Need help finding an allegorical relationship in chapters 1-6 in Lord of the Flies?  

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Read as an allegory, Lord of the Flies contains characters and actions that represent aspects and concepts that relate to human existence.  In Chapter One, for instance, the pristine island upon which the "boy with fair hair" finds himself represents a Garden of Eden.  He strips his clothes off and plunges in the water in a type of baptism into his rebirth as an Adam or, perhaps, an Abel.  Shortly, however, Ralph's competitor, Jack, who can represent Cain, arrives. Ralph, along with Piggy, are the rational boys who build the fire for a signal to the civilized world; they urge the boys to construct shelters, and they organize meetings.  On the other hand, Jack becomes the physical and savage side, leading the hunters, one of whom--Roger--is very sadistic, throwing stones at the smaller boys. 

As the boys explore the island, creepers, snake-like vines impede their progress.  Of course, the symbolism of these vines cannot be missed. The boys also encounter huge granite rocks, "tokens of preposterous time" that suggest the primitive atmosphere along with the creepers.

In defiance of the authority of Ralph and the rational Piggy, his friend, Jack breaks Piggy's glasses when he smacks him in the head.  "Passions beat about Simon" as he witnesses this violent action, for he is the intuitive side of humanity.  Later, Jack and his hunters conduct a ritual in which they chant "Kill the pig.  Cut her throat. Bash her in," and they make pig-dying noises and shouting.  More and more, Jack and his group engage in vociferous dissention against Ralph and Piggy. 

The fear in the boys takes shape as a beast which they imagine having actually seen.  This growing evil is perceived and understood only by the intuitive Simon, who attempts to tell the others, but when he tries to speak, Ralph takes the conch and Simon sits down.  With the fire as representing their safety and rescue, Ralph becomes very angry with the boys for having let it burn out.  Piggy wishes his aunt to be there as doubt and unrest enter the thoughts of the boys.  They talk of a beast and are haunted by primitive fears:

:Grownups know things....They ain't afraid of the dark.  They'd meet and have tea and discuss.  Then things 'ud be all right----"  

 Reduced to primitive creatures by Chapter VI,  Golding's characters are allegorical types for the intellectual, the physical, the intuitive part of humanity, and the irrational and sadistic aspect.  And, above all, for the intrinsic evil that is in man--"the beast."

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question