Lord of the Flies - Significant Events

417 Words2 Pages
Choose two events in Lord of the Flies which you consider to be important. Write about the significance of these events and how Golding presents them. There are many significant events in the novel Lord of the Flies, but two that are particularity monumental are the election of the leader (Ralph) and the murder of Simon by the savage boys. The novel opens with the reader understanding that the boys are marooned on a remote island and that they have no adults to supervise or direct them. Cleverly, Golding alerts the reader to the boys need for authority and direction through the character of Piggy. In chapter one Piggy implores Ralph to use the conch to ‘call the others’ (p.12) and ‘do something’ (p.10), expressing his desire to have a clear set of rules and an authority figure to lead the boys forward and take action. From a new historicist perspective, the election of Ralph as the leader suggests that a leader, although democratically elected, can be elected not based on merit alone, but also on the status the person holds within society. Ralph is elected leader as the boys are drawn to ‘his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, […] the conch’ (p.19) After using the conch to call the boys to meeting, Ralph holds onto the conch and uses it to control the boys, holding it ‘up for silence’ (p.20) Golding subtly uses the conch as a symbol of the association of wealth with power. Whilst the boys don’t have money or goods to trade, they do have the conch, and the boy who owns the conch is the boy who is wealthiest on the island, and therefore the boy who is able to control the other boys. The fact that Piggy ‘what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy’ (p.18-9) seems to be unimportant to the boys, suggesting that intelligence is not the winning factor in electing a leader. Golding carefully selects Ralph as the
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