In Lord of the Flies, what is the author's point of view, and what was author's purpose for choosing this point of view?

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susan3smith eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Golding's point of view in Lord of the Flies is that of an omniscient narrator.  By that, I mean, that Golding allows the readers to enter the minds of more than one character.  Golding portrays Ralph's thoughts the most frequently.  For instance, we know what Ralph is thinking when he calls the meeting that begins Chapter 5.  We know that he is thinking over what and how is going to say to the group.  And we know that his appreciation of Piggy has grown.  But we also privy to Simon's thoughts.  His thoughts are depicted when he has his confrontation with the Lord of the Flies, or the pig's head on the stick.  And, we even know what Jack is thinking as he is desperately to hunt and kill his first pig.

This point of view is effective in showing the various perspectives of the boys.  From these different viewpoints we can see Ralph grow in his leadership abilities and his maturity; Jack becoming more and more obsessed with hunting and "play," and Simon's steadfast goodness and inability to devolve into savagery.  We have with these the three responses to life on the island--the civilized and compassionate, the savage and living for the moment, and the decision-maker--caught between the two.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narrator's point of view in Lord of the Flies is third-person omniscient, meaning that the narrator knows everything that is going on and that the narration is not from the point of view of any of the characters. Golding chose this point of view so that he could present the stories of the various characters, including Ralph, Piggy, Jack, and the others. The omniscient narration allows the reader to understand the different points of view of the characters, including Ralph and Piggy's insistence on law and order and Jack's savagery. The reader is able to understand each character's perspective, and when Jack begins to rival Ralph's power, the reader is able to see how both sides of the boys' personalities--rationality on one side and savagery on the other--come into conflict. The omniscient narration allows the reader to understand both sides of the boys' conflict. 

In addition, the reader can see how the boys' fear is overtaking them when they mistake the dead parachutist for a beast. By using a third-person omniscient narrator, the author is able to show the reader how the boys' perspectives are irrational and how they often make mistakes in judgment because of their fear. 

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Lord of the Flies

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