Why Does Golding Structure His Essay As A Narrative

Critical Analysis of Golding’s Use of Tone in Lord Of The Flies

  • Length: 1305 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - More ↓
Critical Analysis of Golding’s Use of Tone in Lord Of The Flies

When viewing the atrocities of today's world on television, the starving children, the wars, the injustices, one cannot help but think that evil is rampant in this day and age. However, people in society must be aware that evil is not an external force embodied in a society but resides within each person. Man has both good qualities and faults. He must come to control these faults in order to be a good person. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding deals with this same evil which exists in all of his characters. With his mastery of such literary tools as structure, syntax, diction and imagery, The author creates a cheerless, sardonic tone to convey his own views of the nature of man and man’s role within society.

The use of diction is powerful, with the gripping use of words and description. Golding creates tension and reinforces his theme and tone with the use of specific words. Many are connotative and therefore create a story abundant in meaning and symbolism. Golding uses colors such as pink to symbolize particular things such as innocence, as shown in the piglets and the island. The word yellow makes the reader think of the sun, enlightenment and Ralph; the words black and red bring to mind evil, blood and Jack.
With the use of words the author also creates the novel's own private symbols that are key to the tone. The conch comes to symbolize authority, democracy and order. Upon the mentioning Piggy's glasses, images of insight and reason come to mind. With this highly connotative language, Golding creates many contrasts as well to convey his underlying theme. He compares the dazzling beach's "pink granite" [Page 12], green feathered palm trees and endless sand [Page 10] to the "darkness of the forest", full of "broken trunks", "cables of creepers" [page 28], and dense vegetation. He also compares the day's "torrid sun" [Page 176] to the night which makes everything as "dim and strange as the bottom of the sea" [Page 62]. The lagoon's security and the dangerous open sea are also contrasted when Golding qualifies them as "still as a mountain lake" [Page 10], "dark blue" [Page 31] and "deep sea" [page 62]. Golding also uses dark and inherently bad words such as "dark", "Jack", "broken", "torrid", "coarse" and "splintered" to describe sinister things and euphonious words such as "feathers", "glittering fish" and "Ralph" to describe more peaceful things.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Critical Analysis of Golding’s Use of Tone in Lord Of The Flies." 123HelpMe.com. 13 Mar 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=37050>.

