Lord of the Flies is generally considered to be William Golding’s masterpiece. Since its publication in 1954, it has been a hot topic in academic research of literary works and meets countless favorable voices. Especially after 1960s, it became one of the most widely-read, widely-admired novels in the English Language, and one of the prescribed classics in the universities. It was even filmed in 1963 and 19
  90. In 1983, Golding was awarded Nobel Price, “for his novels which, with the perspicuity of realistic narrative art and the diversity and universality of myth, illuminate the human condition in the world today.”
It tells a seemingly simple yet thought-provoking story. It takes place within an imagined atomic war. A plane evacuating a party of English boys is shot down over a xanadu-like isolated island. At first they make concerted effort to establish a civilized society but later the children gradually lose their innocence and behave like savages.
Research on human nature of the novel is always the most popular and a great many critics hold that it is an exploration of human nature which is inherently evil. The writer of the essay absorbs the generally accepted view but try to illustrate it mainly based on the analyses of characters from different angles. Besides, the essay constructively probe into other elements besides the generally acknowledged theme.
The body of this thesis consists of five chapters.
? Chapter One ? Chapter Two of the Flies Introduction William Golding and his Lord
? Chapter Three A world beneath the iceberg ? Chapter Four Analyses of the themes in Lord of the Flies ? Chapter Five Conclusion
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter one begins with the literary review, the assumptions and the methodologies.
Chapter two William Golding and his Lord of the Flies
Chapter two makes an introduction to Golding and his Lord of the Flies. Golding is called an allegory compiler. His works are categorized as allegories or fables. English critic I. Evans has once pointed out that Lord of the Flies is a philosophical and allegorical novel about evil and fragility of civilization. So, Lord of the Flies stresses much on the exploration of human nature, which is influenced by lots of factors, including Golding’s personal experiences, Greek literature, cultural and social b a c k g r o u n d a s w el l a s t r e n d s o f t h o u g h t s .
Chapter three A world beneath the iceberg
Chapter three includes three main parts. The first part takes on the analyses of some major and minor characters in Lord of the Flies based on Freudian “ three psychic zones of human personality” and “ death instinct” as well as part of Jung’s archetype theory. The second part undertakes to interpret myth archetype of some main characters of Lord of the Flies. The third part attempts to interpret dreams of minor characters based on Freudian Dream Theory to touch on the darkness in their personalities.
Chapter four Analyses of the themes in Lord of the Flies
Chapter four includes two parts. The first part rereads the one pessimistic message of Lord of the Flies: the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart from two aspects.
On the one hand, a group of boys headed by Jack and Roger are totally controlled by death instinct or shadow in their personalities. The Dionysus in them erupts out completely. They become a group of savages, licking up once xanadu-like island. On the other hand, in the process of the novel, Death instinct or shadow is also found in positive characters Ralph and Piggy, who tend to approach the Dionysus in them. Golding conveys to readers a message that there is an inherent death instinct or shadow inside human nature. Every individual can turn into Dionysus. It is a fact that when civilization and social restraints are wiped off, the deep evil elements will come to the surface to dominate human nature.
The second part discusses the potential hope and optimistic factors behind the seemingly pessimism. Absolutely, the novel reveals the evil nature of human beings. But most importantly, it intends to sound the alarm for human nature and imply the importance of curbing evil. The points is also illustrated from two angles.
On the one hand, in the process of the novel, Jack and Roger are also in control at times by their ego or persona. The characters of Pentheus are also seen in them. That means they might be saved from becoming savages given proper guidance. On the other hand, positive characters shown by Ralph, Piggy and Simon undoubtedly adds some optimistic factors to the novel. Especially, the fact that Golding depicts a perfect Jesus - like character Simon shows that the writer is not completely hopeless.
Chapter five Conclusion
Chapter five is conclusion. Based on analyses of the characters from different angles, the essay further proves the much discussed theme that human heart is dark and probes deep into some positive factors implied in Lord of the Flies in an effort to get a better understanding of the novel.
Critics have discussed Lord of the Flies from various perspectives ranging over theme, source, myth and archetypal criticism, feminism, narrative pattern, symbolism, etc. These analyses differ in theories, approaches and conclusions. Research on human nature of the novel is always the most popular and the theme of evil nature is always the focus of discussion of many critics. The writer of the essay absorbs the generally accepted view but try to illustrate it mainly based on the analyses of characters from different angles.
The essay are grounded on Freudian theory of “three psychic zones of human personality” and “death instinct”, Freudian “dream theory”, Part of Jung’s “archetype theory” as well as Frye’s “myth and archetypal theory”.
The previous survey covers the major achievement of the studies Lord of the Flies. These studies are undoubtedly very helpful and valuable in deepening people’s understanding of the novel and pushing forward the academic progress. However, the writer of the essay thinks they have not exhausted all the aspects of the significance in the novel. In the pocess of the study, the essay finds out some commonness between the theories employed in the essay and the theme. Worth mentioning, comments on the descriptions of dreams in Lord of the Flies have been blank, which gives the writer of the essay a chance to fill the blank based on Freudian dream theory. Besides, the writer of the essay exploits other elements contained in the novel.
Lacking comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the theory of psychology and myth archetype, I’ve just made a tentative study of Lord of the Flies. So the present paper is still far from comprehensive. However, the author will keep on studying to improve the ability to analyze problems, to grasp theories more comprehensively, and to make a deeper understanding of western literature.



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