In what ways does Lord of the Flies present the theme conflict?I already know the fire and Piggy's glasses show conflict but is there anything else, and could you elaborate on the fire and glasses...

In what ways does Lord of the Flies present the theme conflict?

I already know the fire and Piggy's glasses show conflict but is there anything else, and could you elaborate on the fire and glasses please.

I have to write a 1500 word essay so I need a LOT of information, please.

Thank you. :)

Expert Answers
kschweiz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are four types of conflict: man versus man, man versus society, man versus nature, and man versus self. Each of these conflicts is represented in William Golding's Lord of the Flies.

The most obvious of these would likely be man versus nature, as the boys are immediately thrust into an environmental situation which is entirely foreign to them. From their origins in prep school Britain to a deserted jungle with no easy access to food, clothing, hygiene, or shelter, the boys must try to make their way in the wild, against the elements of weather, wild predators, and potentially inedible foods.

Golding quickly introduces man versus society and man versus man into the equation. The boys try to build their "government" by electing a leader, and they choose Ralph. However, it isn't long until they start to rebel against their selected society and split into two factions, with some boys following Jack for hunting while the rest stay with Ralph and work against the elements together.

The final conflict is one of the most subtly developed. Man versus self can be difficult to do well, and Golding focused primarily on Simon in this instance, though we do see some struggle within Ralph and Piggy on this issue too. Man versus self involves a person struggling internally with choices they make. Simon exemplifies this sort of thinking when he comes back and tells what the Beast "said" to him--obviously the head didn't speak, the words come from inside Simon himself, and show clearly that Simon believes what they have all been party to is pure evil.

All of these conflicts have multiple examples in the text. It should not be difficult to put together 1500 words on them, so do not feel overwhelmed. I would recommend splitting the paper into three sections: man versus nature, man versus society and man, and man versus self. Then, use quotes and examples from the text to display how Golding develops this theme. In your conclusion, spend time discussing which is most poignant, or best developed, or which is most significant to the story--what was his message, in other words? Obviously he was not quite as concerned about man versus nature or man versus man in specific. These seem to be bypassed quite easily. I would try to determine which conflict Golding seemed to be most interested in between man versus society and man versus self. Good luck with your paper!

kschweiz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, exactly. The boys--Ralph, Piggy, and Simon, in particular--all faced an inner struggle about their actions. Interestingly, they seemed also to struggle internally with the actions of their fellows, scarred by the violence and brutality that Jack, Roger, and their "crew" displayed. Ralph's group had to determine how to defend themselves against nature and their human counterparts. The attendance at the wild bonfire near the end of the story is one aspect of this struggle--the result, of course, being deaths. Ralph's tears at the end are the clearest indication of his realization that they have acted monstrously against one another, even though his "side" of boys were quite peaceful for the most part. They have suffered great losses because he failed to keep them together, and that failure was due to his weakness.

Thank you for the clarifying question. If you could rank my above answer, I would be appreciative. Again, good luck with your paper! If you need additional help, feel free to post again--eNotes editors are very helpful. :)

scholasticdavies | Student

can somebody help please , its urgent my essay is tommorow , it would be much appreciated

thank you.

scholasticdavies | Student

oh thank you for elaborating on that , and thank you for helping me. 1 last thing , what are the abstract symbols of conflict please :)

scholasticdavies | Student

Thank you very much! , but what do you mean by  'man versus self'. Are you referring to the inner struggle the boys faced in order to maintain civilization.

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Lord of the Flies

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