Religious Parallels Lord of the Flies

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is an allegorical book from numerous viewpoints. It draws societal parallels to a post-war world, political parallels to various approaches of federal government, and even psychoanalytical parallels to the psychological models of Freud. Among the most popular allegories consisted of in the story is its parallel to the Bible.

William Golding creates these parallels in many different ways, through both settings, and the actions of characters. Interestingly, every spiritual allegory in Lord of the Flies is insufficient; they are similar to occasions in the Bible, but none of them are totally synonymous.

Golding’s creates a distinct stance on Christianity by his problematic allegories to the Garden of Eden and Jesus’ mentors and death; he reveals that he favors some Christian values and some of the Bible’s messages, however is opposed to others. The very first connection between Lord of the Flies and the Bible lies at the very beginning of both books: the setting of the island reminds one of the Garden of Eden. Golding describes the island: “Beyond the platform there was more enchantment. Some disaster […] had banked sand inside the lagoon so that there was a long, deep pool in the beach with a high ledge of pink granite at the more end” (10 ).

He also keeps in mind that the “coast was fledged with palm trees. These stood or leaned or reclined versus the light […] (9 ). This is eerily similar to the Garden of Eden, which “the Lord God planted […] and he placed there the male whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made different trees grow that were wonderful to look at and helpful for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden […] (The New American Bible, Gen. 2:8 -9). If “the man” in the Bible is taken to be Ralph and the other boys, then another contrast can be drawn.

When Ralph disrobe and swims in the lagoon, it reminds one of Adam naked in the garden. The water could be seen as a connection to baptism, which is the acknowledgment of a new birth or creation. This is among the couple of connections in the novel which is entirely parallel with that of Bible, suggesting that Golding most likely supported the production theory. Yet another connection the Garden of Eden appears in the “beastie” that the young boys hesitate of; it is frequently connected to the snake in the garden that tempts Eve and causes initial sin.

These connections, nevertheless, are far from ideal. The island is indeed near utopian, but there is the “long scar” (7) from the aircraft crash. Golding most likely rejected the idea that anything, even if developed by God, could be ideal. Likewise, the serpent in the bible is constantly thought of as an external force, such as the devil, whereas Simon will ultimately discover that the beast is not an external but an internal worry. This could be analyzed to suggest the Golding did not believe that initial sin originated from an outdoors force; rather, it is an inherent part of human nature.

Golding’s characterization of Simon produces a strong link in between his actions on the island and the life of Jesus in the gospels. The first major example of this is when Simon is strolling through the woods and is followed by the littluns: [The littluns] talked, cried out unintelligibly […] Then, amidst the holler of bees in the afternoon sunshine, Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the best from up in the foliage, passed them pull back to the unlimited, outstretched hands. When he had satisfied them he paused and looked round.” (56 )

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