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MonkeyNotes-Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Booknotes Summary
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AUTHOR'S STYLE

The style of the novel is deceivingly simple. It reads quickly, like a children's adventure story. The narration is simple, the events flow smoothly, and the moods change rapidly without much effort. The boys are not given last names, the titles of the chapters clearly foreshadow the action that is to take place, and the author refrains from comment upon the development of events within the story. Despite his simple style, Golding has created an artistic masterpiece. Below the simplicity, there is a world of meaning and symbolism that evoke deep reactions.


The writing is also extremely well structured. Foreshadowing, flashback, imagery, symbols, and repetition tightly hold the novel together. It is a war that causes the children to flee England and start the action; in the middle of the novel, the war still rages, as evidenced by the plane flight and the descent of the dead airman; at the end of the novel, the war continues, as evidenced by the warship and the naval officer carrying weapons. Two important symbols of civilization, the conch and the glasses, are closely followed throughout the action. As the civilized life breaks up on the island, the glasses are broken and stolen, and the conch is crushed. Piggy, who wears the glasses and carries the conch, is killed. The savagery of the hunt and the tribal dances that follow are systematically repeated throughout the novel, with each description becoming more savage, clearly foreshadowing the descent into evil. The "Lord of the Flies" also ties the novel together. It is planted in the forest after the first pig is killed and is discovered by Simon shortly before his death at the hands of the savages. It is also seen by Ralph, as he tries to escape certain death from the hunters; he appropriately throws it to the ground and breaks it. The fire is another image that weaves the story together. The first fire on the mountaintop is allowed to rage out of control, killing the first victim in the story and foreshadowing that life, like the fire, will rage out of control. The second fire is allowed to go out, causing them to miss their first possible rescue from a passing ship. Ralph constantly worries about the fire as a signal; Jack worries about it as a means to prepare the meat from the hunt. In the end, Ralph is unable to build a fire, for Jack has stolen Piggy's glasses. The hunters, instead, try to burn Ralph up as he hides in the thicket. Ironically, it is this fire, that has evil intent, that signals their existence and brings their rescue and return to civilization. Obviously, Golding has structured the novel with great purpose and intent.

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