89 Lord of the Flies Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

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  • Ralph’s character development in “Lord of the Flies.”
  • The main theme in “Lord of the Flies.”
  • The success of William Golding’s debut novel.
  • “Lord of the Flies”: a discussion of innocence and power.
  • The role of the conch in “Lord of the Flies.”
  • Civilization vs. savagery in “Lord of the Flies.”
  • William Golding’s commentary on human nature and evil.
  • The symbolism of fear in “Lord of the Flies.”
  • A literary analysis of “Lord of the Flies.”
  • “Lord of the Flies”: a summary of events.
  • Evil in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding The idea is that we are born with both the capacity of good and the capacity of evil and that the way we are raised, or the environment in which we live determines how we […]
  • “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding The reader will wonder that all the boys respond in the same manner to the sound of the blown shell. The author uses aesthetics to drive emotions out of the reader about the value of […]
  • Symbolism in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding In The Lord of the Flies, the fire in the story is lit as a symbol of hope and rescue. The island in The Lord Of The Flies resembled the perfect type of Utopia at […]
  • Lord of the Flies, an Allegorical Novel by William Golding As the auction proceeds, the reader follows the heartbreaking events of the book. Boys hunt down a pig and place its head on a stick as an ‘offering’ to the ‘beast’.
  • Literature Studies: “Lord of the Flies” by W. Golding Although Jack Merridew, one of the lead characters of William Golding’s shockingly unforgettable Lord of the Flies novel, is a child and still has a lot to learn in terms of how society works, the […]
  • Writing on the Novel I Love: Lord of the Flies In a given Lord of the Flies essay, one needs to illustrate the different themes used by Golding in his novel.
  • Lord of the Flies: Novel Analysis The sinister nature of the novel is inferred in the title which derives from the Hebrew word, Ba’al-zvuv which means god of the fly, host of the fly or literally the Lord of Flies a […]
  • Human Nature in “Lord of the Flies” by Golding Considering this, the present paper will analyze the validity of the given statement by drawing on the experiences of characters in Lord of the Flies and evaluating the conditions in which they lived.
  • A Comprehensive Analysis of the Key Elements of “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • The Role of Simon in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Literary Comparison of Ballantyne’s “Coral Island” and Golding’s Island in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Attitude Towards Children in the Story “Lord of the Flies”
  • Jack as a Symbol of Savagery and Anarchy in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • A Description of the Potential for Evil in Everyone as One of the Theme in the Novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Evil in Humanity in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Savagery and the Beast Theme in “Lord of the Flies”
  • The Fall of Civilization Into Savagery in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • An Allegory of Sigmund Freud’s Psychoanalysis Theory in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • A Literary Analysis of the Symbolism in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • A Comparison Between the Movie and Novel “Lord of the Flies”
  • Abuse of Power and the Effect of Tyrannical Leadership Between “Lord of the Flies” and “The Chrysalids”
  • Fear of the Unknown in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • A Comparison of “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding and “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles on Peer Pressure
  • Internal and External Conflicts in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Importance of the Extract in the Development of the Main Themes in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Destructiveness of Jealousy Depicted in “Lord of the Flies” and “Woman Warrior”
  • A Demonstration of the Influence and Power of People Over One Another Through the Character of Piggy in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • A Character of Piggy as the Character Who Most Deserved to Be Saved in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • The Role of Government in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Moral Consequences in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • The Symbolism of Power in “Lord of the Flies”
  • An Analysis of Human Behavior in “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “Lord of the Flies”
  • Changes in the Conception of God in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Inate Evil in “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and “Lord of the Flies”
  • A Look at Disturbing Events Highlighted in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • Allegory of Social Dissolution “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Ralph as a Good Leader in “Lord of the Flies”
  • An Analysis of Democratic and Authoritarian Power in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Leaders and Leadership in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Golding’s Pessimistic View on People and Society in His Book “Lord of the Flies”
  • Analyzing the Themes of Innocence and Fear in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • A Description of the Occurrence of Civilization in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Importance of the Beast in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”: A Dream of a Deserted Island Into Reality
  • Adventures, Conflicts, and Struggles in “Lord of the Flies”
  • Good and Evil in Human Nature in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
  • Failure of Paradise in Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • Immorality of Human Nature Depicted in Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
  • Formation of Rules and Perception of Civilisation in “Lord of the Flies”
  • How Golding Presents the Decline From Civilisation to Savagery in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • What Does Piggy Symbolize in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does the Second World War Reflect on “Lord of the Flies”?
  • What Ideas About Human Nature and Behavior Golding Was Trying to Express in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • What Does the Plane Crash Symbolize in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does William Golding Present the Character of Jack in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does Golding Express His Ideas About Leadership in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does Roger Change in “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding?
  • How the Society Suppresses Evil in the Novel “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does Golding Create a Setting in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does the Author Present Human Nature in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does William Golding Show Evil at Work in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Anybody Could Regress Into Savagery in Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Is the Author’s Characterisation and Language Attributed to the Novel of the “Lord of the Flies”?
  • Why Did William Golding Name His Novel “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does Golding Present Death in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does the Setting Affect the Story “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Children Are Treated in the Story of “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does Golding Make the Physical World Seem Important in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • What Is Ralph’s Attitude Toward Piggy in the First Chapter of “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Many Boys Are in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Golding Creates Tension in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does the Opening Prepare the Reader for the Rest of the Novel “Lord of the Flies”?
  • Why the Boys Were Doomed to Fail in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • What Influenced William Golding to Write “Lord of the Flies”?
  • Ways That Golding Presents the Island in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Golding Uses Symbols in “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does William Golding Use the Setting to Develop the Main Theme of His Novel “Lord of the Flies”?
  • How Does Piggy’s Character Develop Through Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”?
  • What Ruined Ralph and Jack’s Friendship in “Lord of the Flies”?
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Lord of the Flies

