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Essays on Lord of The Flies

Choosing the right essay topic is a crucial step in your academic journey. It's an opportunity to explore your creativity, delve into personal interests, and engage with the themes and ideas presented in the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. We aim to provide you with a variety of essay topics, introduction paragraph examples, and conclusion paragraph examples for different essay types. Remember, a well-chosen topic can make your essay more engaging and insightful.

Essay Types and Topics

Argumentative essays.

In argumentative essays, you'll analyze and present arguments related to the novel. Here are some topic examples:

  • 1. The role of fear in the descent into savagery on the island.
  • 2. The symbolism of the "beast" in Lord of the Flies and its impact on the characters.

Example Introduction Paragraph for an Argumentative Essay: In William Golding's Lord of the Flies , the pervasive fear among the stranded boys serves as a catalyst for their descent into savagery. This essay explores the profound influence of fear on the characters and the consequences it has on their civilization, ultimately demonstrating the fragile nature of human society on the isolated island.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for an Argumentative Essay: In conclusion, the exploration of fear in Lord of the Flies highlights its ability to unravel the thin threads of civilization. Through the lens of Golding's narrative, we see how fear can lead individuals to abandon reason and morality. As we reflect on this gripping tale, we must consider the implications of fear in our own lives and societies, striving for a world where humanity remains steadfast in the face of adversity.

Compare and Contrast Essays

In compare and contrast essays, you'll examine the similarities and differences within the novel or between it and other literary works. Consider these topics:

  • 1. Compare and contrast the leadership styles of Ralph and Jack.
  • 2. Analyze the parallels between Lord of the Flies and George Orwell's Animal Farm in terms of power and control.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Compare and Contrast Essay: The comparison between the leadership styles of Ralph and Jack in William Golding's Lord of the Flies provides valuable insights into the dynamics of human leadership and its consequences. This essay delves into the contrasting approaches taken by these two characters and their impact on the island's civilization.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Compare and Contrast Essay: In conclusion, the juxtaposition of Ralph's democratic leadership and Jack's authoritarian rule in Lord of the Flies serves as a powerful commentary on the complexities of human governance. By examining these characters in parallel, we gain a deeper understanding of leadership dynamics and their consequences both in fiction and the real world.

Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays in the context of Lord of the Flies allow you to vividly depict settings, characters, or events. Here are some topic ideas:

  • 1. Describe the lush beauty of the island in detail.
  • 2. Paint a picture of the transformation in the appearance and behavior of the characters as they descend into savagery.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Descriptive Essay: The lush and untouched beauty of the island in William Golding's Lord of the Flies serves as a captivating backdrop for the unfolding drama of the stranded boys. This essay aims to provide a sensory and detailed exploration of the island, evoking the senses and immersing the reader in its natural wonders.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Descriptive Essay: In conclusion, the vivid description of the island in Lord of the Flies not only serves as a beautiful canvas but also mirrors the fragile balance of nature and humanity. Through this exploration, we are reminded of the profound connection between our environment and our actions.

Persuasive Essays

Persuasive essays allow you to argue a point of view related to the novel. Consider these persuasive topic examples:

  • 1. Persuade your readers that the conch shell symbolizes the only hope for order and civilization on the island.
  • 2. Argue for or against the idea that the boys' descent into savagery is inevitable given their circumstances.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Persuasive Essay: The conch shell in William Golding's Lord of the Flies has been a symbol of order and democracy. This essay takes a persuasive stance in advocating for the significance of the conch as the beacon of hope for maintaining civilization and harmony on the isolated island.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Persuasive Essay: In conclusion, the persuasive argument in favor of the conch shell as a symbol of order and civilization underscores the importance of symbols in society and their ability to rally individuals around shared values. As we reflect on the power of the conch, we are reminded of the delicate balance between chaos and order in the human experience.

Narrative Essays

Narrative essays offer you the opportunity to tell a story or share personal experiences related to the themes of Lord of the Flies . Explore these narrative essay topics:

  • 1. Narrate your own survival story as a character stranded on the same island as the boys in the novel.
  • 2. Share a personal experience where you faced a moral dilemma similar to those encountered by the characters in the story.

