What does the forest in darkness symbolize in The Lord of the Flies? What is the allegorical meaning of the forest at night/in darkness?

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William Golding uses the imagery of the forest to communicate different aspects of the boys' experience on the island to the reader. The forest is a composite of living creatures, and Golding uses personification often to link the natural environment of the forest with humans: for example, the forest "screams" at certain points, and when the forest fire takes place, the fire is compared to a jaguar hunting vulnerable prey. Like the boys, who are vulnerable in their isolation, the forest is also vulnerable.

With these notions in mind, the forest can be argued as a symbol of the boys themselves, and the forest in darkness represents the boys in their ignorance and their eventual descent into ruinous disorder. The boys find themselves living in nature, and their actions take what Golding believes is a natural course for creatures living in the wilderness. The physical violence they inflict on each other, allegorically speaking, may represent the violent nature of all humans that is latent in all civilized folk.

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Golding's point, in the novel, is that within each person there is an inherent evilness, or savagery, that only stays hidden due to the constraints of society.  He felt that if and when the constraints are removed, that evilness or darkness comes out and people are at their worst.  The forest in darkness represents man's basic inner savagery.  The forest at night is dark and mysterious and that darkness represents a savage quality due, in part, to the unknown nature of darkness.  We can't see in the dark; we don't know what is there. That is why some people are so frightened by darkness.  Darkness is often used to hide evil acts (note the criminal activity that takes place under cover of darkness).  The forest also represents the untamed, or wild, world.  Creatures who live in the forest are not tame creatures.  The dark forest makes the perfect representation of the darkness of mankind's heart.

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