Lord of the flies is an extremely psychologically involved novel that forces the reader to constantly think. It plays mind games and displays some frankly blunt ideas. It provokes thought by constantly alluding to the thematic side of the novel. Golding uses the island to show the evil in man, that society holds everyone together, and that man learns nothing from his mistakes. We are made to think about man himself. The boys that enter the island are perfectly normal, they are not evil or bad in any way. On the island all rules of society are removed and in many of the boys something starts to grow.
Golding tries to portray the growth of evil within the boys and uses them to suggest that possibly this evil lies in all men. Perfectly normal boys become complete savages within weeks “Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in! ” There is no evil influence upon the island except for a “beastie” which is used by the boys as an excuse for everything, but is shown to the reader to be little more than the evil inside all of them … “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? “. Society holds everyone together and without these conditions, ideals, and values, the basics of right and wrong are lost.
Golding creates a society by using the boys to display the different characters within it. Each of the boys adopt certain characteristics and each begin to fill different roles. The society however is weak and as soon as cracks begin to appear it falls apart. He shows that if the thin ‘veneer’ of law and order in society is removed then the forces of evil become all too dominant. Ralph represents a sensible leader and when his influence diminishes, along with that of Piggy who represents the intelligent aspect of society, life on the island goes downhill.
Without this influence of society the boys become mere savages. The boys represent the simple fact that man learns nothing from his mistakes. The boys enter an island of complete paradise “Fruit and flower grew together on the same tree and everywhere was the scent of ripeness and the booming of a million bees at pasture. ” They came to be here by accident whilst fleeing a world destroyed by nuclear warfare, a world that man had destroyed. Right from the start the boys begin to destroy this paradise, they scar it, they dislodge boulders, they burn it.
Golding shows that even the utter destruction of a world still will not teach man to look after his environment. He makes us think about everyday life and shows us how blind man can be, that we can destroy paradise. Golding produces horrifying ideas and concepts about modern society. He shows us just how evil man can be and suggests that this evil is not far beneath the surface of every man. We the readers are made to contemplate the realities within this novel and think about ourselves as a member of modern society.