Example Introduction Paragraph for a Narrative Essay: Imagine finding yourself on the same remote island as the characters in William Golding's Lord of the Flies . In this narrative essay, we embark on a journey where I, as a fellow survivor, recount the challenges and moral dilemmas faced while striving for survival and maintaining humanity in our isolated microcosm.

Example Conclusion Paragraph for a Narrative Essay: In conclusion, the narrative of my survival journey on the island parallels the timeless themes explored by Golding in Lord of the Flies . It serves as a testament to the human spirit's resilience and the constant struggle to balance our innate instincts with our moral compass. Through this narrative, we are reminded of the enduring relevance of these themes in our lives.

Lord of The Flies: Symbolism Analysis

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Lord of The Flies: Disobedience Analysis

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Depiction of Humans as Inherently Evil in The Lord of The Flies

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The Ralph's Leadership in The Lord of The Flies by William Golding

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17 September 1954, William Golding

Allegorical novel

Ralph, Piggy, Jack, Simon, twins Sam and Eric

William Golding wrote "Lord of the Flies" as a response and counterpoint to R.M. Ballantyne's youth novel "The Coral Island" published in 1857. While Ballantyne's novel presented a romanticized portrayal of young boys stranded on an uninhabited island, depicting them as cooperative and civilized, Golding sought to challenge this idealistic view. Golding was dissatisfied with the notion that children, when left to their own devices, would naturally form a harmonious and idyllic society. He believed that human nature was inherently flawed and prone to darkness and savagery, even in the absence of adult supervision. "Lord of the Flies" served as a critique of the optimistic perspective presented in "The Coral Island," aiming to explore the potential for moral degradation and the loss of innocence in a primal environment.

Innocence, Friendship, Childhood, Fear, Anger, Allegories.

The story follows a group of British boys who find themselves stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes during a wartime evacuation. Without any adult supervision, the boys must establish their own society and survive until rescue arrives. Initially, the boys attempt to create order and maintain a sense of civilization by electing a leader, Ralph, and establishing rules. However, as time passes, the inherent savagery within some of the boys begins to emerge. Jack, the antagonist, gradually rebels against Ralph's leadership and forms his own tribe, indulging in hunting and violence. The conflict between Ralph and Jack symbolizes the battle between order and chaos, reason and instinct. As the boys succumb to their primal instincts, they gradually lose their sense of morality and descent into brutality. The novel explores themes of power, the loss of innocence, and the darkness that resides within all individuals. Ultimately, the arrival of a naval officer interrupts the boys' descent into savagery, revealing the horrors they have unleashed upon themselves.

"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding is set on a deserted tropical island in the midst of an unspecified global war. The location remains undisclosed, allowing the focus to be on the boys' struggle for survival rather than the specific geopolitical context. The island itself is described as a paradise, with its lush vegetation, beautiful beaches, and abundant resources. The island serves as an isolated microcosm where the boys' behavior unfolds without the influence of adult society. It becomes a blank canvas upon which the boys project their own fears, desires, and conflicts. The absence of adults and external authority creates a vacuum that allows the boys to establish their own social order and rules.

Symbolism (the conch shell, the signal fire, the beast, etc.), allegory (the boys' descent into savagery and the struggle for power), foreshadowing (the appearance of the sow's head), irony, imagery.

"Lord of the Flies" has had a significant influence on literature and popular culture since its publication. The novel's exploration of the darkness within human nature and its commentary on the fragility of civilization continue to resonate with readers worldwide. One notable influence of "Lord of the Flies" is its impact on dystopian and post-apocalyptic literature. The story's portrayal of a society descending into chaos and the exploration of power dynamics have influenced numerous works in this genre, such as Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" and Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale." The novel has also had a profound influence on the study of human behavior and psychology. It raises important questions about the nature of evil, the role of society in shaping individuals, and the impact of isolation on human relationships. These themes have sparked discussions and academic analyses across disciplines, including psychology, sociology, and philosophy. Furthermore, "Lord of the Flies" has become a cultural touchstone, frequently referenced in various forms of media, including films, television shows, and music. Its enduring popularity and ability to provoke introspection and critical thinking contribute to its ongoing influence in contemporary society.