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A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapters 1-2

Chapters 3-5

Chapters 6-7

Chapters 8-9

Chapters 10-11

Character Analysis

Symbols & Motifs

Important Quotes

Essay Topics

Discussion Questions

Compare/contrast what happensin “normal” society with what happens on the island. Is the society that the boys make more similar or different than the society you know?

Why are there no girls on the island? Do you think that having both genders represented would alter how the boys treat one another?

Why does the “Lord of the Flies” (138)—the pig’s head—tell Simon he is in danger? How does this scene relate to the novel’s title?

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  • Lord of the Flies

William Golding

  • Literature Notes
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  • Book Summary
  • About Lord of the Flies
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  • Summary and Analysis
  • Character Analysis
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  • William Golding Biography
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  • Concept, Identity, and Manifestations of the Beast
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Critical Essays Major Themes

Problem of Evil

Lord of the Flies was driven by " Golding 's consideration of human evil, a complex topic that involves an examination not only of human nature but also the causes, effects, and manifestations of evil. It demands also a close observation of the methods or ideologies humankind uses to combat evil and whether those methods are effective. Golding addresses these topics through the intricate allegory of his novel.

When Lord of the Flies was first released in 1954, Golding described the novel's theme in a publicity questionnaire as "an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature." In his 1982 essay A Moving Target , he stated simply "The theme of Lord of the Flies is grief, sheer grief, grief, grief." The novel ends of course with Ralph grieving the indelible mark of evil in each person's heart, an evil he scarcely suspected existed before witnessing its effects on his friends and supporters. The former schoolboys sought unthinkingly to dominate others who were not of their group. They discovered within themselves the urge to inflict pain and enjoyed the accompanying rush of power. When confronted with a choice between reason's civilizing influence and animality's self-indulgent savagery, they choose to abandon the values of the civilization that Ralph represents.

This same choice is made constantly all over the world, all throughout history — the source of the grief Golding sought to convey. He places supposedly innocent schoolboys in the protected environment of an uninhabited tropical island to illustrate the point that savagery is not confined to certain people in particular environments but exists in everyone as a stain on, if not a dominator of, the nobler side of human nature. Golding depicts the smallest boys acting out, in innocence, the same cruel desire for mastery shown by Jack and his tribe while hunting pigs and, later, Ralph. The adults waging the war that marooned the boys on the island are also enacting the desire to rule others.

Ironically, by giving rein to their urge to dominate, the boys find themselves in the grip of a force they can neither understand nor acknowledge. The Lord of the Flies tells Simon "Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!" and then laughs at the boys' efforts to externalize their savagery in the form of an animal or other fearsome creature. Simon has the revelation that evil isn't simply a component of human nature, but an active element that seeks expression.

Outlets for Violence

Most societies set up mechanisms to channel aggressive impulses into productive enterprises or projects. On the island, Jack's hunters are successful in providing meat for the group because they tap into their innate ability to commit violence. To the extent that this violence is a reasoned response to the group's needs (for example, to feed for the population), it produces positive effects and outcomes. However, when the violence becomes the motivator and the desired outcome lacks social or moral value beyond itself, as it does with the hunters, at that point the violence becomes evil, savage, and diabolical.

