Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Is there irony in the death of the parachutist in Lord of the Flies?

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There is definitely an ironic element in the death of the parachutist.  The boys are on the island because their country is at war and they were being flown to supposed safety.  They were meant to escape the harshness and savagery of war.  Golding had a very dim view of war; he felt that man was basically evil and that war was proof of that because it showed man's inability to get along with his fellow man.  This was essentially the point of the story.  The boys had the chance to create an idyllic civilization away from the rest of the world and its fighting.  There were no "tainted" adults with them; they were innocent children free to build a society any way they wanted.  The parachutist appears in chapter 6.  He is from the outside world that is at war; in fact, the parachutist lands on the island after "...a suddent bright explosion and corkscrew trail across the sky;" indicating that the parachutist's plane was shot down and the parachutist ejected from his aircraft.  The way the boys were supposed to escape has come to their island in the form of the dead parachutist.  The boys see the figure as a beast and in a sense it is a beast because it is a representation of the way they were trying to get away from.  Also, the society they create on the island is anything but idyllic. The society created by the boys is the same as the one they fled. They are no different than the dead parachutist.

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