Identify three literary elements from the story and discuss their connection and effect on the theme.

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I will summarize three literary elements that are common throughout literature. The three I'll pick are setting, plot, and characterization.

I'll use a popular work of fiction, Lord of the Flies, as an example. The plot is fairly simple in this story. A group of boys, aged around five to thirteen, are stranded on an uninhabited island and left to their own devices. The story follows their actions and conflicts as they attempt not only to survive the elements but also to form a society.

The plot, story, and moral are all part of a type of storytelling called allegory. This means the story operates on two levels—on a literal level, it's about some boys and how they react to being stranded, but on an allegorical level, it's a story about the forces that shape and emerge from human societies.

The plot of Lord of the Flies goes like this: the boys are stranded, they choose a leader (Ralph), and they try to build shelter and find food. As they build, a conflict emerges when another boy (Jack) decides hunting is more important than building. Jack takes some of the boys to hunt, and once they kill a pig, the rest of the boys are considered "less than" (the non-hunters), and the two groups argue and split. After the split, animosity continues, but the "good" boy (Ralph) realizes he needs the others or they cannot survive, and there is conflict and "war" when Ralph is forced to confront Jack and his new crew of followers.

The characters in the novel represent feeling (Ralph), spirituality (Simon), intellect (Piggy), antisocial behavior (Roger), and action (Jack). Other supporting characters are followers, including the twins Sam and Eric and most of the younger boys.

The setting, a deserted island, is not the only place this story could unfold, but its isolation is important. The fact that survival is very real in such a setting matters to the theme, and the setting of a fictional island is also a blank slate in which the theme of man versus man can emerge over man versus nature. The setting is ideal for handling a theme related to savagery.

The theme of Lord of the Flies is that evil is the condition of mankind and comes from within. It emerges in the absence of spirituality and intellect, although those two forces do try to defeat it. The characterization relates to the theme because each character represents a different side of human nature, and each contributes to the balance of "good" or "evil" in the island society.

The plot relates to the theme because it unfolds to reveal a problem with two equally probable solutions in deciding how the boys will survive. Build, or hunt? The hunt seems like a good decision, but it brings violence that eventually begets more violence, while the voices of reason (Piggy) and spirituality (Simon) are drowned out. In the story, these two characters are actually killed, representing the victory of violence and ignorance.

In order for the theme of the evil inherent in human nature to emerge, a simple plot that isolates human beings in a group (an allegorical society) is combined with a setting in which almost anything can happen, which is isolated, and which creates a set of problems. The characters are drawn broadly and, through their natures, increase the conflict because their inner natures differ enough that they cannot agree on how to proceed. They are also described in order to emphasize certain universal human characteristics, including following (the littl'uns), criminality (Roger), and unity (Sam and Eric).

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