One notable adaptation of "Lord of the Flies" is the 1963 film directed by Peter Brook, which brought the story to life on the big screen. The film received critical acclaim for its raw portrayal of the boys' descent into savagery and its faithful adaptation of the novel's themes. The novel has also inspired theatrical productions, with stage adaptations being performed in different parts of the world. These adaptations provide a unique opportunity to experience the story in a live setting, further emphasizing the intensity and psychological depth of the narrative. Furthermore, the influence of "Lord of the Flies" can be seen in popular culture references, such as television shows, music, and literature. Its impact has sparked discussions and inspired creative works that explore similar themes of civilization, power, and human nature.

1. William Golding expressed dissatisfaction with his own work, describing his novel as dull and unrefined, a sentiment he later expressed in interviews and private conversations. 2. The impact of "Lord of the Flies" extends globally, as the book has been translated into more than 30 languages, allowing readers from diverse cultures to engage with its themes and messages. 3. Before finding a publishing home, "Lord of the Flies" faced considerable rejection, with publishers rejecting the manuscript a staggering 21 times. This highlights the initial challenges Golding faced in getting his work recognized. 4. Esteemed author Stephen King has publicly expressed his admiration for "Lord of the Flies," identifying it as one of his favorite books. King's endorsement speaks to the lasting influence and appeal of Golding's work. 5. "Lord of the Flies" has served as a source of inspiration for a range of musicians across different genres, including rap and metal. Bands like Iron Maiden have drawn inspiration from the novel, incorporating its themes and imagery into their music. 6. "Lord of the Flies" holds a significant place among the most banned books in the United States. Its exploration of dark themes and depiction of violence has led to challenges and attempts to restrict its availability in educational settings.

“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.” “The thing is - fear can't hurt you any more than a dream.” “Maybe there is a beast… maybe it's only us.” “What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?” “We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages. We're English, and the English are best at everything.”

The novel "Lord of the Flies" holds a significant place in literary discourse and continues to captivate readers across generations. Exploring timeless themes of human nature, morality, power, and civilization, it presents a compelling narrative that provokes introspection and critical analysis. Writing an essay about "Lord of the Flies" allows one to delve into the complexities of human behavior, the fragility of societal structures, and the potential for darkness within individuals. The novel's depiction of the descent into savagery and the loss of innocence offers a profound examination of the human condition. Moreover, "Lord of the Flies" serves as a cautionary tale, urging readers to reflect on the consequences of unchecked power, societal breakdown, and the thin veneer of civilization. It prompts discussions on leadership, group dynamics, and the inherent conflicts that arise in challenging circumstances. By exploring the multifaceted layers of the story, an essay on "Lord of the Flies" allows students to sharpen their critical thinking skills, analyze complex themes, and engage in meaningful conversations about the darker aspects of human nature and society. It remains a relevant and thought-provoking piece of literature that invites examination and interpretation from various perspectives.

1. Bhalla, R., & Kowalski, C. (2017). What Lord of the Flies teaches us about primitive defence mechanisms and societal discontent. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/what-lord-of-the-flies-teaches-us-about-primitive-defence-mechanisms-and-societal-discontent/348B50D2158ABAC55B3E94B2DB6F20BA The British Journal of Psychiatry, 210(3), 189-189. 2. Tippetts, C. S. (1926). The End of the Par Collection Litigation. The American Economic Review, 16(4), 610–621. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/2) 3. Alnajm, A. L. (2015). The main themes in Lord of the Flies. International Journal of English and Literature, 6(6), 98-102. (https://academicjournals.org/journal/IJEL/article-full-text/011E73A53478) 4. Gilfillan, James (1963) "Review: "Lord of the Flies"," Calliope (1954-2001): Vol. 10 , Article 25. (https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/calliope/vol10/iss1/25) 5. Arnold Kruger (1999) Golding's Lord of the Flies, The Explicator, 57:3, 167-169. (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00144949909596859?journalCode=vexp20) 6. Chougule, R. B., & Hanash, M. M. SCARCE LIFE BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND NATURE OF SAVAGERY IN WILLIAM GOLDING'S LORD OF THE FLIES. (https://www.literaryendeavour.org/files/9x6upa7d5i55pltczctm/2020-01%2007%20SCARCE%20LIFE%20BETWEEN%20LEADERSHIP%20AND%20NATURE%20OF%20SAVAGERY%20IN%20WILLIAM%20GOLDING%E2%80%99S%20LORD%20OF%20THE%20FLIES%20%20-%20Dr.%20R.%20B.%20Chougule%20&%20Manee%20M.%20Hanash.pdf) 7. Kabra, S. (2021). Lord of the Flies: International Intellectual Property Laws. UC Davis J. Int'l L. & Pol'y, 28, 1. (https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/ucdl28&div=4&id=&page=) 8. Burgess, J. (1963). Lord of the Flies by Peter Brook, Lewis Allen, Dana Hodgdon. (https://online.ucpress.edu/fq/article-abstract/17/2/31/38032/Review-Lord-of-the-Flies-by-Peter-Brook-Lewis)

