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

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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Lord of the Flies is narrated in third person omniscient. 

A third person omniscient narrator has access to each character's feelings and actions. As a reader, there are benefits of having a third person omniscient narrator. We are able to see the emotions, change, and growth of each character without the same emotional influence we would be getting had the story been told in first person by a single character. We are able to take a step back from the characters and use our own knowledge to asses what is occurring in the story rather than taking on the view points of the characters.

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Lord of the Flies is written from the third person omniscient of view.

The characteristics of third person omniscient point of view include a narrative perspective that is detached from the characters in the story but which has access to the thoughts and feelings of many or all of the characters in the story. 

We can see the detachment of the narrator at the novel's outset as Ralph and Piggy are described. The narrator is clearly not Ralph or Piggy, but a story-teller (author) witnessing the people and events of the story from outside and not involved with them. 

The narrator's access to the minds and feelings of the characters is seen again and again. Ralph's thoughts and his mental state are often discussed in the text. This is how we see Ralph slipping into a growing confusion as the "flap" in his mind closes on his consciousness more and more often. This is also how we see Roger's impulses and become aware that he is violent at heart. 

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In Lord of the Flies, what is the author's point of view, and what was author's purpose for choosing this point of view?

Like the other posts state, the point of view from which the novel is written is third-person omniscient.

Meaning “all-knowing,” an omniscient narrator has several advantages. These include knowing both what the characters think, feel, and know and what the characters do not know.

Besides giving deep insight into the characters thoughts and emotions, the narrator also allows the reader to learn what is happening around the boys. When the dead pilot drops from the sky in his parachute, none of the boys witness this. Instead, the narrator imparts this information to the reader only. This creates dramatic irony as the boys believe the dead pilot is the Beast. The reader knows from the moment Sam’n’Eric see the figure of the Beast while tending the signal fire that they are afraid for no good reason.

This creates tension between the truth and the way the boys perceive the truth, which is a central conflict that allows the savagery and destabilization of the boys’ fragile order to occur.

This is just one example of how the third-person omniscient narrator is used for a particular effect in this novel.

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In Lord of the Flies, what is the author's point of view, and what was author's purpose for choosing this point of view?

The narrator's point of view in Lord of the Flies is third-person omniscient, meaning that the narrator knows everything that is going on and that the narration is not from the point of view of any of the characters. Golding chose this point of view so that he could present the stories of the various characters, including Ralph, Piggy, Jack, and the others. The omniscient narration allows the reader to understand the different points of view of the characters, including Ralph and Piggy's insistence on law and order and Jack's savagery. The reader is able to understand each character's perspective, and when Jack begins to rival Ralph's power, the reader is able to see how both sides of the boys' personalities--rationality on one side and savagery on the other--come into conflict. The omniscient narration allows the reader to understand both sides of the boys' conflict. 

In addition, the reader can see how the boys' fear is overtaking them when they mistake the dead parachutist for a beast. By using a third-person omniscient narrator, the author is able to show the reader how the boys' perspectives are irrational and how they often make mistakes in judgment because of their fear. 

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In Lord of the Flies, what is the author's point of view, and what was author's purpose for choosing this point of view?

Golding's point of view in Lord of the Flies is that of an omniscient narrator.  By that, I mean, that Golding allows the readers to enter the minds of more than one character.  Golding portrays Ralph's thoughts the most frequently.  For instance, we know what Ralph is thinking when he calls the meeting that begins Chapter 5.  We know that he is thinking over what and how is going to say to the group.  And we know that his appreciation of Piggy has grown.  But we also privy to Simon's thoughts.  His thoughts are depicted when he has his confrontation with the Lord of the Flies, or the pig's head on the stick.  And, we even know what Jack is thinking as he is desperately to hunt and kill his first pig.

This point of view is effective in showing the various perspectives of the boys.  From these different viewpoints we can see Ralph grow in his leadership abilities and his maturity; Jack becoming more and more obsessed with hunting and "play," and Simon's steadfast goodness and inability to devolve into savagery.  We have with these the three responses to life on the island--the civilized and compassionate, the savage and living for the moment, and the decision-maker--caught between the two.

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What is the point of view in the novel Lord of the Flies?

Lord of the Flies uses a third person omniscient point of view.  This serves to distance the reader from the characters, as the characters are distanced from society.

Third person omniscient point of view is an objective point of view that does not sit inside the head of any one character.  In an omniscient point of view, the narration may jump from character to character but never gets too connected to any one of them.

The fair boy shook his head.

“This is an island. At least I think it’s an island. That’s a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grownups anywhere.”

The fat boy looked startled. (ch 1, p. 7)

One way you can tell that this novel uses a third person point of view is that when you first open the book you get as much information as you would watching a movie.  Characters are described, but we don’t know how they feel. 

The first character you are introduced to is a “boy with fair hair” (ch 1, p. 6).  We do not even know his name at first.  The characters are referred to as the “fat boy” and the “fair boy” until they tell one another their names.

The only time we know what the characters are thinking is when they tell us or their facial expressions tell us.

The fair boy said this solemnly; but then the delight of a realized ambition overcame him. In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy. (ch 1, p. 7)

When a story is told from the first person, we feel like we are there.  We are inside the head of a character, and the information we get is colored from that character’s perspective.  Third person omniscient, on the other hand, distances the reader from the characters.  It increases the suspense, and reinforces the theme of the boys’ distance from society.

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