Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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How does Lord of the Flies represent the seven deadly sins?

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Pride: Golding illustrates pride through Ralph and Jack's struggle for authority and leadership. Ralph portrays pride by defending his title as the tribe's chief against Jack's attempts to undermine his authority. Jack demonstrates his pride by continually bragging about his abilities as a hunter and constantly highlighting his accomplishments. Piggy also demonstrates pride by challenging Jack during the assemblies and demanding that the savages return his glasses.

Envy: Envy is most significantly portrayed through Jack's feelings of jealousy towards Ralph. Jack envies Ralph's position as chief and goes to great lengths to challenge Ralph's authority.

Gluttony: The boys display gluttony through their overwhelming desire to eat meat. As leader of the hunters, one of Jack's goals is to attain more meat, which fuels his desire to hunt. Jack and his hunters are insatiable in their desire for meat and neglect their other duties in order to hunt.

Lust: Golding illustrates the boys' lust by portraying their passion for violence and excitement. The boys develop bloodlust after killing their first pig and begin to act like complete savages. In order to satisfy their primitive desires, they constantly hunt and harm others. Their bloodthirsty personalities reflect their lust for violence and excitement. The "rape scene," where Roger spears the sow in its anus, can also be interpreted to portray the boys' inherent sexual desires.

Anger: Golding portrays anger by depicting the boys' numerous arguments and physical altercations. Jack and his hunters constantly antagonize Ralph and Piggy, and their anger is displayed through their aggressive comments and actions. Ralph, Jack, and Piggy verbally express their anger and frustration, which results in conflict and corresponds to Golding's theme regarding humanity's inherent wickedness.

Greed: Golding illustrates greed through Jack's desire for authority and recognition, as well as the boys' appetite for meat. Jack's greed is portrayed in his numerous attempts to undermine Ralph's authority, and he even leaves the group to start his own tribe.

Sloth: Golding depicts sloth through the boys' refusal to complete the necessary tasks needed to establish and maintain a civil society. Instead of working hard and following Ralph's directives, the boys decide to lay by the pool, play on the beach, and participate in hunting expeditions.

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Very quickly with an example of each: 

Pride - Almost all of the characters at some point.  Jack when he isn't able to kill the pig the first time; Ralph when people aren't following his directions; Piggy when he knows what to do but no one will listen to him.

Envy - Certainly Jack when Ralph is elected leader.  Probably also Piggy wishing he fit in more like Ralph.  Later, Ralph wishing he possessed some of the carefree qualities of Jack.

Anger - Jack throughout most of the novel, particularily when he senses the other boys questioning his hunting ability after not killing a pig.

Greed - Jack is very power hungry.

Sloth - Piggy's character is represented by a sloth-ful attitude prior to arrival on the island.  While there, he is a poor worker also.  There are other examples also such as when Ralph and Simon are left to make shelters on their own while the rest of the boys have fun.

Gluttony - After the slaughtering of the fat momma pig the boys have a huge feast where they can finally eat their fill.  This indulgence leads to the crazy atmosphere that eventually kills Simon.

Lust - Depends on where you want to go with this.  You could say that Ralph is lustful for a community of civilized boys that act proper and dignified.  Or you could take the Freudian route and use the scene where the pig is stuck with a spear in a very unfortunate place.

 There are more examples, but that should get you started.

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