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lord of the flies english essay

lord of the flies english essay

Lord of the Flies

William golding, ask litcharts ai: the answer to your questions.

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on William Golding's Lord of the Flies . Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Lord of the Flies: Introduction

Lord of the flies: plot summary, lord of the flies: detailed summary & analysis, lord of the flies: themes, lord of the flies: quotes, lord of the flies: characters, lord of the flies: symbols, lord of the flies: theme wheel, brief biography of william golding.

Lord of the Flies PDF

Historical Context of Lord of the Flies

Other books related to lord of the flies.

  • Full Title: Lord of the Flies
  • Where Written: England
  • When Published: 1954
  • Literary Period: Post-war fiction
  • Genre: Allegorical novel / Adventure novel
  • Setting: A deserted tropical island in the middle of a nuclear world war
  • Climax: Piggy's death
  • Point of View: Third person omniscient

Extra Credit for Lord of the Flies

Beelzebub. The phrase "lord of the flies" is a translation of the Greek "Beelzebub," a devil mentioned in the New Testament. In the Bible, Beelzebub sometimes seems to be Satan himself, and at other times seems to be Satan's most powerful lieutenant.

Coral Island. William Golding based several of the main ideas in Lord of the Flies on Coral Island (1858), a somewhat obscure novel by Robert Ballantyne, a 19th-century British novelist. In Coral Island , three English boys create an idyllic society after being shipwrecked on a deserted island. They battle wild hogs, typhoons, hostile island visitors, and eventually Pirates on the South Seas.

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89 Lord of the Flies Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🔝 top-10 lord of the flies research paper topics, 🏆 best lord of the flies essay titles, 📌 creative lord of the flies thesis ideas, 👍 good titles for lord of the flies essay, ❓ lord of the flies: important questions.

  • 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.
  • “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 […]
  • 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, 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’.
  • 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: 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 […]
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 […]
  • 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”?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2023, December 8). 89 Lord of the Flies Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/lord-of-the-flies-essay-examples/

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IvyPanda . 2023. "89 Lord of the Flies Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." December 8, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/lord-of-the-flies-essay-examples/.

1. IvyPanda . "89 Lord of the Flies Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." December 8, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/lord-of-the-flies-essay-examples/.

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IvyPanda . "89 Lord of the Flies Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." December 8, 2023. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/lord-of-the-flies-essay-examples/.

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Lord of the flies – sample essay..

Choose a novel in which an important theme is explored. Explain how the author develops this theme throughout the novel.

            The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel in which the theme of savagery versus civilisation is explored. Some British boys are stranded on an isolated island at the time of an imaginary nuclear war. On the island we see conflict between two main characters, Jack and Ralph, who respectively represent civilisation and savagery. This has an effect on the rest of the boys throughout the novel as they delve further and further into savagery.

             The theme of savagery versus civilisation is first introduced to us through the symbol of the conch shell which we associate with Ralph as he is the person who first uses it and becomes the elected leader of the boys. This symbolises authority amongst the boys. At the first assembly Ralph says “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak…he won’t be interrupted”. This suggests civilisation as Ralph is allowing each boy to have an equal say and opinion. If they have the conch, no matter who they are or what age they are they will be given the chance to speak and will be listened to by the rest of the boys. The boys have created the island to be a democratic place which shows a civilised side to them as they try to mimic the homes they have just left.

