Evil Through Imagery It has been said for a long time that the only thing to fear is fear itself. It is easy to see that the boys become subject to their own illogical fears. In Lord of the Flies, by William Gilding, Imagery Is used to describe the Island and the characters themselves In dark and mysterious ways. Imagery Is also used as a way for the boys to create the beast and make it external as well as internal. There are several instances in the novel where people are described using ominous language. When Jack and his choir are seen for the first time they are scribed as a ;creature… Room throat to ankle, hidden by black cloaks” (19). The choir’s first Impression suggests that their purpose In the novel Is antagonistic In nature. Gilding’s imagery automatically Identifies the characters In story that are associated with the more evil aspects of human nature such as fear and violence. Later in the novel, it seems that the older boys only become worse, with fear growing in them like an uncontrollable weed. It is noticeable when Jack starts disguising himself “[looking] in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger… He face of red and white and black” (63-64).
In his slow submission to fear, Jack Is becoming another person entirely from the boy who Initially crashed on the island and It Is shown literally here by him painting his face and changing his identity. The fear created on the island, in the form of the beast, is exposing Jack for what he really is, which is demonic and wicked in nature. Gilding uses imagery often to describe the malicious intent of characters throughout the novel, but he does not only describe characters in this way. The island on which the boys are stranded on Is meticulously described in the kook and most of the words used to Illustrate It are grim at best.
When Gilding describes where Piggy and Ralph first find themselves, he describes the ground as “covered with coarse grass, torn everywhere by upheavals of fallen trees, scattered with decaying coconuts and palm saplings. Behind this was the darkness of the forest proper and the open space of the scar. ” (9-10). Already, the island, though it has done no wrong, is becoming a canvas on which Gilding can paint his picture of doom and despair. Small things, such as this, are described assiduously through the inure novel.
This Is used to give perspective and show cause to why the boys do what they do, among a variety of other things, the boys are reacting to their environment which is portrayed with no less than a vulgar light. When the boys go on their first expedition, which results in them pushing a boulder over, “the forest further down shook as with the passage of an enraged monster” (28). Gilding describes the devastation of the forest like this with a purpose, he is alluding to the fear that later controls the boys, or the beast. The disturbance of the peace from the the scar.
Simple items on the island are portrayed much more villainous than they actually are for the purpose of showing what the boys have done to the island by corrupting it’s innocence and peace with their naturally wicked human nature. The author makes use of both the image of characters and the setting of the island to show that humanity can turn anything into something foul, even a beautiful and untouched island. The imagery does not stop with the island and the characters,
There was something moving behind its head-?wings. The beast moved too-? That was awful. It kind of sat up… There were eyes-? Teeth-? Claws-?” (100). At this point in the novel, rational thinking has become scarce and is only really found in Piggy and Simon. Sam and Eric truly believe in what they saw and their grisly description only acts as a catalyst for the other boys descent into madness from the fear. Since Simon is not effected by the illusion of the beast, he understands that the beast is not real but the Lord of the Flies corrects him “Fancy hinging that the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!…
You knew didn’t you? ” (143-144). Gilding’s imagery brought to life a character that is really Just the embodiment of the horror and destructiveness in the boys, revealing what the authors true beliefs about human nature are. Though, he does not seem to think that man kind is entirely uncontrollable. Simon is used as a beacon of hope and good intention. Simony’s death is also very unique, using light imagery to state how Simon was the only light in the darkness all along. Towards the end of the novel, the beast comes very real, more than Just a figment of the boys wildest and darkest fears.
In conclusion, imagery describes human kind’s nature through the characters, the island, and of course the beast or fear in the boys. The scary images used in the novel make it very easy to see why the boys went against each other in the end, proving that humanity is it’s own worst enemy. Overall, the author’s opinion about human nature influenced every facet of the novel and how it was written, but of course the most obvious expression of Gilding’s opinion is seen in the imagery.