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The Use of Allegories in Lord of the Flies

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Essay title: The Use of Allegories in Lord of the Flies

The Use of Allegories in "Lord of the Flies"

Summary: Essay describes the use of allegories in "The Lord of the Flies."


Microcosm, as defined by the Encarta World English Dictionary, is a miniature copy of something, especially when it represents or stands for a larger whole. Microcosms are used in many works of literature. A prime example of this is in the book Animal Farm by George Orwell, in which a group of farm animals is used to symbolize the idea of communism. In this book the animals symbolized people and groups of people in their bid for power. A word regularly associated with microcosm is allegory which, also defined by the Encarta World English Dictionary, is a work in which the characters and events are to be understood as representing other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning. Though microcosm and allegory are almost identical, microcosms are usually associated with a larger picture, for example the way a group of friends acts could be a microcosm of World War II because they show the many aspects of the war in there arguments or friendships, also a microcosm usually does not go into large amounts of profundity and usually stays with general topics and does not, usually go into much depth. While an allegory goes into more detail, for example an argument representing a battle, and the death of an individual representing the death of another person, or people. One well known book, known for its use of microcosm and allegory, is Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Set around World War II, Lord of the Flies is the story of a group of boys that gets stranded on an island and is forced to form their own form of government. Using the allegory between his book and the real world Golding is able to talk about his opinions about good and evil. In the book Lord of The Flies, Golding uses the island and its many characters to form an allegory of society during that time period, World War Two, and is also able to portray his thoughts and opinions on good and evil.

Throughout the book, Golding uses events on the island to parallel the events of the world at that time, just on a smaller scale. Even before the book begins, Jack had gained the respect of his subordinates and had them believe solely in him. This is shown when the boys are making elections, to see who should be chief " 'All Right. Who wants Jack for Chief"' with...obedience the choir raised their hands" (22). This shows just how loyal to the cause of Jack the choir truly are. Similarly, Hitler consolidated his forces in Germany and laid a solid foundation to his rise to power. This gave both Jack and Hitler a solid foundation to start and wage a private war against the world. " The boy who controlled them was dressed in the same way though his cap badge was golden" (19). This enforces the fact that Jack is the leader of the small choir much like Hitler was the leader of his small regime. But there was one major difference: Hitler was able to recruit people, who were not initially his supporters, for his cause with extreme ease, while on the other hand Jack has a problem recruiting people at the beginning. But near the end of the book, he is able to sway the minds of many boys and bring them to his side, which is seen at the feast hosted by Jack near the end of the book, " 'Who'll join my tribe"' ' I will.' 'Me.' 'I will.'(139). This shows just how powerful Jack has become and his ability at getting people to go with what he says, and in some cases to go against the ideas they formerly held.

The book begins as Ralph and Piggy meet each other and call together the other boys who might have survived the plane crash. The boys elect Ralph leader, and he attempts to establish a rational plan for their survival, much as the League of Nations was formed after World War I in hopes of establishing a forum for nations to conduct business without resorting to war. This first group of countries were considered the founding father of the League of Nations and, "Even While he [Ralph] blew, Ralph noticed the last pair of bodies that reached the platform"(19). This symbolizes the last of the members that initially join the group, or the end of countries entering the League when it was first founded. But like all leagues members come and go over time.

One of the many countries that joined the League of Nations after the first call for countries was Germany, headed at that time by Hitler, who had just recently been elected. "We're having a meeting. Come and join in"(20). This shows how willing the League of Nations or the starting boys, Piggy and Ralph, were to have Jack (Hitler) join them, and this

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