             Contrasting with the symbol of the conch is the symbol of the beast which comes to be associated with Jack as by the end of the novel he is almost devil worshipping it. The beast begins as a  “snake thing” but by the end of the novel it has become “the Lord of the Flies”. The first quote shows us that the beast is clearly evil. Western society considers snakes to be bad omens because it was a snake that led Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. However at this stage of the novel the beast is quite insubstantial as it is only a “thing”. As the boys fear of the beast grows so to does the beast itself until it has manifested into the devil – the ultimate and most powerful evil. He has a strong status as a Lord although it is over something pretty disgusting – the flies. The boys belief in the beast leads them to behave more like savages as they act out from their fear and they begin to loose hold of the rules, led by Jack, thus demonstrating the theme of savagery.

             One of ways Golding shows conflict between savagery and civilisation is when Jack and some of the other boys are killing the first pig. Jack chants “kill the pig, cut her throat, spill the blood”. This suggests savagery as the boys are being violent and aggressive when killing the pig and they don’t care about it. This is particularly clear through Golding’s word choice. Jack talks about cutting the pig’s throat which makes it sound like a savage action and spilling her blood which reinforces the lack of care and feeling shown towards the pug’s carcass. This shows that the boys are no longer feeling guilty about what they have done thus showing them becoming savages. 

             We can see the conflict between savagery and civilisation developing further when Piggy’s glasses are broken. We are told “Piggy cried out in terror ‘my specs!” This shows us that the boys savage natures are beginning to overule their more civilised sides. At the start of the book Jack would never have dared touch Piggy, but here he actually snaps and goes for Piggy who he despises. We can tell that Piggy is really scared as Golding chooses the words “cried” and “terror” to describe the scene. Piggy sounds like he is hurting and is genuinely terrified about what Jack might do to him and the loss of his sight. Piggy’s glasses have also come to represent intelligence on the island, with them breaking we see that the pathway to savagery is now completely open for the boys. This is the first true piece of violence between the two factions on the island and it will result in nearly all the boys becoming savages.

             A final way in which we see the theme of savagery versus civilisation being demonstrated is when Ralph sticks up for Piggy after he is attacked by Jack. Ralph says “that was a dirty trick”. This shows that Ralph is really angry at Jack for what he said and did to Piggy. He is still attempting to impose himself as leader here as he says this in an aggressive and assertive tone. This suggests there is still some glimmers of civilisation on the island at this point as there is still someone with a sense of moral goodness ready to fight for justice.

             In conclusion The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel in which the theme of savagery versus civilisation is shown. Ralph represents civilisation as he wants to enforce rules and let everyone have an equal say. Whereas Jack who represents savagery as he rules over the boys and he is not interested in what they have to say. Through the boys actions Golding shows us that we need rules and to consciously impose them to make sure society functions properly.

27 thoughts on “Lord of the Flies – sample essay.”

AWESOME thanks guys!!

This essay was really helpful and thought provoking. I noticed a comment about how this essay could improve and I understand that this essay follows Scottish Qualifications, but I just have two suggestions to improve it.

At the beginning of Paragraph 4 it states “One of ways”. I think that perhaps the author meant “One of the ways”.

Also, in Paragraph 5 the author uses “We”, it may be different in Scotland, but I learnt that in essays one does not use personal pronouns.

Other than that it was really well written <3 Thank you!

I’m sorry you didn’t find the essay any help. There are mistakes in this as it was written by a National 5 class and is an exact sample essay as written by the pupils (equivalent to GCSE) and as a result of that there are some errors. It does talk about the same thing over and over again – civilisation versus savagery – but it is supposed to as this was the focus of the essay question. When writing a critical essay you need to pick out things from the text that answer the question. You will notice that different things are picked out from the text that relate to the fight between civilisation and savagery – whether this is the symbols used in the book or the actions of some of the characters. Once this has been selected to speak about you need to lift evidence from the text to support what you are saying and then explain it to your readers. I hope this has helped you understand the point of the essay a bit better.

