Metaphors In Lord Of The Flies

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

Expert Answers
rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 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.

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.


Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question