Homework Help

The jungle is a symbol in the book "Lord of the Flies". What does it represent?

user profile pic

emilyesthetic | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 22, 2008 at 8:00 AM via web

dislike 1 like

The jungle is a symbol in the book "Lord of the Flies". What does it represent?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 22, 2008 at 8:22 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

At the beginning of the novel, the jungle is a symbol for nature. At one end of the island, where the plane carrying the boys most likely crashed, there is a "long scar smashed into the jungle". Symbolically, this scar represents the destruction that man inflicts on nature. However, unlike many books, nature is not seen in a positive way, Golding also uses the jungle as symbol for death, decay, and darkness. In fact, since the jungle is the home of the beast, it, too, symbolizes the darkness naturally present within humans that is capable of ruling their lives. This evil eventually spreads to almost every boy on the island, just as in the jungle, "darkness poured out, submerging the ways between the trees till they were dim and strange as the bottom of the sea."

Sources:

user profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted April 30, 2015 at 3:28 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

The jungle is on the island where the plane made a crash landing. It is pristine land, a paradise of sorts untouched by man's activities.

The jungle symbolized nature’s balance and control without man’s interference. It showed that all or most of the problems that occur in nature are as a result of man's activities. This position is further supported by the scar in the jungle caused by the crashing of the plane which showed the destructive nature of man. The jungle symbolized perfection until man corrupted it. The jungle also symbolized something new, a place where the kids can start afresh with an empty slate. 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes