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

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emilyesthetic | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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

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

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

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

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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."

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