Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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What larger, universal truth is presented in Golding's Lord of the Flies through the themes of power, the personal price of conformity, and the monster that lies within human nature? 

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The universal truth presented by Golding through these themes is a sobering one. It is that mankind, despite what we might like to believe, is not fundamentally good. Rather, we are fundamentally evil, and left totally to our own devices, without some kind of institution to regulate us, we are always subject to reverting to our base instincts, what Sigmund Freud called the "id," that will overcome whatever sense of morality that exists within us. There is much in the novel that supports this pessimistic view.

As for the theme of power, we can see that as the novel goes on, the basis for power is contested and indeed changes over time. At first, the boys seek to replicate, at least somewhat, the order that existed at their school. Piggy and Ralph , in their attempts to establish this order, base their efforts on reason and intellect, which Piggy, in many ways, represents. The conch, for example, becomes an emblem of power, one which summons the boys to the beach. When asked where the "man"...

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