Ms Davidson

Is this essay meant to be for a GSCE course? I am doing an essay about it now and I’m in year 8.

This text is being used by students in a Scottish Secondary School for their National 5 English qualification. They sit their exam at the equivalent age to those studying GCSEs. It doesn’t really matter what age you are when you study the text, it’s more to do with the levels of analysis you go through whilst studying the text. This essay would be a minimum pass at National 5 in Scotland. It is written by students and is simply an example of what students could write in their exam.

Hope that’s helped, Ms Davidson

I was desperate to know what to write in the conclusion but then this conclusion gave me some help, Thank you

Thank you so much!! The points in this essay are extremely helpful and I was able to interlink them in my GCSE exam today. Very helpful source!!

You are very welcome!

I’m glad you found it useful!

Thanks so much I have this 5 paragraph essay that’s due and you helped me so much for idea wise

WOOOOW amazing thank you so much

😍😍😍😍❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

this is gold as I have to write an essay on lotf and was having troubles finding main quotes the had good techniques paired to them and this helped a lot

Is this a full mark piece ?

This would probably get 15-16 out of 20 at National 5 in the Scottish system. Hope that helps.

Glad it was useful!

Thank you so much this was so extremely helpful. You are a lifesaver!

I’m glad I found this essay because i got an A on my school essay. THANK YOU SO MUCH 🙂

I wanted conflict between ralph and jack ONLY

You can change the points and the link backs (the first and last sentence in each paragraph) to focus on the conflict between Jack and Ralph if you need to. Each symbol talked about here is either associated with Jack or Ralph. Also Jack and Ralph link to the wider theme of the book with each boy respectively representing civilisation or savagery. This essay can be used to help you structure the one you need to write.

I am writing a paragraph and i need to write about the theme, charecters/groups… i cant start the paragraph with the answers, i need an intro, what can i do for an intro, i am a bit stuck

I’m not sure I understand your question Sarah. Your paragraph seems to include an awful lot of things. What is the overall point you are trying to talk about? If you were looking at the theme of civilisation then you could start with a simple sentence saying “The Lord of the Flies explores the theme of savagery versus civilisation”. If you are focusing on a particular character then begin with “The Lord of the Flies uses one of it’s main characters Jack/Ralph to explore certain ideas within the text.” I hope this helps. Ms Davidson

This helped me soon much!I’m so happy that I got an A+!My teacher was so happy.

That’s excellent!

THANK YOU SO MUCH 🙂

I need help with that essay lotf essay why should a leader read lotf base on ralph.

Take a look at the essay based on the character Ralph. Adapt it the first sentence in each paragraph (your POINT) so that it focuses on Ralph being a good example of being a leader, or how they can learn a lesson from him doing something that shows him being a bad leader. Then adapt the final sentence (your LINK BACK) so it responds to him setting an example (or not!) for leaders.

I was reading through the comments and you mentioned that the essay would be about 15-16 marks out of 20, and was wonder what improvements could be made to get the last few marks?

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Sample Essay

How does William Golding set the scene for the novel in the opening chapter?

The opening chapter of ‘Lord of the Flies’ is very effective in laying the foundation for the rest of the plot. Characters become instantly recognizable and significant. The surroundings around the characters become very clear and leave you with a vivid image in your mind whilst reading. Also, the use of the language helps the situation become familiar, with spectacular detail being during descriptions. All of these factors together help build a very strong and effective chapter as the script from then on becomes vaguely predictable, with the readers expecting to know the characters and lay out well enough to recognise their reactions to any/all situations that may arise.

The introduction of characters opens the chapter in suspense as all is not revealed immediately: “ The fair boy & the fat boy.” Golding’s approach in the opening chapter to the characters is effective as it doesn’t introduce them by name, but more by personality type. Upon reading this, you automatically believe you know the two characters and feel comfortable envisaging the two children stranded on an island rather young and clueless to the dangers of the island, with the concept of no food, water, shelter or food not phasing them. This also shows their immaturity, as a normal adult would immediately try to work a logical & strategic yet plausible plan of getting back to reality or how to survive. The fact that later on ‘the fat boy’ later is addressed by ‘Piggy’ strengthens the stereotype placed upon him, with ‘the fair boy’ being given quite a polite and gentle name of Ralph.

