In Lord of the Flies, where is the darkness on the island? What is the darkness a metaphor for?

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parkerlee's profile pic

parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Apart from the natural cycle of day and night, the other element of darkness is the interior of the island itself. It is a wild, jungle-like biotope and very aptly represents the more savage, instinctive side of man. Note that Jack and his hunting gang automatically gravitate towards it whereas the more "civilized" group of boys huddle together for security on the beach. The boys have a hard time finding a balance between these two extremes, and finally the wild, 'survival of the fittest' side wins out.

An interesting side note is that at one point Ralph takes refuge in the underbrush when the boys are hunting him out. In this case, the obscurity the dense foilage offers represents protection and temporary security in a hostile environment.

The final "darkness" on the island comes from the wildfire on the mountain. Ironically, it is the smoke from the fire which attracts the attention of a passing ship and is the reason why the boys were ultimately saved. Paradoxically, it represents both destruction and a means of escape. The boys' distress is finally recognized and they are literally saved from themselves.


wwjd's profile pic

wwjd | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

Darkness is often a symbol of evil. The darkness that is said to be creeping over the island is a reference to the evil that is evolving inside each of the boys.

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