Lord of the fliesOctober 31, 2017
Human nature is a very recognized and popular topic, especially among those seeking a more profound perspective on life’s deeper meaning. A matter such as human nature cannot be considered without the mention of the Infamous novel, Lord of the Flies, by William Gilding. The question, of course, stands as: What Is true human nature and how does It affect mankind? The answer Is purely subjective, but most opinions are supported with truths and evidence that cannot be ignored.
Lord f the Flies is notable for its persuasive point of view that human nature is one of evil and savage behavior. However, it is the way that William Gilding creates this message that is so memorable, unique, and valid. Gilding uses a familiar interest to appeal to all readers – religion. Religion Is the essence of human nature and Is key In any argument regarding the matter, making Lord of the Flies relevant In any time era. While not everybody identifies themselves as religious, religion is a subject that has become known across the globe through generations of traditions and history.
Gilding shared a view point with Christianity and used its beliefs to structure a novel of his own and to stimulate the readers into seeing human nature the way he does, which Is a state of truculence. William Gilding uses parallels with religion to expose a compelling message about human nature by narrating Simony’s life on an equivalent level of Jesus Chrism’s, composing the “Beast” synonymously with the Devil, and exhibiting resemblance between events in Lord of the Flies and the Bible. Simon is best associated with Jesus Christ because Gilding composed him to be ere and sinless in the midst of a crowd of savages.
Jesus Christ, the acclaimed son of God, was born into the Roman Empire and grew up to teach faith in God and free all persons from sin. Despite his holy intentions, he was cast out and crucified. Simon Is first Introduced to the readers as, “a skinny, Blvd little boy, with a glance coming up from under a hut of straight hair that hung down, black and course” (Gilding 16). This introduction is very humble and displays Simony’s modesty through his physical appearance. It shows that Simon carries himself like Jesus, who was also very humble in nature and appearance.
This initiation of Simon also doubles as the first relation to a religious figure. Although Gilding never directly states the connection between Simon and Jesus, the discreet alikeness between the two results In a subconscious recognition by the reader. The similarities between Simon and Jesus are more general in the beginning of the story, but as Simon develops as a character, so does his connection with Jesus. Another quality Simon shares with Jesus is his selflessness when it comes to helping others.
When Ralph was trying to make shelters, the only person that dedicated his full time and help was Simon (Gilding 41). Later the same day, Simon helped feed the younger boys on the Island, “Then, amid the roar of bees In the sunlight, Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the hands. When he had satisfied them, he paused and looked round” (Gilding 46). This specific scene demonstrates Simony’s good-hearted and selfless spirit because he volunteered his service to make sure that the young boys would not go hungry. This is very similar to a story of Jesus in the Bible.
In this story, Jesus fed and satisfied an entire starving village with a mere two fish and five loaves of bread (Mark 6:30-44). He performed a miracle. In Lord of the Flies, the endless, outstretched arms of the young boys are a village, the fruit on the trees are like the two fish and loaves of bread, and Simon is representative of Jesus Christ. But Gilding does not stop here, and in order to construct an even deeper relationship between the two, he gives Simon an almost supernatural feature: the ability to analyze and come to terms with the progression of man.
Simony’s capability of this is first exhibited during a discussion of the possibility of a “Beast” that may exist on the island and terrorize the boys, “… ‘Maybe it’s only us’… Simon became inarticulate in his effort to express mankind’s essential illness” (Gilding 770). This is a vital quote in understanding the declination of mankind. Even though his theory was rejected by the group of boys, Simon was still able to comprehend that the “Beast” was actually the deterioration of the boys’ mental state, turning them into savages. Jesus Christ is the only known person to also have had this capability to truly comprehend mankind’s behavior.
Jesus could also communicate with the Devil, much how Simon was confronted by Lord of the Flies, “or else, we shall do you? See? Jack and Roger and Maurice and Robert and Bill and Piggy and Ralph. Do you. See? ” (Gilding 128). The Lord of the Flies was a pig head on a spear, but had the authority of the Devil in Simony’s eyes. When the Lord of the Flies says this to Simon, he is being told that when he returns to the savage boys, he will be killed. The Devil tempted and taunted Jesus in a similar fashion. This scene perfectly reflects Simony’s life with Jesus’.
Simon and Jesus even shared a comparable fate, “Even in the rain they could see how small a beast it was; and already its blood was staining the sand” (Gilding 136). Simon had been mistaken as the “Beast” and in fit of savagery, the boys killed him. Simon sacrificed his life to try and inform the others that there was no such thing as a physical beast that terrorized them; but in fact, the “Beast” was within them. Simony’s last efforts most reflect his resemblance to Jesus Christ because their shared fate was inevitable – to be killed by those they’re trying to save.