Violence continues to exist in modern society and is institutionalized in the military and politics. Golding develops this theme by having his characters establish a democratic assembly, which is greatly affected by the verbal violence of Jack's power-plays, and an army of hunters, which ultimately forms a small military dictatorship. The boys' assemblies are likened to both ends of the social or civil spectrum, from pre-verbal tribe gatherings to modern governmental institutions, indicating that while the forum for politics has changed over the millennia, the dynamic remains the same.

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Lord of the Flies

By william golding, lord of the flies essay questions.

In his introduction to William Golding's novel, novelist E.M. Forster suggests that Golding's writing "lays a solid foundation for the horrors to come." Using Forster's quote as a starting point, discuss how the novel foreshadows the murders of Simon and Piggy. Focus on two events or images from the novel's earlier chapters and describe how they anticipate the novel's tragic outcome.

Answer: The weather on the island grows increasingly more hostile and ominous as the novel's plot unfolds, Piggy's name suggests that he will be killed like an animal, and so on.

Many critics have read Lord of the Flies as a political allegory. In particular, they have considered the novel a commentary on the essential opposition between totalitarianism and liberal democracy. Using two or three concrete examples from the novel, show how the two political ideologies are figured in the novel, and then discuss which of the two you think Golding seems to favor.

Answer: The contrast between Ralph's group on the beach and Jack's tribe at Castle Rock represents the opposition between liberal democracy and totalitarianism. Golding presents the former as the superior system, demonstrated by the success of the assembly among Jack's group of boys and the ordered system that prioritizes the ongoing signal fire on the mountain, tactics that ensure the welfare of the entire group. Note, though, what happens in both groups over time.

Names and naming are important in Lord of the Flies. Many characters have names that allude to other works of literature, give insight into their character, or foreshadow key events. Discuss the significance of the names of, for instance, Sam and Eric, Piggy, and Simon. What does the character's name say about him and his significance? Use external sources as necessary.

Answer: Piggy's name, for example, indicates his inferior position within the social hierarchy of the island and foreshadows his eventual death at the hands of Jack's tribe. Simon was the name of Peter in the Bible. Jack might be named after John Marcher in Henry James's story The Beast in the Jungle , and so on.

Two major symbols in the novel are the conch shell and The Lord of the Flies (the pig's head on a stick). Analyze one or both of these symbols in terms of how they are perceived by the boys as well as what they symbolize for the reader.

Answer: The conch shell represents liberal democracy and order, as endorsed by Ralph and Piggy. The Lord of the Flies tends to represent an autocratic or a primitive order. Note the "exchange" of these objects at the novel's conclusion when the conch is smashed in Jack's camp and Ralph uses part of the Lord of the Flies as a weapon.

The children stranded on the island are all boys, and female characters are rarely discussed. How does this matter for the novel?

Answer: Gender difference is not explicitly discussed or represented in the novel, although femininity is symbolically present in the novel's representations of nature. Some of the male characters are "feminized" by the other boys when they are considered un-masculine or vulnerable. In a boys' choir, many boys have high voices that can sing parts normally reserved for females. It is unclear whether Jack's tribe would have become so violent (and nearly naked) if girls of the same age were on the island.

At the end of Chapter Eleven, Roger pushes Jack aside to descend on the bound twins "as one who wielded a nameless authority." Focusing on this quotation, discuss Roger's actions in Chapter Eleven in relation to Jack's power and political system.

Answer: Roger's actions towards the twins are unauthorized by Jack, indicating that Jack's own authority is under threat. Golding hints at a shift in the power system among Jack's tribe, which highlights the inherent flaws in Jack's system of military dictatorship.

Jack gains power over many of the boys by exploiting their fear of the mythical beast. How does Jack manipulate the myth of the beast to legitimize his authority?

Answer: Jack exploits the boys' fear of the beast to usurp leadership from Ralph, who stresses a rational approach to the presumed evil presence on the island. Within Jack's tribe, the beast continues to have a powerful symbolic and political significance among the boys, uniting them and ensuring their loyalty to Jack's leadership. When Jack first attempts to break away from Ralph's tribe, his authority is not recognized, but as the boys' fear of the beast increases, an increasing number defect from Ralph's group to Jack's, where the existence of the beast is not only acknowledged but is a central fact of day-to-day life.

By Chapter Three, the boys are divided into two groups: the older boys and the younger boys or "littluns." What role do the littluns have to play?

Answer: Consider especially the distinction between savagery and civilization.

What happens with the "littluns" registers the increasing brutality on the island. The earliest examples of violence in the novel are directed against the littluns, acts that foreshadow the violent events of later chapters. Moreover, characters who are kind to the littluns tend to remain most closely associated with civilization throughout the novel.

