Allusions in Lord of The Flies

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About this sample


Words: 821 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Mar 13, 2024

Words: 821|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Mar 13, 2024

In William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies, the use of allusions plays a significant role in shaping the overall themes and symbolism of the story. Through the incorporation of various literary, historical, and mythological allusions, Golding enriches the narrative and adds layers of meaning to the characters and their actions. This essay will explore the use of allusions in Lord of the Flies and analyze how they contribute to the novel's deeper message about human nature and civilization. By examining the allusions to biblical figures, Greek mythology, and historical events, we can gain a better understanding of the complex themes and ideas presented in the novel.

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The novel opens with a group of boys stranded on a deserted island, struggling to maintain order and establish a civilized society. As the story progresses, the boys' descent into savagery and chaos becomes increasingly apparent, mirroring the decline of civilization. One of the most prominent allusions in Lord of the Flies is the reference to the biblical character of Simon. Simon is depicted as a Christ-like figure, embodying qualities of kindness, compassion, and spiritual insight. His role in the novel is crucial in highlighting the contrast between civilization and savagery, as well as the innate goodness and evil within human nature.

The allusion to Simon as a Christ figure is evident in his actions and the way other characters perceive him. For example, Simon demonstrates a deep understanding of the island's true nature and attempts to share his insights with the other boys. However, his attempts are met with ridicule and rejection, ultimately leading to his tragic demise. This allusion to Christ's suffering and martyrdom serves to emphasize the novel's central theme of the struggle between good and evil, and the loss of innocence in the face of savagery. By incorporating this biblical allusion, Golding effectively conveys the moral and philosophical dimensions of the story, inviting readers to contemplate the larger implications of the boys' actions and their impact on society.

In addition to biblical allusions, Lord of the Flies also contains references to Greek mythology, particularly the myth of the Minotaur. The character of the beast that the boys fear and worship on the island can be seen as a modern interpretation of the Minotaur, a monstrous creature that dwells in the labyrinth and threatens the lives of the inhabitants. The allusion to the Minotaur serves as a powerful symbol of the primal and destructive forces that lurk within the human psyche, as well as the irrational fears and superstitions that can lead to chaos and violence.

The allusion to the Minotaur is further reinforced by the boys' increasing obsession with the beast, which culminates in a violent and ritualistic hunt. This allusion not only adds depth to the novel's exploration of human nature and the loss of civilization, but also underscores the universal and timeless nature of the themes being addressed. By drawing upon the rich tradition of Greek mythology, Golding is able to tap into a collective cultural consciousness and evoke a sense of archetypal significance that resonates with readers on a deep and primal level.

Furthermore, Lord of the Flies contains allusions to historical events, such as World War II and the rise of totalitarianism. The character of Jack, who gradually assumes dictatorial control over the boys and imposes his will through fear and intimidation, can be seen as a reflection of the totalitarian regimes that emerged during the war. Jack's transformation from a civilized choirboy to a ruthless and power-hungry leader parallels the descent of society into tyranny and oppression, echoing the atrocities committed by dictators and their followers.

The allusion to historical events in Lord of the Flies serves to contextualize the novel within the broader scope of human history and the recurring patterns of conflict and power struggles. By drawing parallels to real-world events, Golding invites readers to consider the implications of unchecked authority and the fragility of civilization in the face of tyranny. The allusions to historical events also add a layer of complexity to the novel, prompting readers to reflect on the ways in which the themes and issues raised in the story continue to resonate in contemporary society.

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In conclusion, the use of allusions in Lord of the Flies enhances the novel's thematic depth and symbolic significance, providing readers with a rich and multi-layered narrative that invites contemplation and interpretation. Through the incorporation of biblical, mythological, and historical allusions, Golding effectively communicates the complexities of human nature, the struggle between civilization and savagery, and the enduring impact of power and authority. By examining the allusions in the novel, we can gain a deeper understanding of the underlying themes and ideas, as well as their relevance to the broader human experience. Lord of the Flies stands as a timeless and thought-provoking work that continues to captivate and challenge readers, offering a compelling exploration of the human condition and the enduring power of literature to illuminate the depths of the human psyche.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Allusions In Lord Of The Flies. (2024, March 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Allusions In Lord Of The Flies.” GradesFixer, 13 Mar. 2024,
Allusions In Lord Of The Flies. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Allusions In Lord Of The Flies [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 13 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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