How do the boys in the Lord of the Flies by William Golding represent humanity as a whole?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first way in which the boys in Lord of the Flies by William Golding represent humanity is by subverting the equation of childhood with innocence and moral purity. Once freed of the restraints of authority and civilization, the boys revert to a wide range of types, spanning the whole moral spectrum from good to evil.

Next, within their island world, the boys reconstruct almost a full civilization in miniature. Simon represents the mystic or religious tradition and ends up becoming a martyred Christ-like figure. Piggy is the rational intellectual, who despite often being right is not respected or heeded. Ralph is the classical "good" leader or politician. Jack represents a form of primitive brutality and the little ones the way much of the general populace lets demagogues play upon their fears to exercise unjust and autocratic power. 

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Lord of the Flies

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