Does William Golding use personification in Lord of the Flies?

In Lord of the Flies, William Golding often uses personification to suggest that the island itself is hostile towards the boys.

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A further example of personification used by Golding in Lord of the Flies is when one of the littluns, Percival Wemys Madison, tells the other boys his name and address. It's a very frightening, traumatic experience for the young lad. Far away from home and his mother, he feels neglected, and is already finding it hard to cope with life on a remote desert island. So being confronted by the other boys and forced to reveal his identity makes things just that little bit worse.

Under the circumstances, it's perfectly understandable that poor little Percy should cry. And when he does, we see some good old-fashioned personification at work:

His face puckered, the tears leapt from his eyes

Tears can't literally leap, of course. But thanks to personification, they are able to do so on an imaginative level. That the tears leap out of Percy's eyes rather than run down his cheeks is instructive. It shows just how incredibly upset he is by his impromptu interrogation and all the unpleasant incidents that have led up to it.

In fact, Percy is so upset that he can't stop crying, not even when the other boys yell at him to shut up. It's as if the tears, and the great sorrow that they express have a life of their own and cannot be stopped.

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At the end of chapter 2, Golding describes Piggy looking down "the unfriendly side of the mountain." This exact quote is repeated again at the end of the same chapter. In this quote, the mountain is personified as being "unfriendly." The personification here implies that the mountain itself has taken a disliking to the boys, which in turn suggests that nature is against them. A mountain which is personified is given a will of its own and thus becomes much more frightening than it might ordinarily be, as with a will of its own the mountain can actively seek to harm the boys.

In chapter 4, when Henry is absorbed with capturing in the sand tiny "creatures" that have washed in with the waves, Golding uses personification when he writes that "the afternoon sun emptied down invisible arrows." The sun is here personified as an archer, and its arrows are its rays. In this instance, the personification of the sun makes the sun sound aggressive, as if it is deliberately trying to harm the boys with its "arrows." This mirrors what Henry is trying to do to the little sea "creatures." He is poking them with a stick and takes pleasure in the sense that he is "exercising control over living things." This seemingly innocuous moment foreshadows the boys' later inability to control this primitive instinct to exercise power over other beings.

In chapter 6, Golding describes a lagoon on the island. He writes that "Down, down, the waters went, whispering like the wind," and "the water boiled over the table rock with a roar." In these examples the water is personified as "whispering" and "roar[ing]." As with the personification of the mountain, the personification of the water in the lagoon suggests that the island itself is hostile to the boys. The suggestion of hostility in these examples is especially pronounced because of the word "roar," connoting aggression and anger.

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Personification is giving human qualities or characteristics to something which is non-human or non-living, and William Golding does use personification in Lord of the Flies.

In chapter two, Ralph suggests that making a fire on top of the mountain would be a good idea because any passing ships would see the smoke and come to rescue them. All the boys are enthusiastic about the idea, and immediately they race to the mountain and build a fire that soon turns into a conflagration which burns up a large portion of the mountain and actually kills one of the little boys.

Golding describes this consuming fire as something which is alive.

Smoke was rising here and there among the creepers that festooned the dead or dying trees. As they watched, a flash of fire appeared at the root of one wisp, and then the smoke thickened. Small flames stirred at the trunk of a tree and crawled away through leaves and brushwood, dividing and increasing.

Note his use of the word crawled to describe the movement of the fire. Golding continues:

The flames, as though they were a kind of wild life, crept as a jaguar creeps on its belly toward a line of birch-like saplings that fledged an outcrop of the pink rock. They flapped at the first of the trees, and the branches grew a brief foliage of fire. The heart of flame leapt nimbly across the gap between the trees and then went swinging and flaring along the whole row of them.

In this passage, Golding uses both simile (the comparison to a jaguar) and personification to give life to the fire and its movements. The flames creep, flap, leap, swing, and flare; these are all examples of personification. 

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