William Golding, the author of Lord of the Flies, as many other writers use their time, experience and life events as reference points in their novels. The boys, all the events, objects and the island, in general, represent Golding’s attitude to the whole world, humankind and specific features of British culture of that time.
The author spent two years at Oxford University as a science student before he realized he wanted to pursue his dream: to study English literature. His father supported Golding's passion. But it was a long time since then when he wrote his famous Lord of the Flies. The world first met it in 1954, which was the time of depression after World War II.
Lord of the Flies Summary
If you haven’t read it yet, there is a chance you will manage to write an excellent essay. All you have to do is to follow the summary of the plot stated below.
It’s a story about little boys of 6-12 years who live on a desert island. There are no adults among them. Why are they alone? That’s because the plane they were traveling by was crashed in the middle of nowhere.
The oldest boy becomes their leader. His name is Ralph. It’s very important to keep in mind that the world was at war at that time. It helps to understand the plot and the characters better.
The boys are afraid of some unknown “beast” living on the island. Piggy is Ralph’s best friend. He has a pair of glasses. They use them to make a signal fire. At that time, another boy, Jack, who is jealous of Ralph, is trying to persuade everyone else to go deep in the forest and hunt pigs instead.
The fight becomes even worse. Those who supported the leader go with Jack. But the only wise boy Simon helps his friend to prepare a shelter for spending nights there and relaxing.
The fire they made earlier is left unattended, and a couple of minutes later it goes down completely. Children don’t notice the ship passes by as they are busy hunting a small pig somewhere in the forest.
Jack punches Piggy in the face and breaks his glasses. Soon he decides that Ralph shouldn’t be their leader anymore. Older boys are with him. Then the awful event takes place deep in the forest. Children killed a big mother-pig, cut its head and put it on the stick. They call it the lord of the flies.
Jack throws a party, and all the children are there, except Simon. A couple of hours earlier, he went to the mountains in search of the beast. Then he shows up, but nobody recognizes him as the boy is covered with blood and sweat. That night Simon died.
The older boys steal Piggy’s glasses to make their fire. Ralph wants to talk to them to live in peace, but one of them throws a piece of rock and kills Piggy. Ralph is afraid of them. He is scared to death. He runs away, and soon he runs into the office of British Navy who saves him.
Lord of the Flies Essay Topics
Now you have a better understanding of what happened in the book so you can easily pick up one of the great topics for your essay.
- Human nature and politics. What is this novel more about?
- Perfect conditions for human violence. Are all of us savages?
- Symbolism or how the title of the book is related to the pig’s head on the stick.
- The fear of the unknown danger as a way to control people.
- Devolving into violence.
- Parallels with the World War II and with the adult world.
- The conflict and aggression on the island.
Important Quotes From Lord of the Flies
- “Maybe there is a beast . . . .maybe it's only us.” This quote shows that sometimes the real danger is hidden inside people.
- “The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering.” Aggression is another topic for discussion in that novel.
- “We should be looking like we used to, washed and hair brushed — after all we aren't savages really . . . .” The question of savages penetrates the entire text. Bearing in mind, that the novel was written during the wartime, it becomes clear that people of that time were devastated.
Congratulations, now you are halfway to a perfect essay. It’s a good idea to combine your thoughts with some interesting quotes from the plot, and the result will be excellent.