What are two valuable messages in Lord of the Flies?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One of the primary messages Golding conveys in Lord of the Flies concerns mankind's inherent wickedness and savagery. In the story, a group of civilized British schoolboys crash-land on an uninhabited tropical island where they attempt to cultivate a democratic, civil society. However, the boys gradually revert back to their...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

One of the primary messages Golding conveys in Lord of the Flies concerns mankind's inherent wickedness and savagery. In the story, a group of civilized British schoolboys crash-land on an uninhabited tropical island where they attempt to cultivate a democratic, civil society. However, the boys gradually revert back to their primitive nature and retrogress into violent, hostile savages. They become obsessed with hunting pigs and obediently follow their maniacal leader, Jack. By illustrating the boys' savage behavior and lack of restraint, Golding suggests that humans are inherently evil and will revert back to their primitive, barbaric instincts in an environment without rules, regulations, or authority figures. The astonishing transformation of civil schoolboys highlights his message regarding humanity's inherent wickedness.

Another valuable message Golding conveys in the story concerns the powerful influence of fear. In the novel, the boys begin to fear the beast, which they believe is an enigmatic, menacing creature, which inhabits the top of the mountain. With the inception of the beast, hysteria quickly spreads among the boys and influences them to make irrational decisions. Fear motivates the boys to follow Jack's lead and distracts them from focusing on building a civil society. Fear also undermines Ralph's authority, contributes to the hostile environment on the island, and leads to Simon's brutal death. Overall, Golding addresses mankind's inherent wickedness as well as the powerful influence of fear, which corrupts and undermines Ralph's plans to cultivate a civil society.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team