Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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What is a good theme statement for the Lord of The Flies? What evidence supports this?

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Phoebe Eason eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As with any work of literature, there are several themes that can be identified in Golding's Lord of the Flies. When looking to form a theme, a reader should first consider the one-word topics that emerge from a text before giving an explanation of how that topic is used in the text in a thematic structure. In Lord of the Flies, the conflict between authority and the individual is at the forefront of the plot, so it can be used to form one of the prominent themes in the novel.

Once the boys crash on the island, they are removed from the typical cultural authorities such as family, school, and government. So, they initially cling to the hierarchical structure that they are used to by dividing into groups and using the conch shell as a "call" to unity. However, as their time on the island progresses, the boys become more animalistic in their behaviors, which eventually...

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morganchild | Student

A good theme statement for Lord of the Flies would be as follows: innocence is an illusion and human nature tends toward evil.  Children are thought to be innocent and good, but when the kids from the novel are stranded, they end up tormenting and murdering each other.  While they start out in an organized way, the ever important power struggle erupts between the two leaders (Ralph and Jack) and then quickly effects all the other boys.

Readers must remember that Golding wrote LOTF in response to horrible things that he had experienced in the Navy during WWII. Golding's novel serves as a harsh commentary on the weakness of humanity and the rotting effect of power.  Golding's young characters crash land on a virtual garden of Eden, but by the time they leave they have turned the island into a gutted, flaming Hell.