This might be broad, but in "Lord of the Flies", what is the main theme, what is the author of this book trying to say?As I said before, what is the author trying to say and are there any...

This might be broad, but in "Lord of the Flies", what is the main theme, what is the author of this book trying to say?

As I said before, what is the author trying to say and are there any characters that represent this? Sorry this is pretty broad but its a major curiosity.

Asked on by never2l8te

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tpisano's profile pic

tpisano | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

There are many themes in this very complex novel, however I think the most significant theme is the the idea of good vs evil.

Simply stated, Golding uses the characters Piggy, Ralph, and Simon to represent good.  Each of these boys has admirable qualities. Jack and Roger, the hunters, represent evil. 

Throughout the novel we see how they are a complete contrast of one another. I believe that the author was trying to teach us about the world around us and how good and evil can not live in harmony.  The book can be read as a warning, in some ways, of what can happen when evil is allowed to prevail.

greggs's profile pic

greggs | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

On the whole I believe the message Golding is trying to get across is that all of us- regardless of race, culture, social background, sex- are equally capable of acts of cruelty as we are of goodness towards one another.  Put simply Golding seems to be holding up these boys as mirrors for us to see ourselves and, especially, the two conflicting states that exist within each of us, namely good and evil. 

This is most clearly seen in Ralph who simulataneously bullies and confers great acts of humanity upon Piggy in the opening chapters of the novel.  Take for example when he comes to the defense of Piggy when it is his turn to speak because he is holding the conch, but is almost denied this democratic right by Jack who clearly dislikes him and uses this to treat him unfairly; and then not too long after this joins in with the same ruthless Jack and the others in berating him for his glasses, which he knows he is hopeless without as he cannot see properly, to start the fire.  

Also pointing to this is the fact that Ralph, who is presented as the just and moral leader, further participates in the mob mentality or what could be described as the 'witch hunt' of Simon which starts off jokingly, but eventually leads to his death in the closing moments of the novel.

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