William Golding’s use of descriptive language builds a clear image of the scenery: “ All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat” . Such attention to detail allows us as the readers to be part of the story, placing us right in the scenery. The use of onomatopoeia such as ‘smash’ put emphasis on the beforehand scenes we aren’t exposed to, as we aren’t told they’re in a plane crash, yet the fact the scar ‘smashed’ into the island lets us know it was something with pretty heavy impact, it is quite a violent term. Describing it as a ‘Scar’ also tells a story as you regard a scar as being something unsightly and unwelcomed, possibly damaging attractive scenery. It shows us that it has damaged the island significantly. The metaphor ‘scar’ may also imply that the damage caused was irreversible as scars often are, which in turn just emphasises the impact the children/previous events have had on the island.

The way the characters are portrayed hints at a possible chance of survival: “Nobody don’t know we’re here”. During a conversation early on between Piggy & Ralph, Piggy intends to inform Ralph they’re stranded as no-one actually knows they’re there, but in matter of fact expresses that somebody does in fact know they’re on the island. This is because the double negative comment actually contradicts itself, and by intending to say nobody knows their whereabouts’ he actually does the opposite. This could be argued that Golding is doing this intentionally to push you to read on by leaving you, in a sense, subliminal messages. This also shows the importance of the characters personality type, as Piggy can be perceived as quite ‘dopey’, and only through him can William Golding voice such un-educated comments, and effectively and at the same time very cleverly hint at survival.      

The conch acts as a means of authority and Ralph soon becomes graced with power: “The children gave him the same simple obedience that they had given to the men with megaphones”. This shows Ralph as the natural leader and puts him in the same figure head roll as the parents. The conch shows authority and is soon likened to the megaphones of the parents. It almost shows Ralph as a religious symbol, as if he has the power of God now he has full control of the island, and everyone is at his lead while he stands on a rock taller than everyone there with the conch. It is argued that this is a very important factor during the opening chapter of ‘Lord of the Flies’ as you wonder whether the conch is going to fall into the wrong hands, and in turn, the authority and power that comes with it – soon over powering the natural but fair leader; Ralph.

Some of the aspects previously mentioned lead me to believe the ‘Lord of the Flies’ is going to be very eventful and could go either way in terms of surviving or making it off the island. After simply reading just the first chapter I find myself wanting to get answers to such questions as “How can a series of young boys create a survival plan and make it off the island?” or “was Piggy deliberately talking in double negatives to make us believe on thing contrary to another?” William Golding has created a very effective opening scene and should appeal to a vast audience, urging them to read on further after appealing so strongly during the opening chapter.

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GCSE English Literature AQA: Lord of the Flies (essays)

GCSE English Literature AQA: Lord of the Flies (essays)

Subject: English

Age range: 14-16

Resource type: Assessment and revision

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Last updated

13 May 2023

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lord of the flies english essay

A collection of 13 essay plans covering the main characters and themes of Lord of the Flies. Suitable for GCSE students. Organised into distinct paragraphs with language analysis, context, quotations and author’s intentions highlighted clearly.

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GCSE English Literature AQA: Lord of the Flies (notes and essays)

A complete revision guide to **Lord of the Flies** suitable for GCSE students. Covers all characters and major themes, including context, language analysis and chapter summaries. Comes with a set of **13** essay plans for all **main characters and themes.** Highlighted to clearly show **Golding’s intentions, language analysis, context and quotations.** Suitable for **AQA or Edexcel.**

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  1. Lord of the Flies Essay

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  3. Lord of the Flies Theme Essay Example

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  5. Lord Of The Flies Conclusion Essay Example

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COMMENTS

  1. Essays on Lord of The Flies

    Barbarian, English-language films, Number of the Beast, Seashell, Uncanny X-Men. 1 2 … 4. Our free essays on Lord of The Flies can be used as a template for writing your own article. All samples were written by the best students 👩🏿‍🎓👨‍🎓 just for you.

