Does the Lord of the Flies contain any important motifs?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A motif can be described as a recurring literary device, contrast or structure that helps identify and establish the major themes of the novel.

One of the central motifs is the numerous Biblical allusions that the text contains. Although there are no direct allusions, it is clear that these comparisons are never far from the action of the story. The island itself is clearly contrasted with the Garden of Eden in its pristine, untouched status, before mankind comes and corrupts it, the Lord of the Flies can be seen to be paralleled with the devil, and many argue that in the character of Simon we can see the character of Jesus, for it is Simon who discovers the moral truth of the novel, and is killed by the other boys as a result. Of course, as with any allegory, there are dangers to taking this comparison too far - it is clear that although these similarities are evident, they are not exact comparisons. However, identifying this Biblical motif does aid us in unpacking the central theme of the novel - the evil within humanity and the results if it is left to run unchecked.

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Lord of the Flies

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