What is an excerpt from Lord of the Flies that has interesting diction that affects the reader?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Golding really is a master of diction in Lord of the Flies; poignant examples abound throughout the novel.  One particularly rich example occurs in the scene when Simon encounters the Lord of the Flies in chapter eight:

"There were no shadows under the trees but everywhere a pearly stillness, so that what was real seemed illusive and without definition.  The pile of guts was a black blob of flies that buzzed like a saw" (138).

Golding's word choice evokes imagery of death, decay, and destruction.  He builds on imagery through very specific color choices, like "pearly" and "black blob" to create contrast and deepen the startling ugliness of the sow's head on a stick.  The connotation of "pearly" suggests something wholesome and innocent, like 'pearly gates' of heaven, but Golding sharply defies the natural beauty of the jungle with the destruction caused by Jack and his hunters, the resulting "black blob of flies." 

The author's diction in reference to the Lord of the Flies evokes harsh, disturbing imagery; for example, his choice of the word 'guts' feels abrupt and ugly to the reader.  Golding attempts no delicacy in reference to the sow's rotting decay.  The hunters killed her brutally, and Golding's language reflects the utter sense of desecration of the "indignity of being spiked on a stick" (137).


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