  2. Lord of the Flies Critical Essays

    Essays and criticism on William Golding's Lord of the Flies - Critical Essays. ... "The Coral Island Revisited," in College English, Vol. 22, No 4, January, 1961, pp. 241-45.

  3. Lord of the Flies: Critical Essays

    Get free homework help on William Golding's Lord of the Flies: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. In Lord of the Flies , British schoolboys are stranded on a tropical island. In an attempt to recreate the culture they left behind, they elect Ralph to lead, with the intellectual Piggy as counselor.

  4. Lord of the Flies Study Guide

    Key Facts about Lord of the Flies. Full Title: Lord of the Flies. Where Written: England. When Published: 1954. Literary Period: Post-war fiction. Genre: Allegorical novel / Adventure novel. Setting: A deserted tropical island in the middle of a nuclear world war. Climax: Piggy's death.

  5. How to write a top grade essay on Lord of the Flies

    In this video, I provide a top grade essay exemplar on William Golding's Lord of the Flies. This is a detailed walkthrough of each essay section (from the in...

  6. Lord of the Flies Essays and Further Analysis

    The action of Lord of the Flies takes place during World War II on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Golding deliberately borrows the setting from Coral Island (1858) in order ...

  7. 89 Lord of the Flies Essay Examples and Topics

    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".

  8. Lord of the Flies

    The English Literature Paper 2 requires you to answer four questions (three on poetry) in 2hrs 15min. That means you have approximately 45 minutes to plan, write and check your Lord of the Flies essay. Paper 2 is worth 96 marks and accounts for 60% of your overall GCSE grade. The Lord of the Flies essay is worth 34 marks in total, because it ...

  9. Lord of the Flies

    The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel in which the theme of savagery versus civilisation is explored. Some British boys are stranded on an isolated island at the time of an imaginary nuclear war. On the island we see conflict between two main characters, Jack and Ralph, who respectively represent civilisation and savagery.

  10. Sample Essay

    The conch acts as a means of authority and Ralph soon becomes graced with power: "The children gave him the same simple obedience that they had given to the men with megaphones". This shows Ralph as the natural leader and puts him in the same figure head roll as the parents. The conch shows authority and is soon likened to the megaphones of ...

  11. Lord of the Flies: Writer's Methods and Techniques

    Writing about structure is a great way to explore a writer's methods in any GCSE English Literature essay. By thinking about how Golding has structured Lord of the Flies, you are already taking a 'whole-text' approach to the novel (which examiners love) and will be commenting on sophisticated techniques without the time-consuming need to learn lots of quotations.

  12. Lord of the Flies: Context

    Context. It is easy to spend a long time revising context. However, if you keep your revision focused on the themes of the novel, your exam responses will be equally focused and awarded high marks. Each of the below topics links directly to Golding's ideas in Lord of the Flies: The consequences of war. Loss of innocence.

  13. GCSE English Literature AQA: Lord of the Flies (essays)

    Age range: 14-16. Resource type: Assessment and revision. File previews. pdf, 359.11 KB. A collection of 13 essay plans covering the main characters and themes of Lord of the Flies. Suitable for GCSE students. Organised into distinct paragraphs with language analysis, context, quotations and author's intentions highlighted clearly.

  14. Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies by William Golding looks at the dark side of humanity as a group of boys turn against one another in the face of an imagined enemy. Lord of the Flies focuses on a number of young ...

  15. Lord of the Flies: GCSE Level 9 Model Answer & Essay Examples!

    Sign up for my GCSE English Language Paper 1 & 2 Masterclass and enter your final exams feeling CONFIDENT & READY: https://www.firstratetutors.com/masterclas...

  16. Lord of the Flies

    Take a look at a sample exam question and answers for William Golding's Lord of the Flies with BBC Bitesize GCSE English Literature (Edexcel).

  17. Lord of the Flies: Key Quotations

    In many ways, Lord of the Flies is a morality tale exploring the two sides of human nature. Golding is exploring whether evil is inherent in human beings, or whether it is learnt. Ultimately, his view is a pessimistic one: he seems to suggest that all human beings have a natural capacity for evil. Paired quotations: