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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Metaphors In Lord Of The Flies

I need 3 examples of metaphors from Lord of the Flies.

Throughout the novel Lord of the Flies, Golding uses metaphors or comparisons to enliven his writing and help the reader visualize what is going on. In chapter two, for example, he uses vivid metaphors to liken the fire the boys build to a beard, a flag, a savage flaming arm, a gnawing animal, and hell. The comparisons become more unsettling as the fire grows.

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Metaphors are comparisons that don't use the words like or as. In chapter 2, the metaphors are simple and commonplace, then grow more vivid as Golding describes the burning spread of the fire the boys build.

Earlier in the chapter, before the fire starts, a little boy steps forward to tell the other boys about the snakelike "beastie" he has seen. Golding uses a very commonplace metaphor when he compares the boy to a shrimp, a small creature, stating:

He was a shrimp of a boy

The metaphors gets a little fresher when the laughter of the other boys hurts the little boy's feelings. In this case, the laughing is likened to being hit, as it is called "the blow of laughter."

Another worn metaphor is applied to Ralph when he is distracted. It is said that "he lost his thread" of his thoughts.

When it comes to describing fire, Golding becomes much more vivid. The fire is compared to a beard as it flames upward into sky:

The yellow flames...poured upwards and shook a great beard of flame twenty feet in the air.

Later, the fire is, as well, likened to a flag: "a clean flag of flame flying."

The fire is also compared to a flaming arm:

The fire thrust out a savage arm of heat.

The fire, in yet another metaphor is likened to an animal chewing away at the forest:

The fire laid hold on the forest and began to gnaw.

When Piggy stares at the fire, it is compared to hell, a place often described as an inferno: "Piggy glanced nervously into hell."

This pile up of metaphors reveals mixed feelings about the fire: it grows from a flag, an item associated with civilization, to being associated with more primal and frightening imagery.

Two lovely and less threatening metaphors describe the sunset. The sun is likened to a drop of burning gold and the world to a window sill:

The sun in the west was a drop of burning gold that slid nearer and nearer the sill of the world.

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William Golding sprinkles metaphors throughout his writing, and the other answers give some good examples. Here are three more.

In Chapter 5, as Ralph follows a narrow path to the meeting place, Golding writes,

"He found himself understanding the wearismomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet." 

Here Golding draws a comparison between the careful way Ralph has to walk along the jungle path to the careful way the boys have to think about and make decisions in order to not fall into danger. He realizes they are not doing a good job of "staying on course," or "walking the straight and narrow path" of civilized society.

Golding describes Ralph's lack of clear thinking in a variety of ways. In Chapter 7, he relates the conflicting voices Ralph hears in his head and says "the darkness and desperate enterprise gave...

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the night a kind of dentist's chair unreality." It is a stark comparison to bring in such a distant image from the far removed, technologically advanced society they used to live in, but it shows that Ralph's thinking is numbed or drugged with fear in this scene.

In the final chapter, Golding describes Ralph's wavering sense of sanity and logic as "the curtain that might waver in his brain, blacking out the sense of danger, making a simpleton of him." In this way he compares Ralph's inability to think clearly to a curtain that can hide one's view and blind one to necessary information. 

All three of these metaphors make intangible thought processes easier to understand by comparing them with physical objects and experiences.

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A metaphor refers to a comparison made between two objects that are unlike. In this book, there are several metaphors some of which include:

a. “Fat lot of good we are,” said Ralph. “Three blind mice.” Ralph said this in reference to himself, Piggy and Simon after Jack disregarded his leadership in front of everybody. He was cowardly and did not stand up and challenge Jack or Jack’s ideas. He doubted himself and wanted to step down from the role of leader. Besides, neither he, Simon or Piggy knew for certain about the existence of ghosts hence Ralph’s statement, three blind mice.

b. “The smoke was a tight little knot on the horizon and was uncoiling slowly.” The smoke from the ship is likened to a tight knot because that is how the boys perceived it based on the distance from the shore to the ship.

c. “The beach between the palm terrace and the water was a thin stick, endless apparently…” This is found in the first chapter and is used to describe the length and color of the beach between the water and the palm trees. The beach is so long that from Ralph’s viewpoint, its appearance resembled that of a thin stick because of the contrast created by the water and the palm terrace.

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Remember, a metaphor is a form of figurative language that asserts a direct comparison between two objects without using the words "like" or "as".

How about some of these for examples of metaphors:

"The beach between the palm terrace and the water was a thin stick..."

Also metaphors can be implied, where an object is called something else that implies a comparison. An implied metaphor is used to describe the choir boys in Chapter 1:

"Then the creature stepped from mirage on to clear sand, and they saw that the darkness was not all shadow but mostly clothing."

"Creature" is an implied metaphor that compares the line of boys to some kind of snake moving on the sand.

There are two examples for you - the book is full of others, so hopefully with these two you will be able to find a third without too many problems.

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