Where is the theme man vs. nature illustrated in Lord of the Flies?quotes please !

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Here at last was the imagined but never fully realized place leaping into life.

What Ralph in Chapter One originally perceives to be an island paradise free from the confines of adults and rules becomes a force against which the boys are in constant conflict.  For, from the beginning, they must clamber through the creepers whenever they wish to explore the island, negotiating the pink granite rock--"that token of preposterous time"--they suffer from the relentless sun, plagued by the consumption of too many berries and no meat; and they struggle to build and maintain shelters. 

Certainly,the wild pigs become an element of conflict as the boys initially try to kill them for food. But, later, the pigs become the catalyst for Jack and the hunters' descent into savagery with the head of one pig becoming the symbolic representation of Beelzebub and the evil that is inherent in the heart of man.

In fact, as the narrative moves to its conclusion, Nature becomes the dangerous foe of Ralph, Piggy and Simon.  For instance, Simon is mistaken as a pig and bludgeoned to death in the hunters' frenetic ritual; the sadistic Roger launches a pink granite rock upon Piggy, splitting his head and hurling him into the omniverous sea.  And,of course, the fire, that formidable force of nature that symbolizes power, becomes the penultimate foe when it is stolen by Jack and the hunters who use it for their evil intent of flushing out Ralph by setting fires:

Acres of black and yellow rolled steadily toward the sea...The flames, as though they were a kind of wild life, crept as a jaguar creeps on its belly toward a line of birch....Beneath the capering oys a quarter of a mile square of forest was savage with smoke and flame.

Only the deus ex machina of the naval officer rescues the boys from the devastation that the fire of nature threatens.  And, while the adversary of nature is stalled with the rescue of an adult, the intrinisic adversary, the evil in man, yet looms as "the trim cruiser in the distance" symbolizes the war in which adults are engaged.

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Lord of the Flies

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