of The Flies

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 685 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 685|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Island as a Microcosm
  2. Characters as Symbols
  3. Conclusion
  4. Bibliography

William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, is a captivating and thought-provoking literary work that has stood the test of time. Set on a deserted island, the story follows a group of young boys who are left to govern themselves after a plane crash. Amidst the struggle for survival, Golding employs allegory to explore the darker aspects of human nature and society. This essay will delve into how Lord of the Flies functions as an allegory, shedding light on the inherent evil that exists within individuals and society as a whole.

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The Island as a Microcosm

One of the key ways in which Lord of the Flies functions as an allegory is through the island itself, which serves as a microcosm of the larger world. Just as the boys are isolated on the island, society is often seen as an isolated entity, separate from the rest of the world. The island represents a blank slate, devoid of any pre-existing societal structures or rules. This allows Golding to explore the innate human tendencies that emerge in the absence of civilization.

Throughout the novel, the island undergoes a transformation, reflecting the deterioration of the boys' moral values. Initially, the island appears to be a paradise, with its lush vegetation and crystal-clear waters. However, as the boys descend into savagery, the island becomes a dystopian nightmare, mirroring the destructive forces that can corrupt a society when left unchecked.

Moreover, the physical features of the island also serve as allegorical elements. The Beast, a mythical creature that terrifies the boys, represents the primal instincts and fears that reside within each individual. This fear leads to the creation of the Beast as a tangible figure, symbolizing the boys' descent into irrationality and chaos. The island, therefore, becomes a visual representation of the battle between civilization and savagery, highlighting the allegorical nature of the novel.

Characters as Symbols

Another significant aspect of Lord of the Flies as an allegory lies in the characters themselves, who symbolize different aspects of human nature and society. Ralph, the protagonist, embodies the qualities of leadership, reason, and democracy. His attempts to establish order and a system of rules on the island represent the struggle to maintain civilization in the face of chaos.

On the other hand, Jack represents the darker side of human nature, characterized by savagery and the desire for power. As the novel progresses, Jack's obsession with hunting and control leads him to form his own tribe, which ultimately leads to the boys' descent into violence and anarchy. Jack's transformation from a disciplined choirboy to a bloodthirsty dictator illustrates the destructive potential that lies within individuals.

Furthermore, the character of Simon can be seen as a Christ-like figure, symbolizing spirituality and morality. His encounters with the "Lord of the Flies," a pig's head impaled on a stick, highlight the inner battle between good and evil within each person. Simon's brutal murder by the other boys represents the rejection of moral values and the triumph of evil.

By using these characters as symbols, Golding effectively explores the complexities of human nature and the inherent struggle between order and chaos, highlighting the allegorical nature of the novel.


In conclusion, Lord of the Flies is a powerful allegorical novel that delves into the darker aspects of human nature and society. Through the island as a microcosm and the characters as symbols, William Golding effectively explores the inherent evil that exists within individuals and society at large. The allegorical elements in the novel serve as a cautionary tale, reminding readers of the fragility of civilization and the potential consequences of abandoning moral values.

Lord of the Flies reminds us that the battle between good and evil is not confined to the pages of a book but is a constant struggle within ourselves and the societies we create. It serves as a stark reminder that the facade of civilization can crumble, exposing the primal instincts that lurk beneath the surface. The allegorical nature of the novel encourages us to reflect on our own actions and the choices we make, ultimately challenging us to strive for a better and more humane world.

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Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Penguin Books, 2003.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Allegory in Lord of the Flies. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from
“Allegory in Lord of the Flies.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024,
Allegory in Lord of the Flies. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
Allegory in Lord of the Flies [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from:
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