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William Golding’s Worldview in The 'Lord of The Flies'

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In William Golding’s “Lord of The Flies”, Golding uses the theme of human nature to show how self- destructive human nature is when in its raw form. William Golding’s view on human nature is said here. Once people are free from the constraints of society, that draws them away from reason toward savagery, and Golding’s argument is that human beings are savage by nature, and are moved by primal urges toward selfishness, brutality, and dominance over others.

Golding uses the characters in the story to represent our society. For example: Ralph represents civilization and democracy. When Ralph is elected leader of the group he first tells them that they should set up a civilization. Ralph also designated groups to find food and to keep the fire going just in case anyone happens to pass by. “ If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us… We must make a fire”. Piggy symbolizes and represents intellect and rationalism, but is seen as a scapegoat/mother figure because he is always looking out for everyone and what is best for them. In David Spitz’s interpretation of Lord of The Flies, Spitz compares Piggy to “Socrates, the voice of reason”. Another example of Piggy’s sense and reason is shown when the boys’ first fire gets out of control. “How can you expect to be rescued if you don’t put first things first and act proper”. These two main characters symbolize our society and how we should not throw out reason and act like animals.

The other two main characters in this story point to the main thesis of this paper and show how easily human nature can be corrupted and destroyed, and how one person even in tough times can prove to the world that anyone can be civilized and good no matter what. Jack symbolizes savagery and dictatorship. He is viewed as the negative character who stands for barbarism, evilness, savagery, dictatorship, and control amongst the others. Jack’s barbarism and savagery is represented when he is killing pigs, “He has outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, and taken away its life like a satisfying drink”. Jack represents the theme of the reversion to savagery by hiding behind paint and masks so he can assume a more self- confident personality. On the other side you have Simon, he represents the essential human goodness within man. Simon is seen as weak, but he is extremely perceptive and sees more than the other survivors ever will. Simon is very different from everyone else on the island because he acts morally, not out of guilt or shame but because he believes in the value of morality. Simon is the only one who realizes that the beast on the island isn’t some horrific creature but instead it is the evil in their hearts. “Fancy thinking the beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” When Simon realized who and what the beast really was, Jack was already ready to strike and killed Simon to hide the truth. Golding shows the reader again that humans are naturally corrupt and that the truth would free them and give them the gift of reason. Unfortunately some people want to hide the truth so that civilization will fall. There are some people who just want to watch the world burn and fall into chaos. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

William Golding’s worldview is very simple. Man is inherently evil and when put in dangerous situations, man will revert back to savagery and will do whatever it takes to survive. The Bible also lines up with Golding’s worldview by saying that man is inherently evil and that the only way to be free from this evil is to accept Jesus Chirst as your Lord and Savior. Golding’s family were all atheists except him. He did declare himself as christian, he once told an interviewer that he did not believe in the afterlife, and that he had no desire to live with himself for a thousand years. Although Golding’s worldview lines up with the Bible, Golding didn’t realize that the only way for man to escape savagery and barbarism is to read the Bible and get saved. Instead Golding kills off all of the characters who resemble order or leadership. Golding thinks murder is normal, and that it is okay to write about it non- chalantly, but the Bible states otherwise. “Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;” It says here that murder is not something to be taken lightly, and that one sin will always lead to another and before you know it you are drowning in your own guilt and sorrow begging for mercy. Golding did not live a holy lifestyle. In Golding’s early life he admitted that he enjoyed hurting people. After he served in the war he came to realize what man is capable of and said, “I began to see what people were capable of doing. Anyone who moved through those years without understanding that man produces evil as a bee produces honey, must have been blind or wrong in the head. Golding compares man to a honey bee and states that man thinks evil is ok and does it on a daily basis and forgets that they themselves are contributing to ruining the world. That is exactly what Satan wants, he wants man to believe that evil is good and good is evil.

