What are important examples of figurative language in Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses figurative language throughout the novel, primarily to intensify the imagery of the island and to deepen the developing contrast of civilization versus savagery.  Golding's figurative language portrays the island as a living vibrant being through the use of color, personification, and detail:

"Out there, perhaps a mile away, the white surf flinked on a coral reef, and beyond that the open sea was still as a mountain the irrgular arc of coral the lagoon was still as a mountain lake--blue of all shades and shadowy green and purple" (10).

Moreover, Golding's use of color infuses the novel affecting the characterization of the boys as well.  They shed their black and gray school uniforms at the onset of their adventure, finding themselves immersed in the dark greens and golds of the island.  The landscape takes over, becoming a part of them:

"Ralph hauled himself onto this platform, noted the coolness and shade, shut one eye, and decided that the shadows on his body were really green" (12).

For the boys, the lush jungle landscape transforms them, offering them the opportunity to free themselves from the burdens and restrictions of their old, civilized lives.  Many other examples of figurative language abound in Golding's novel, contributing to the complexity and depth of the boys' descent into wilderness and savagery.

ncaruthers | Student

"Nothing prospered but the flies who blackened thier lors and made the split guts look like a heap of glistening coals."

"Here and there little breezes crept over the polished waters beneath the haze of heat"




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Lord of the Flies

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