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Lord of the Flies
One of the greatest emotions that controls the way any person thinks in certain situations, especially in Lord Of The Flies, is fear. The fact that except Jack, all of the boys are younger than thirteen, greatly affects the amount of fear that controlled them. From the very first chapter, until the last, fear plays an important role in this text. It is the only thing, which stops the boys from acting rational at times, from questioning curious circumstances and it physically hindered so many of the boys, so many times. The active role of fear in Lord of the Flies, was intentionally used by Golding, because he knew what images it would create. Fear is the only thing that stopped the boys from going into the darkness. Literally and also symbolically.
All of the boys on the island, are still of quite a young age. Generally associated with such ages, are night-mares and the infamous “boogey-monster” These things, are enough to frighten any kid of youth, but now they are on an island, a new place, where they are not cared for anymore. It is quite understandable that the first mention of a “snake-thing” or “beastie”, be dismissed by the elder boys, as a nightmare. Even the names echo a childish ring. However, the other little boys, do not dismiss it. Already, by the second chapter, fear has worked its way into their society.
“He say’s the beastie came in the dark” (about a littilun)
“But I tell you there isn’t a beast!” (Ralph)
From this moment on, the smallest of the boys, begin to have bad dreams and are scared to go near the jungle. In this sense, the jungle represents the darkness, because it is an unknown place, with little light, where there is the possibility of infinite horrors, including death. Around the jungle, is the fear. If the boys were to walk on the beach, they might somehow forget about the beastie, but the moment they come to the jungle entrance, the fear attacks them. It nibbles at their mind, and increases their imagination of what is beyond the darkness. Several examples are in the book, for instance, none of the little boys want to go near the jungle to gather dry wood, so they settle for wet, rotting wood instead. The fear acts as a barrier, in some cases for their own good, protecting them from straying into the forest.
Symbolically, fear plays another great part. In the first chapter, Jack tries to kill a pig, but he can’t. This can be attributed that he is afraid, thus fears what will happen. It is a different type of fear, a fear of the consequences. Eventually, his, physical being, overrides that of his mind, and the next time he is faced with a pig, he easily kills it. Here, the pig represented what he feared, and so the killing of the pig, represents the knocking down of the wall, and the ability to walk into the darkness, without fear. From that moment on, his personality, seems to get darker and darker, like going deeper and deeper into the forest. It is quite clear, from the assembly scene in chapter five, that Jack doesn’t fear the beast. So, from this moment on, Jack is free to travel in and out of the darkness, because there is no wall, no barrier to stop him.
Later in the novel, Jack helps his hunters and the boys who chose to join his group to forget fearing anything. So here, he helped knock down that exact wall, which makes them fear things, but also stops the movement into darkness. This is shown, in the scenes of both Piggy and Simon’s deaths. Also, in the final chapter, where Ralph is being hunted and chased.
Lord of the Flies, traces the height of the walls of fear, in each character. Some, like the littiluns, are so effected by fear, that they are afraid to do anything. Some, like samneric, have their levels of fear which constantly change. Then there is Jack, who discovers how to demolish any fear he has, and finally people like Piggy and Ralph, who fear the darkness, but aren’t intimidated by it. I believe that fear is
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