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An Analysis of the Absurdity of Lord of the Flies

Author WuXiaoZuo
Tutor SongHuiLing
School Hebei Normal
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords absurdity setting plot character image
CLC I561.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Lord of the Flies, published in1954, is a great work written by the famous British writer William Golding. Since the publication of the work, because of its reflections on the philosophy of human nature, it has aroused widespread attention in the literary circles of the world and become the representative work of the author. In1983, William Golding won the Nobel Prize for literature by virtue of the novel. Therefore, it is a novel of great significance in the history of modern literature. The novel tells a story about future world war in the imagination of a group of boys aged from6to12who suffer a plane crash and are stranded on a deserted island. At first the children can work together on mutual assistance for survival, and later due to the expansion of the nature of evil, the children gradually split up into two factions, and then kill each other. At last, the innocent good nature is reduced and eventually replaced by cruel evil nature of human, ending in a tragedy. The writer embodied the abstract philosophy proposition. He not only depicted depravity and dark side of human nature, but also deeply revealed the survival status of humans especially the modem, pointing to the human existence that is in a chaotic and irrational absurdity. Therefore, this novel reflects the writer’s thinking on cruel reality and the concern about humans’serious problem with universality, entirety, and forward-looking. So, the novel has a strong color of absurd literature.The present paper probes and discusses the absurdity embodied in Lord of the Flies, mainly in the aspects of the setting and plots of the novel, characters and images. This paper is divided into three major parts. Chapter One analyzes the irrationality and immorality of the setting and the plots of the story. Through a series of plots including the background of war, the burning of the harmonious forest, the destroying of the conch and glasses which represent democracy and science, the chasing of fun of play, the neglecting of the signal fire, the killing of each other, the paper analyzes and interprets their opposition to nature, society and civilization. Furthermore, the paper reveals that characters survive in an absurd state of irrational, immoral and helpless disorder, so as to demonstrate the absurdity embodied in the plots of Lord of the Flies.Chapter Two exposes the absurdity from the characters of the novel. Throughout the main characters Ralph, Jack and so on, the paper discusses the absurdity from the two aspects of character behavior and character psychology, such as hunting and killing, the fear for " beast", the pleasure of killing, Ralph’s despair and cry. As a result, it reveals the characters’ loss of self, the inner fear and pain, alienation and some other extremely incongruous characteristics of nature and society, and exposes the Lord of the Flies in shaping characters of absurdity.Chapter Three interprets the absurdity from images, including object images and human images. As for the object images, the paper focuses on several main images---fire,"beast" and Lord of the Flies, which are feared at the beginning and then to be worshipped at last, and eventually control the inside of the children. Besides the object images, the paper mentions some human images, and shows the absurdity of people’s survival through the discussion of the images, such as the choir boys and the British naval officer. Through the impressive images, the novel deeply pictures the extreme distortion and deformation in the relationship between man and nature, man and society, man and man. From the meaning of images, the writer clearly shows his anxiety about the man’s survival and demonstrates the absurdity performed in the Lord of the Flies in imagery.In the conclusion, the paper reviews the absurdity of Lord of the Flies, and shows the writer’s deep concern for the state of human existence. Through this, it proves that Golding is an existentialist and uses such kind of view in the novel. The absurdity reflected in Lord of the Flies is a real description of the reality. Golding reveals the absurdity of humans’survival and tells them this absurdity influences people everywhere and every moment. Humans struggle bitterly to get rid of it; however, they fail and fall into a deeper absurdity. Analyzing the absurdity of Lord of the Flies will help us better understand the work and living state, forcing us to reflect on the meaning of life, which helps us to live more meaningful.

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