Why and how does Golding use young boys and the genre of the book of an adventure story to convey his messages and how successful is he in doing so?A strange question that I was and was confused in...

Why and how does Golding use young boys and the genre of the book of an adventure story to convey his messages and how successful is he in doing so?

A strange question that I was and was confused in how to answer it. Any ideas would be helpful. With quotes of course :)

Expert Answers
sboeman eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I guess the first step is to identify Golding's "messages" he's trying to convey.  Golding, of course, saw the destruction and devastation of war, which showed him the evil that can lurk in humanity.  In his own description of the novel, he once stated the story was “an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature"; in other words, all humans have the potential to be evil.

The novel tells of young children trying to establish some sort of civilization, but they are doomed to fail because of the natural evil tendencies within us all; hence, the symbolic "Lord of the Flies".  Readers might simply dismiss these behaviors as childish, but the ironic twist is that adults do the exact same thing: they create wars over differences of opinion, savagely abuse others, destroy the environment, etc.  Obviously, the ending of the novel is especially ironic: Jack and his tribe are in a "war" against Ralph, but are interrupted and rescued by a military officer who, of course, is ironically playing the same "game" in his role as the kids were playing on the island.

In my opinion, Golding is very successful in his attempt to show the evil in humanity, and using children as a microcosm of our "real world" perhaps allows us to see how immature and shortsighted even adults can be.

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Lord of the Flies

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