In Lord of The Flies, Simon is seen as Jesus Christ and it is irrefutable that Golding did this on purpose to show his view on man and how they treated Jesus Christ. Simon is different from the others, he was laughed at , derided, and rejected by most of the people just like Christ was rejected and beaten by the Romans. Simon gave Ralph faith and said that he will be saved standing on a rock. Christ gave everyone faith and assurance that if they were to get saved that they would one day join him in heaven for eternity. Simon was very wise in choosing who he should help and support, and in that case he chose to support Ralph the character who symbolizes Civilization and Democracy, whereas Jack represents Barbarism and Savagery. Christ chose good and honest people to help him spread the gospel, and he even knew that Judas would betray him and he still accepted that. Simon knows that Jack will betray him, but yet he does not tell anyone about it because he knows why he must die and so did Christ. When Golding was writing this novel he knew by adding a Christ like figure to the novel that readers would begin to pick up on his worldview and come to realize that he was indeed a christian, but he was not fully committed to God and therefore has some flaws in his interpretation of man and God. Because Golding did not accept Christ into his life he was lost and ignored everything the Bible had to say about adultery, murder, and even worshipping false gods. Golding could have made a better novel going more into depth of human nature only if he got to know Christ better.

Lord of The Flies is a great novel, but it lacks spirit and passion, just like Golding did during his life. Golding did not want an afterlife because he was afraid and ashamed of what he had done in his past life. This is seen in the story because there is a lack of biblical allusions showing that the author also lacks faith and hope for an afterlife.

Golding added a few religious allegories to his novel showing that the Bible proves to the readers that the Bible is always right when it comes to describing man’s sinful nature and how greed and lust controls man. Jack represents the deterioration of civilization and secedes to the so-called “dark side” as he stops following the rules and wants to hunt more. Judas was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples and sold his loyalty to Jesus for silver. Both Judas and Jack turn against the goodness of mankind because of their greed and lust for what the other “side” offers to them. Golding was really hinting at these religious allegories, it’s even in the title Lord of The Flies because the words are derived from the Hebrew word “Beezlebub” who was the prince of devils and demons. By naming the title this, Golding is saying that this book will have good intentions, but in the end it will actually be bad. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is what Golding was headed towards. Golding wanted to trick the readers into thinking it would be fun to be stranded on an island with people your age, but in reality it was not. Kids were murdered for greed and lust and many had the “Beast” inside them which basically corrupted their mind and took away any sense of reason they had left. In the end of the story Golding had most of his audience fooled into thinking that there were good and bad people on the island, when in reality they were all bad. God said we are all sinners and that we all deserve hell. No one is perfect and everyone has their flaws. Ralph was prideful when leading a hike he took it alone because he wanted everyone to fear him and follow his lead. Piggy was very judgemental and had a superior attitude towards the other boys. God told us we should not judge and compare ourselves to others. Jack was the darkest character in the novel. Jack stole, lied, and murdered innocent people all for lust and greed, the same thing everyone falls for in the end.

In conclusion, Golding was a somewhat spiritual man whose views were pretty much aligned with the Bible, but because he was not fully committed to Christ he lacked the motivation and spirit to help the reader come to Christ and become saved. Golding could have helped millions come to Christ by sharing his story and about how he came to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Everyone should always strive for greatness, but always ask this question first. How can I use this gift from God for God, how can I make a change in our world and spread the gospel? If Golding was saved he could have changed the world for the better, and he could have given light to people struggling with depression or even other matters at home. God had a plan for Golding, but he chose not to follow it and it shows that not following God’s plan can lead to a road of regret and sorrow for the rest of your life. In Lord of The Flies all the characters: Ralph, Piggy, Simon, and Jack, are all a part of Golding and his personality. Golding was a man who cared for people and other things, but was very selfish when it came to either choosing his own gain over other people. The main lesson learned from interpreting and analyzing William Golding and Lord of The Flies is that if you can come to Christ and accept him as your Lord and Savior, you can lead others to Christ and change the world for the better. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” In William Golding’s Lord of The Flies. Golding uses the theme of human nature to show that man is inherently evil and that greed and lust will always be there but it’s up to man to stray away from temptation and follow God.        

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William Golding’s Worldview in the ‘Lord of The Flies’. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from
“William Golding’s Worldview in the ‘Lord of The Flies’.” GradesFixer, 30 Aug. 2022,
William Golding’s Worldview in the ‘Lord of The Flies’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2022].
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