LengthColor Rating 
Sylvia's Use of Senses in Ariel Essay - Sylvia's Use of Senses in Ariel "Ariel" possesses power and importance, a certain element of orgasmic stress to the degree to which the horseback ride Plath once took becomes something more—a ride into the abyss of the unknown, a stare back into the eye of the sun, an odyssey to death, a stripping of personality and selfhood, a sort of blatant exposition. To treat "Ariel" as a confessional poem is to suggest that its actual importance lies in the horse- ride taken by its author, in the author's psychological problems, or in its position within the biographical development of the author....   [tags: English Literature Essays]2245 words
(6.4 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Use of Symbols in Lord of the Flies by William Golding Essay - Symbols and characters play major roles in representing power in works of literature. Therefore, an author uses these ‘symbols of power’ to control the characters and the overall course of the work. In Lord of the Flies symbols are both used by the characters and stand on their own. Fire on the island is a dual blade and Lord of the Flies impedes on progression. While these two symbols stand on their own, the characters use and are used by them. Ralph leads the boys to advancement while Jack stands as his opposition, both using other symbols of power to assist them....   [tags: Lord of the Flies]
:: 1 Works Cited
1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Lord of the Flies and I Only Came to Use the Phone Essay - In Lord of the Flies and “I Only Came to Use the Phone”, the setting and actions of the characters work together. Both are used to show the many cases of irony in the stories. The irony in both stories reveals the true and basic nature in all humans. First, the authors show readers irony through the customs that the isolated characters bring with them from their previous homes. Ideally, the setting that Maria and all the boys come from represents civilization and order. It is seen that in the beginning, the character’s actions still reflect their old home....   [tags: lord of the flies, william golding ]
:: 2 Works Cited
875 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Use of Symbols to Portray the Descent from Civilization to Savagery in Golding's Lord of the Flies - D.H. Lawrence once said, “This is the very worst wickedness, that we refuse to acknowledge the passionate evil that is in us. This makes us secret and rotten.” Sir William Golding tells about the evil and sadistic things that can be expressed throughout humanity in his novel, Lord of the Flies. Lord of the flies is a translation of a Hebrew name for Satan, Beelzebub. In the novel, William Golding portrays the boys’ descent from civilization to savagery through the following symbols: the conch shell, Piggy’s glasses, and the Lord of the Flies....   [tags: lord of the flies]666 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays[preview]
Essay about Use of Tone in Literature - For example, if the events that took place in The Things They Carried were described in a newspaper, we might understand what happened, who died, and what was statistically important, but we probably wouldn't be told why certain things happened, how people felt about these things, and what emotional toll the the soldiers endured. In this particular story, tone acts as spot light which illuminates the informational aspects of the literature. In other words, due to the casual and personal tone of this particular story, certain things must be said; we the reader must be privy to certain thoughts and feelings of the characters in the story; this information is neither granted to us, or expected...   [tags: Literary Analysis]865 words
(2.5 pages)
Good Essays[preview]
Essay about Use of Critical Thinking in Education - Many different meanings come to mind when I hear the words critical thinking. “No single definition of critical thinking is widely accepted”, is what Jane S. Halonen wrote in a scholar article. When teachers are asked what their meaning of critical thinking is they have many diferent answers. “As teachers, we often presume that we know what is meant by critical thinking.” A quote by Jane S. Halonen in the article, Demystifying Critical Thinking. Also McPeck (1981) suggested that the phrase "critical thinking" is paradoxically both "overworked and under-analyzed"....   [tags: Critical Thinking Essays]949 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Use of Symbolism in Golding's Lord of the Flies Essay example - Use of Symbolism in Golding's Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies, a suggestive name for the Devil, a devil whose name proposes that he is devoted to decay, destruction, demoralization and panic, exactly what William Golding had in mind when using symbolism in this novel. The Lord of the Flies (1954), is a novel in which interpretating the symbols are a main key to not only understanding, but also enjoying the novel. After tying many of the symbols together, you can figure out more about what the author is trying to depict, the overall scene....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]1323 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
The Use of Symbolism in Golding's Lord of the Flies Essay - The Use of Symbolism in Golding's Lord of the Flies   "His head opened and stuff came out and turned red. Piggy's arms and legs twitched a bit like a pig after it has been killed" (217). This is what can happen to someone when all signs of civilization, order and power disappear and have no more meaning to members of a group or society. In the writing of William Golding's Lord of the Flies (1954), the symbol of power and civilization is the conch. Once that is lost, all bets are off. When the novel begins, two boys are talking about what has happened and why they are on this island....   [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
979 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Use of Allegory and Symbols in William Goldging's Lord of the Flies Essay - Use of Allegory and Symbols in William Goldging's Lord of the Flies           William Golding's Lord of the Flies allegorically shows the good and evil that co-exists in every human being.  Each character and symbol renders this possible by what it represents.  Ralph and Jack allegorically represent opposing political forces: Jack as the dictator or fascist and Ralph as the prototype of a democratic leader.  The island represents the archetypal garden and the conch shell represents power.  Golding uses British schoolboys to show progressive degeneration and to prove that a little bit of evil exists in all of us.  Each of these symbols aid in proving that we all have some evil in our hearts...   [tags: Lord Flies Essays William Golding Papers]1337 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays[preview]
Roethkes Use of Tone Essay - Roethke's Use of Tone      Childhood experiences seem to be the ones that are recollected most vividly throughout a person's life. Almost everyone can remember some aspect of his or her childhood experiences, pleasant and unpleasant alike. Theodore Roethke's poem "My Papa's Waltz" suggests even further that this concept could be true. The dance described in this poem illustrates an interaction between father and child that contains more than the expected joyous, loving attitude between the two characters....   [tags: My Papa's Waltz Poems Poetry Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1300 words
(3.7 pages)
Better Essays[preview]

Related Searches

Use Of Tone         Critical Analysis         Use Of Diction         Novel Lord         Good Person         Syntax         Faults         Atrocities         Deals        




Although Golding's language is informal, perhaps even colloquial and at times utterly simple, he is capable of carrying the reader to his pink coral island and to the little boys and their losing battle against evil.

