What is the religious symbolism expressed in Lord of the Flies?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are differing viewpoints expressed as to why William Golding wrote Lord of the Flies. Many believed it explores the most fundamental religious issues  of the nature of good and evil and the Christian teachings of Original Sin.

Evil is everywhere and the title 'Lord of the Flies' has been interpreted to be a reference to the Devil, himself. The eNotes study guide provides insight into the different symbolic meanings. Navigate to the Overview to get a better understanding. The title of the book and therefore the central symbol  - the pig's head that is mounted on a stick

 is a translation of the Hebrew Ba’alzevuv (Beelzebub in Greek).... whose name suggests that he (the devil) is devoted to decay, destruction, demoralization

Simon is the symbolic 'sacrifice' as he represents spirituality. He has been called a prophet. Simon (by name)was one of the disciples from the Bible. Simon is aware throughout the novel of the potential for evil within everyone  - even himself. Unfortunately, he is unable to 'save' the others although his capacity for not giving up does contribute to the ending of the novel and the rescue of the boys  whose innocence is lost. Adam and Eve were sent from the Garden of Eden  - with their lost innocence - to face the perils and challenges and temptations of the world.


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Lord of the Flies

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