The novel

lundi 29 juin 2015
par Me Esse

Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel written in 1954 by the Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding. JPEG - 27.9 ko You can read more about him here.

Lord of the Flies tells the story of a group of English schoolboys marooned on a tropical island after their plane is shot down during a war. Though the novel is fictional, its exploration of the idea of human evil is at least partly based on Golding’s experience with the real-life violence and brutality of World War II. Free from the rules and structures of civilization and society, the boys on the island in Lord of the Flies descend into savagery. As the boys splinter into factions, some behave peacefully and work together to maintain order and achieve common goals, while others rebel and seek only anarchy and violence. In his portrayal of the small world of the island, Golding paints a broader portrait of the fundamental human struggle between the civilizing instinct—the impulse to obey rules, behave morally, and act lawfully—and the savage instinct—the impulse to seek brute power over others, act selfishly, scorn moral rules, and indulge in violence.

Golding himself wrote of his novel : "The boys try to construct a civilisation on the island ; but it breaks down in blood and terror because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human."

Background :

The book indicates that it takes place in the midst of an unspecified nuclear war. Some of the marooned characters are ordinary students, while others arrive as a musical choir under an established leader. Most (with the exception of the choirboys) appear never to have encountered one another before. The book portrays their descent into savagery ; left to themselves in a paradisiacal country, far from modern civilisation, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state.

At an allegorical level, the central theme is the conflicting human impulses toward civilization—living by rules, peacefully and in harmony—and toward the will to power. Themes include the tension between groupthink and individuality, between rational and emotional reactions, and between morality and immorality. The name "Lord of the Flies" is a literal translation of Beelzebub, from 2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16.

"2 Kings 1:2-3New International Version (NIV)

2 Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”

3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron ?’"

You can find information on the novel, its plot and characters here.

References

The novel which inspired Golding is "Coral Island", written by R.M. Ballantyne in 1858. You can read this article to go further.

Study these pages to go further in your understanding of the novel : [1]

Here you can watch an explanation of the novel and its themes and context :

More here to understand the novel :  [2]

A video from Sparknotes, a summary of the novel.




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