The use of imagery in this literary masterpiece is gripping. As described in the previous paragraph the use of specific words only thrusts the reader into a world of evil children and their capacity to do malfeasance. Golding uses imagery to describe the scenery and the setting. A good example occurs in the first passage where Golding writes, “there was a strip of weed-strewn beach that was almost as firm as a road. A kind of glamour was spread over them and the scene and they were conscious of the glamour and made happy by it.” [Page 25] This creates a vivid world for the reader, now a viewer, to be immersed in. It no longer becomes a book, but instead a movie playing within the reader’s head. The frightening description of the boy’s first exposure to the island is mastered with sentences conveying the underlying evil. For example Jack “stood there among the skull-like coconuts” [Page 10] and the island was “torn everywhere by the upheavals of fallen trees, scattered with decaying coconuts.” Once again the imagery plunges the reader into a world of death and degeneration, much like the boy’s sense of morals and civility. Also Golding uses the imagery to personify things in order to make them even more evil then they already are, “the heart of flame leapt nimbly across” [Page 44] and “the smoke increased, sifted, rolled outwards…eating downwards” [Page 44] “the fire growled at them.” [Page 45] In that instance Golding personified the inherently baneful fire to create an even more corrupt character to plague the boys like a normal fire never could. The passage preceding and the one about the “Lord of the Flies” also uses imagery to convey the evil on the island. “The head remained there, dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackened between the teeth.” [Page 137] and the forest is even described as a minion of the devil as well because “for a moment or two the forest and all the other dimly appreciated places echoed with the parody of laughter.” [Page 143]. This tool of literature was used to its fullest extent in order to further Golding’s theme of man’s inherently evil nature.

Golding’s attention to detail is well done, not an item or character goes by without first being elaborated and painstakingly perfected in every way. Golding conveys his theme by using detail to slide in words and phrases that lend themselves to the evil side of the spectrum. As illustrated in the above paragraphs Golding describes coconuts as “skulls” and personifies fire giving it a heart and the ability to growl at the young boys. The long description of the “beast” on pages 95 and 96 shows how keenly all the minutiae are described. Golding also pays a great attention to detail when he describes the murder and death of the different animals on the island, including Simon and Piggy.
On page 135 the vivid, sickening scene is described as Jack and his hunters “hurled themselves at her” [Page 135] and the whole passage just comes alive with the sickening heat of that sticky summer day. His attention to detail helps bring forward and into the light his assumption about the inherently sadistic and nefarious nature of man; his details bring the reader into a world of sick depravity and horror and truly convey the sick world in which a man without society lives.

The final tool in Golding’s tool belt is syntax. Most of the sentences in The Lord of the Flies are simple. There are sentences that are complex and the occasional compound sentence. Most characters speak simply and clearly. Often, they speak fragments and string together fragments. All the speech is written as if it were truly spoken by a middle-aged British or english boy. Throughout the book though Golding’s syntax changes depending upon the mood and feeling of a certain passage. As seen in the following passage, the narrator transmits Ralph’s thoughts which are in third person:
"Break the line.
A tree.
Hide, and let them pass.
...
Hide was better than a tree because you had a chance of breaking the line if you were discovered.
Hide, then."

[Page 217]. This pulls the reader in and enables him to feel Ralph’s fear. This also creates tension, the short choppy sentences convey the mixed thoughts and intense feelings bombarding Ralph. Also Golding uses longer, more detailed sentences to describe and elaborate on less important issues. Strange how the more important things are given shorter choppier sentences while more trivial things get a larger amount of pages.

Golding has presented many wonderful examples in which he uses one of the four tools at his discretion to convey his idea that man is inherently evil and when left to his own devices will kill and be evil. Golding’s idea is that society keeps mankind in check and without it man will revert to his natural, inherently evil self. By looking at the use of the tone, the theme is apparent, a cheerless, sardonic tone to conveys the inherently evil nature of man and man’s role within society.



An adventure novel

One particular genre of fiction is the adventure story, often set on a deserted island and featuring people being brave and resourceful, living a carefree existence and overcoming any obstacles. These books such as Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island were extremely popular with young readers.

When writing Lord of the Flies, Golding was thinking of one such book in particular. The Coral Island by RM Ballantyne was written a century before Golding's book and features three shipwrecked boys called Ralph, Jack and Peterkin. Together, and with no help from adults, they construct shelters, find food, defeat pirates and generally have a great time while remaining friendly and supportive to each other. As a teacher of young boys, Golding found all this hard to believe and set out to turn this sort of fiction on its head.

An allegory

An allegory is a narrative which has a symbolic and deeper level of meaning. Characters, setting, objects and colours, as well as having a place in the story, also stand for or represent other bigger ideas. So in Lord of the Flies:

  • Ralph represents civilisation, order and democracy
  • Jack stands for savagery, disorder and dictatorship
  • Piggy symbolises rational scientific thought
  • Simon represents human morality and goodness
  • the island setting is a microcosm of the wider world

An allegory can be seen as a very long extended metaphor. The symbolic meaning of an allegory is often political (eg George Orwell's Animal Farm) or religious (eg CS Lewis' Narnia books); Lord of the Flies is both.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *