Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
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What is the significance of the title Lord of the Flies?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The title of the novel corresponds to the name of the severed pig's head that Simon imagines he has a conversation with as he hallucinates in his secret spot in the forest. The severed pig's head was fastened onto the top of a sharp spear by Jack and his hunters and is covered with flies when Simon discovers it decaying in the forest. The Lord of the Flies is also the literal translation of the name Beelzebub, which is another name for the devil in Christian theology. When Simon comes face-to-face with the Lord of the Flies in chapter 8, he hallucinates and listens as the severed pig's head confirms that the beast is the inherent wickedness inside each child. The Lord of the Flies symbolically represents the evil on the island and thematically relates to Golding's beliefs regarding humanity's inherent wickedness. Overall, the novel is named after the severed pig's head that confirms Simon's beliefs regarding the true identity of the beast and symbolically represents the evil that takes place on the uninhabited tropical island.

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brandih eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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dbrooks22 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The title is important because as the story progresses, the boys succumb to their inner beast and allow it to rule their thoughts and actions. In chapter 8, Simon sees the pigs head that Jack has left on a stake. This becomes the "Lord of the Flies," and it speaks to Simon, foreshadowing the sadistically evil events that are to occur. The "Lord of the Flies" is a demonic character that reveals that everyone is susceptible to the evil within. Although the "Lord of the Flies" is only mentioned this once, it is extremely significant because it refers to the inherent evil that all are prone to unleash, and it is one of the major themes of the novel.

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