Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding
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What songs represent the plot, characters or themes, etc of Lord of the Flies?

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding reveals the potential for disaster when a group of school boys are left to their own devices and must choose between making good choices and aligning themselves with what "grown-ups" would do or abandoning their sense of right and wrong, inculcated (instilled) in them from a young age. At first all the boys, with the exception of Piggy, can see the benefits of living without any adult supervision. Even Ralph "dreamed pleasantly" on his first considerations of this exotic "coral island." The song "Another Brick in the Wall," by Pink Floyd could be suitable in considering the plot of Lord of The Flies as the story-line hinges on the success of Ralph and his democratic style or Jack and his lawlessness. Eventually all the boys will reject the notion of respectability. The song speaks of "no education" and "no thought control," and the consequences, for the boys, are dramatic. The song is also threatening, suggesting a building up to a climax, much as we find in the novel.  

Ralph is the perfect choice for chief due to his background. He knows there needs to be rules and procedures and it does not take him long to begin work on the shelters and fire. He credits his abilities to his father, "a Navy Commander," and is confident that his father will rescue them all. However, he sometimes becomes overwhelmed with the responsibility of being "chief" and after Piggy's death, he must hide himself away to stay safe. The Queen song, Under Pressure would suit Ralph's situation as he feels the "terror of knowing." 

Jack could be described from the first verse of Queen's song, "I want To Break Free." He is so desperate to separate himself from everything civilized and is obsessed with the opportunity to hunt pigs. Ultimately, his obsession will lead to Simon's death. 

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Two songs were specifically written based upon the musical artist's reading of Lord of the Flies: "Lord of the Flies" by Iron Maiden and "Shadows and Tall Trees" by U2. Each of these songs contain many references to the plot and characters of the novel.

When looking for song lyrics that connect to the themes of Lord of the Flies, I might suggest the following:

  • "The Logical Song" by Supertramp
  • "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Rolling Stones
  • "It's the End of the World as We Know It" by R.E.M.

Each of these songs should give you ample cause for reflection upon the plot, themes, and characters of the novel.

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