The novel's narrative action draws an increasingly firm line between savagery and civilization, yet the value of each becomes an issue in the conclusion, when Jack's fire saves the boys. Using these terms, what is the novel suggesting about human nature, evil, and human civilization?

Answer: The naval officer is a military figure, which reminds the reader that "civilized" societies also engage in violence and murder. Evil seems to be a force that threatens human nature and human civilization--from within. Still, evil is associated primarily with savagery and the worse part of our natures.

How does the novel reflect the Cold War and the public's concerns about the conflict between democracy and communism? Does the novel take a side? (Remember to cite all of your research sources in your bibliography.)

Answer: The Cold War was primarily between the democratic U.S. and its allies on the one hand, and the communist U.S.S.R. and its allies on the other hand. The initial events of the novel, following a group of boys in the aftermath of a terrible nuclear war, reflect and capitalize on widespread anxiety about the arms race for destructive atomic weapons. Ralph comes to represent the West and its values, while Jack comes to represent the enemy.

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Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Lord of the Flies is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

How do the boys respond to Jack's call for Ralph's removal as chief? How does Jack react? Respond with evidence from the text.

There is a lot of immaturity here. The other boys refuse to vote Ralph out of power. Enraged, Jack has a tantrum and runs away from the group, saying that he is leaving and that anyone who likes is welcome to join him.The boys don't like the open...

What does Ralph recall hearing From Simon and seeing in the sky ?

The boys would see cargo planes in the sky and fishing boats in the sea.

Wooden huts on or near the beach are not called……

I'm not sure what you are looking for here, perhaps "shelters".

Study Guide for Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies study guide contains a biography of William Golding, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Lord of the Flies
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Essays for Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

  • Two Faces of Man
  • The Relationship Between Symbolism and Theme in Lord of the Flies
  • A Tainted View of Society
  • Death and Social Collapse in Lord of the Flies
  • Lumination: The Conquest of Mankind's Darkness

Lesson Plan for Lord of the Flies

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to Lord of the Flies
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
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  • Lord of the Flies Bibliography

Wikipedia Entries for Lord of the Flies

  • Introduction

topic sentences for lord of the flies essay

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Lord of the Flies Essay Examples

Concept of savagery vs civilisation: what does the conch symbolize in lord of the flies.

William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies' is a thought-provoking and convincing novel in which the setting plays an important part in my interpretation of the text overall. Set in the 1950s, against the backdrop of a fictional nuclear war, when their airplane plunges on a...

Loss of Innocence in Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, is a novel that explores the dark side of human nature through the experiences of a group of boys stranded on an uninhabited island. One of the central themes in the novel is the loss of innocence,...

The Symbolism of Piggy's Glasses

In William Golding's iconic novel, "Lord of the Flies" Piggy's glasses emerge as a powerful symbol that reflects the tension between civilization and savagery. This essay explores the symbolism behind Piggy's glasses, revealing their multifaceted meaning in the narrative and their role in highlighting the...

Loss of Innocence in "Lord of the Flies": an Analysis

The theme of the loss of innocence is a central and haunting aspect of William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies." Set against the backdrop of a deserted island, the novel explores the descent of a group of British boys into savagery and chaos, highlighting...

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Civilization in Lord of the Flies

The boys in Lord Of The Flies lack civilization greatly, as they don't have the basic needs for living, and have poor ethics. What is needed for civilization is many things, such as without rules and everyone playing there part civilization cannot be there. At...

Historical Overview of the Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana Purchase refers to a transaction in which the United States purchased an enormous North American territory from France. This acquisition approximately doubled the territory of the United States and gave her total control of the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico up...

Analysis of Microcosm in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

“A novel ensures that we can look before and after, take action at whatever pace we choose, read, again and again, skip and go back. The story in a book is humble and serviceable, available, friendly, is not switched on and off but taken up...

Opposing Leaders in the Lord of the Files

Leadership is a difficult job to maintain, but it’s desired among many. In William Golding’s book, Lord Of the Flies the main characters Jack and Ralph fight for power. The two of them are both leaders who rule with undeniable authority, but they have completely...

Analysis of the Louisiana Purchase

Monticello and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation provide an in depth explanation of the Louisiana purchase and it conveys insight to the importance of the negotiations. Monticello is owned and operated by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., which was founded in 1923. As a private, nonprofit...

William Golding’s Theory: Civilization in "Lord of the Flies"

William Golding has published many books about humanity and wisdom. He has an important view on this topic because of the many life experiences he has had. In the book, Lord of the Flies, he talks about how the realism of cultivating and living on...

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