What is the purpose of the religious allegory in Lord of the Flies?

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Throughout Lord of the Flies, Golding examines the true nature of mankind without society's rules, regulations, or restrictions by illustrating how a group of civilized British schoolboys rapidly transform into savages on the uninhabited tropical island. Religion also explores the nature of mankind and offers a set of rules to guide humans throughout their lives. Christianity has its theories regarding the nature of good vs. evil, provides a set of rules to live by, and claims that humans are inherently sinful. There are numerous verses in the Bible commenting on mankind's sinful nature in both the Old and New Testaments. For example, Psalm 51:5 states, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (KJV). Golding's primary message corresponds to the Christian ideology that mankind is inherently wicked.

In addition to Golding's primary theme regarding mankind's wickedness, his novel also explores the theme of good vs. evil. Therefore, Golding's use of religious allegories highlights his themes and coincides with his exploration of human nature. There are numerous religious allegories throughout the novel. The island can allegorically represent the Garden of Eden, while the dead paratrooper's descent can represent Satan's fall from heaven. Simon is depicted as a Christ figure, and the Lord of the Flies allegorically represents the devil. Their meeting in the secluded spot in the forest can also allegorically represent Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness.

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In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the author examines the idea of the religion of Christianity and how far it influences the goodness in mankind's humanity when enforced behavior limitations are stripped away. Allegory can be an extended metaphor - strong visual imagery that the reader understands. For example, the gradual decomposing of the layers of the choirboys costumes could be read as the slow degeneration of the Christian/Establishment niceties that render civilization calm and pleasant. Many English boarding schools at that time were run on strict Christian principles, but it didn't take long for them to wear off when the boys had "freedom" of choice. it is the author's purpose to show this.

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I think that the author is trying to use the religious allegory to back up the major point of the book as a whole.  In my opinion, the major point of the book is that human nature is pretty much evil.  If left in a state where there is no civilization, human beings will revert to evil.

To me, the major religious allegory is the story of Simon.  Simon can be read as an analogy for Jesus Christ.  He tries to act in a moral way in a world of sin.  But, because of what human nature is, he gets killed.


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