Characters, Setting and Themes – Lord of the Flies

In “Lord of the Flies” William Golding uses character and setting description to introduce many different themes. Vocabulary is used to imply metaphorical meanings behind character personalities and varied setting description reflects the author’s views on human nature. Interactions between characters and their surroundings then reveal to the reader the deeper meaning and the destructive ending of the novel, which allegorizes the collapse of society and civilization as a result of humanity’s natural evil tendencies.

The author points to a deeper metaphorical meaning behind characters’ personalities even through basic description. Ralph, for example, is introduced first as the “boy with fair hair”.The fact that he is introduced first and that the rest of the chapter seems to focus mainly on him leads to the assumption that he is the main protagonist of the novel and encourages readers to share his views and feelings.

The author cleverly uses the adjective “fair”, which could mean either ‘pale’ or ‘just’, to display Ralph’s talent for leadership while simultaneously describing the color of his hair. Yet, Ralph is not the perfect protagonist. Golding often suggests a kind of blindness and naivety surrounding this character: “phantoms of his daydream still interposed between him and Piggy, who in this context was irrelevance.

” This could present Ralph as the symbol of the ‘British view’ during the Second World War­ the belief that the crimes done during the war by the British were ‘right’ and the blindness to their obvious wrongness. The author criticizes this blindness by showing how Ralph’s own inability to immediately perceive the destruction, which would result out of their stay on the island, is unsupported by intelligence (represented in this quote by Piggy). Piggy is another major character, introduced second in the novel and remaining somehow dependent on Ralph throu…

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