Books and Movies Reviews

Social Criticism in Lord of the Flies

At the time Golding wrote the novel, Lord of the Flies, the world was caught in war with itself.Certain events during WWII such as the holocaust led people to begin to question civilization and human nature.Golding uses the Lord of the Flies as a social criticism which analyzes how a civilized culture can still commit primitive and even barbaric atrocities.Golding uses symbolism to create a social criticism.
In Lord of the Flies, the conch represents democracy and order.Initially, the conch is perhaps the boys closest link to civilization, it is their form of government.Where Golding wrote, "Ralph smiled and held up the conch for silence."(23) shows how the conch calls for respect towards the beholder.However, the farther through the story the conch holds less and less power, symbolizing how the boys are slowly reverting from their government and order to a more primitive savage state.Therefore, it can be inferred that government is the only connection between humans and civilization and without law; people revert back to their naturally evil selves.
Golding also uses Piggy's glasses as symbolic of civilization.Rather than standing for government though, they resemble the technology of society, the gift of fire.Fire is perhaps one of the single most important tools of man. It can even be said that fire brought man out of the prehistoric dark ages and was the beginning of civilization.When Golding writes," 'Has anyone got any matches?'…'His specs – use them as burning glasses!'"(40) it is implied that Piggy's glasses are the only source of fire.But fire is also their only means of signaling any help, it is their only hope for escape.So on a certain level, his glasses not only represent the civilized technology they have, but also their only return to civilization.Towards the end when Piggy's glasses are completely broken, it becom…

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