Justify the title of the novel Lord of the Flies

Question: Justify the title of the novel Lord of the Flies.


Lord of the Flies (1954) is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning (1983) British author William Golding (1911-1993). Golding uses the title both literally and figuratively because the pig’s head is cut off in the novel and it attracts a lot of flies as the boys keep it, but the way the boys behave is symbolic.

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Allegorical title

The title of the novel “Lord of the Flies” is allegorical. The original title of the novel is “The Strangeness within”. The title refers to Beelzebub, the ancient name of the devil or Satan. It translates to the lord of the flies. The Lord of Flies in the novel makes it clear that he has symbolized Satan or evil in every human being. Looks like Golding chose this title as a representation of human evil. The title Lord of the Flies is a metaphorical way of explaining the plot in a short text.

The actual Lord of the Flies

The real Lord of Flies is the head of a pig that is rotten and placed on a stick. This distinguishes the strength of the Crazy boys from the Sana boys. We also see the end of the chapter “A gift for darkness” in where Simon speaking to the pig’s head who called himself “The Lord of the Flies”. In this scene the lord of the flies says;

“There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me, and I’m the Beast.”

He also says,

“Fancy thinking that the beast was something you could hunt and kill”

Finally, we can say that the lord of the flies is real or symbolic it exists in all human beings.

The title associated with the theme

Lord of the flies the title of Golding’s novel is connected with the central theme of the book. This novel deals with the theme of evil and the conflict between good and evil. Evil seems to be more powerful than evil in this novel, although Golding himself says that the novel is not the rescue of evil from evil, but the rescue of evil from the clutches of evil.

The island resembles a paradise

In the opening chapter, the island on which the boys are marooned is presented as a kind of paradise. Ralph and Jack both discover a certain glamor and certain magic on the island, but over time they fall into a quarrel over leadership and control. Innocent Simon, the image of Christ, and Piggy were killed during the leadership conflict. Now in danger, Ralph only survived because a British naval officer arrived on the island just in time. Thus, the island, which was originally a paradise, ended up in horrific destruction.

“This is our island, it’s a good island. Until the grown-ups come to fetch us. We’ll have fun.”

Simon’s hallucination

Simon felt deeply when he saw the Lord of Flies shaking at him. He then calls Simon a stupid little boy and warns him to get away from the place and join the other boys. The lord of flies says that the beast is not something that can be killed by boys. The lord of flies further says that he is part of others. This view is confirmed by observing Jack’s activities as an opponent of Ralph. The symbolic encounter between good and evil occurs to the everyman. The Lord of the Flies says;

“You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you?

Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? why things are what they are?”

The symbolic significance of characters: When we go through the book, we see that Ralph, Piggy, and Simon represent the good sides of human nature. On the other hand, Jack and Roger, and his followers represent the dark side of human nature. In this novel, Ralph is the leader chosen by the children who present democracy, law, and order. Jack always wants to be a leader and finally, he is successful that represents savagery, autocracy, and barbarism.

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Finally, we can say that the title Lord of the Flies does appear within the story and this story holds the message about the evil that exists within us and evil destroys happiness, the lives of others, and primarily what is corrupting the world. So, the title Lord of the Flies chosen by the author is properly justified.

S Ridoy Kumar
S Ridoy Kumar
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