Gildings creation of Simony’s life is strikingly similar to Jesus’ for a reason – to validate his point that human nature is evil and barbaric. One of the most prominent times in history that exhibited this savagery of mankind was in the face of God and religion: the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Using this point was a critical factor in the success of Lord of the Flies’ exposure of human nature’s evil tendencies. The “Beast” also has a religious parallel: the Devil. This analogy may hold the most weight in revealing human nature’s true state.
The “Beast” was many things, both physically and mentally. Physically, the “Beast” was a dead pilot and a pig head on a stick, also known as Lord of the Flies. Mentally, however, the “Beast” was within the boys themselves; it was the deterioration of their mental state that corrupted them ND reduced them into savages. Jack is the first to make a bold statement about the “Beast”, “The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream. There aren’t any beasts to be afraid of on this island” (Gilding 71). Jack says this to not only provide has consumed everyone, even though the older boys deny it.
The first connection to the Devil can be found in this quote because the Devil is more than a physical being – it’s a whole entity that carries a formidable aura. When Jack speaks, it is clear to readers that this aura has reached everyone on the island. The boys then begin to eve in fear of the unknown “Beast”, causing their humanity to decline. The most direct link between the “Beast” and the Devil is when Simon sees the Lord of the Flies, “Even the butterflies deserted the open space where the obscene thing grinned and dripped” (Gilding 123).
This description illustrates the vast evilness and horror of Lord of the Flies because any sign of life abandoned the area of the bloody, dripping pig head. This symbolizes the Devil because no living being would dare approach – just a glimpse leaves one in terror. Simon was paralyzed by the sight of Lord of the Flies. This scene solidifies the parallels between the “Beast” and the Devil. In another effort to display resemblance, Gilding uses the titles of chapters to develop a manifestation of the “Beast”, “BEAST FROM WATER”, “BEAST FROM AIR” (Gilding Contents).
The island is entirely surrounded by water and air, so these chapter titles show that the “Beast” is everywhere. It is inescapable. The Devil possesses this quality as well; he is omnipresent. This can only lead readers to draw the conclusion that the “Beast” is ultimately the Devil. The Devil, in Christianity, is the cause of sin and destruction of humanity. So, with the presence of the Devil, which is imminent, there will always be the down fall of human nature, thus its natural state. Gilding designed Lord of the Flies to have much specific biblical reference to elaborate on his idea of human nature.
The novel begins with a plane full of English school boys crash landing on an uninhabited island, “This is an island. At least I think it’s an island. That’s a reef out there in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grownups anywhere” (Gilding 2). Ralph says this to Piggy, quickly realizing the freedom they have Just been granted. In fact, the island is actually suggestive towards the Garden f Eden, a biblical garden that was believed to be a place of purity, beauty, and have an abundance of life (Genesis 2:4-3:24). Prior to the boys, the island was uninhabited by any sinful beings.
It was bountiful in lush foliage, beautiful waters, and tropical fruit. The distinct connection between the island and Garden of Eden is clear because of Gildings use of imagery within the novel. Then, following similar events in the Bible, Ralph takes his clothes off and becomes nude, “He undid the snake-clasp of his belt, lugged off his shorts and pants, and stood there naked, looking at the dazzling beach and the water” (Gilding 4). Rally’s nudity is symbolic of purity – the human body as it was when first created. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were nude as well.
Towards the end of the novel, almost the entire island is destroyed through a fire set by Jacks tribe in an effort to reveal Ralph, “Behind him, the whole island was shuddering with flame” (Gilding 181). When the naval officer arrives on the beach, the island is in a state of destruction and has gone up in flames. In the Bible, it is said that God will bring an end to the world via fire on Judgment Day, with intentions of both love and wrath (2 Peter 3:7). The fire set by Jacks tribe had an alarmingly similar effect. The island was the boys world; their source of life.
The fire brought an end to that world and destroyed the island like God’s wrath. Despite this, it was also the boys’ salvation, for it was the smoke from the fire that called attention to civilization. Gilding created these coincidences with biblical events with an intention to make the readers focus on the human nature aspect of the novel. Religion and human nature are closely associated; religion is the essence of human nature. Gilding took a “Hobbes” stand on the topic, agreeing with the infamous philosopher that it is within human nature to be selfish, cruel, and wicked.
He used the many assets of religion to fortify his position and was successful in doing so. Although Gildings view is subjective, he was able to validate it by creating biblical allegories within Lord of the Flies, all while constructing an original piece of literature. Lord of the Flies is so famed due to its timeless theme of human nature sustained via Christianity. The religious parallels are a revelation of humanity savage like state. Gilding analyzed human nature by correlating Simon and Jesus
Christ, using Juxtaposition to compare the “Beast” and the Devil, and symbolically representing biblical events in Lord of the Flies. Gildings message is clear; he believes in the savagery of mankind. Had not all the characters lost their innocence, the story would never have reached its full potential and possess the same stunning conclusion of man. Is the fate of mankind inevitable? As it may be, all will give into the innate impulses of human nature or face the same fate as Simon and Jesus Christ.