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Lord of The Flies Essay Feedback

Sorry for the last-minute post, but any possible feedback on this essay would be greatly appreciated. It would also help if you could indicate the grade you would give this. (This question is from the 2020 paper)

Analyse how ideas were presented to be thought-provoking and relevant.

Have you ever considered the value of nature and human life? In the allegorical novel Lord of The Flies, author William Golding develops the thought-provoking ideas of character and setting to warn readers of the topical challenges we face in our environment and society today and the darkness of human nature. This text depicts English schoolboys who become stranded on an island, a microcosm for wider society. Their attempts to form order and civilization ultimately disintegrate, with the boys manifesting a primal state of brutality and destroying the once unblemished island that was their refuge.

In the text’s beginning, Golding used allusion to compare the island to the biblical Garden of Eden and to a version of Earth devoid of human-caused issues. The island is described as Edenic, “The shore was fledged with palm trees… Their green feathers were a hundred feet up in the air.” And as Ralph, “Plunged in… the incredible pool… a golden light danced over his face.” Ralph even “laughed delightedly…with bright excited eyes.” The island was ethereal and its beauty was almost hard to believe. However, as Golding used diction including “sin”, blood”, “skull-like” and “snake”, he created negative connotations and likened the island to the Garden of Eden. The concept of original sin is incorporated through a “scar” that arrived with the boys; a mark of the plane crash. This has the effect of contrasting the innate beauty of the island with the innate savagery the boys arrived with. The initial state of the island is not only an allusion but also enables readers to understand the degree of damage the boys’ innate savagery had on the island. In many texts and films beyond Lord of The Flies, the state of the world prior to human dominion is similarly described as a paradise with nature bountiful and animals living in harmony. Nowadays, humans have slowly degraded our Earth’s beauty and taken nature for granted, just as the boys in the Lord of The Flies used the island as a latrine, hunted its animals and set fire to it.

As the novel developed, Golding used the idea of characters to illustrate different aspects of human nature and to emphasize the text’s message of innate savagery and environmental destruction. With many characters representing deeper ideas, it is likely Golding was referring to Sigmund Freud’s idea of the Id, Ego and Superego. Ralph was the protagonist in the text and he was quick to become the leader of the boys, representing leadership and equilibrium between ideas. He resonated closely with the idea of the ‘Ego’. In contrast, Jack was imperious and selfish. He dissented with the rules of the other boys and instead sought short-term pleasure, even saying, “The rules… who cares?” Jack epitomised Freud’s idea of the “Id”. In one instance, he abandoned his duty of maintaining the boys’ smoke-signal fire to hunt a pig; the fire burnt out, and the boys missed an opportunity to be rescued by a passing ship. Simon and Piggy were the two sides of the “Superego”, with Simon representing morality and virtue, and Piggy acting as a metaphor for intelligence and logic.

Golding uses the idea of characters to suggest that evil will prevail in humans and overcome our individual rationality and morality, seen as Jack’s primitive tribe overcame civilization, democracy and law and order. Without order, humans can too quickly resort to their primal instincts and beget destruction and environmental damage. The idea of characters in this text is not only psychologically thought-provoking but also relates to society today. Law and order is a constant reminder of human savagery and our propensity to violence and greed, and it is necessary for society’s collective wellbeing. However, some individuals and historical figures have exploited power and undermined laws and morality; persecuting others and igniting hate. We can see many comparisons between Jack and former United States President Donald Trump, who spread hate and created enormous division and issues in America as Jack did between the boys.

The boys soon became so obsessed with a supposed “beast” mentioned by a child, that it became a self-fulfilling prophecy and haunted them. Simon was the only one to realize the only beast was the savage side of human nature, “However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his sight a human at once heroic and sick.” Simon’s belief was confirmed when he spoke with the Lord of The Flies, a pig’s head fixed on a stick that claimed, “I’m part of you”. Simon was unsuccessful in explaining this to the boys as he was brutally murdered as the boys chanted, “Kill the pig. Cut his throat. Spill his blood.” The character of Simon and the hysteria of the boys was an important part of Golding’s commentary on human nature, and in combination with the murder of Piggy, Golding intensified the idea that the boys had completely lost touch with common sense and morality as they had yielded to a destructive state. We could see this as Piggy tried in vain to reason with the irrational and savage minds of the other boys before his death, “Which is better to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?" The boys decided it was better to hunt and kill; Golding wanted perceptive readers to understand their destruction had become unstoppable.

Jack’s tribe soon set fire to the island to fond and kill Ralph, and soon, “The island was scorched up like dead wood.” This showed they had no respect for human life or nature and were willing to destroy the island, their refuge, for the sake of savagery and tribal warfare. Today, our environment is similarly used as a dumping ground for problems and a battleground. Golding wants us to understand that this is wrong and we ought to respect Earth as our home and each other as human beings. The destruction of the island’s setting was also used by Golding to show readers the futility of savagery. The boys’ brutality had only served to destroy their home. This was evidenced as the once-pristine island became a worthless battleground and latrine for the boys. Additionally, Golding, warns us that without law or order, society could quickly become like this. As an officer in World War Two, Golding witnessed and understood human brutality. The text’s ending is a culmination of Golding’s thoughtful ideas and his real-world experiences and serves to awaken readers to the mistakes of the boys and the state of our society.

Throughout the text, Golding wanted to emphasize the boys’ disillusion towards respecting the island and the value of each other as humans. He did this to show how humans today have become distracted from the beauty of nature and one another. Our avarice and desire for consumerism have led to us using the world as an exploitable source of goods and a dumping ground for our problems and waste, while a boom in technology has replaced what previous generations once found in nature. Our lack of respect for human life can be seen in wars where the murder is construed as just, and in a society where hate and bigotry are thoughtlessly spread. Lord of The Flies is not only an insightful text with a significant message but also Golding’s warning of society’s issues. Despite the text’s relevance to today, it seems very unlikely that a naval officer will arrive to save humanity before it is too late for our dignity and our environment. So again, Golding asks readers, what is human life and nature worth to you?

Kia ora

You have some wonderful discussion with some solid evidence, a nice understanding of technique, and a clear sense of purpose.

What would prevent this from getting to E, is a lack of really explicit discussion in most of the paragraphs around what is thought provoking and relevant about these ideas(a large part of the question). This is implied , but really needs to be explicitly stated - “This is relevant to most reader because” "This is thought provoking due to the way that…"You might think about how it was designed to be relevant in the time it was written, and how it is still relevant (for different or the same reasons) today. Make sure you are using these key words to signpost to the marker how you are answering the question :slight_smile: