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 Golding make uses of light and dark to convey the deeper meaning of this story?

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Golding uses a writing technique that I've come to appreciate the more I teach this novel. He employs a great deal of exposition to set the stage and then changes over to let dialogue carry the story. In the beginning of the story, much is made of the inherent beauty of the island. The author goes to great length to describe the island in a way which conveys a feeling of paradise to the reader. The setting is describe with words which "brighten" the scene leading us to believe that life on the island is indeed bright. As the story progresses, and, I might argue, in a veiled manner, much of the descriptive language used turns darker and more complex. I'd like to think that this is intentional because it coincides with the descent the society takes to a "darker" side. This effective use of language helps to paint a picture of darkness as it descends over the island, the plight of thier society, and the destruction of hope.

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