What is the point of view in the novel Lord of the Flies?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lord of the Flies uses a third person omniscient point of view.  This serves to distance the reader from the characters, as the characters are distanced from society.

Third person omniscient point of view is an objective point of view that does not sit inside the head of any one character.  In an omniscient point of view, the narration may jump from character to character but never gets too connected to any one of them.

The fair boy shook his head.

“This is an island. At least I think it’s an island. That’s a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grownups anywhere.”

The fat boy looked startled. (ch 1, p. 7)

One way you can tell that this novel uses a third person point of view is that when you first open the book you get as much information as you would watching a movie.  Characters are described, but we don’t know how they feel. 

The first character you are introduced to is a “boy with fair hair” (ch 1, p. 6).  We do not even know his name at first.  The characters are referred to as the “fat boy” and the “fair boy” until they tell one another their names.

The only time we know what the characters are thinking is when they tell us or their facial expressions tell us.

The fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him. In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy. (ch 1, p. 7)

When a story is told from the first person, we feel like we are there.  We are inside the head of a character, and the information we get is colored from that character’s perspective.  Third person omniscient, on the other hand, distances the reader from the characters.  It increases the suspense, and reinforces the theme of the boys’ distance from society.


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Lord of the Flies

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