Loss Of Innocence Lord Of The Flies English Literature Essay

The book lord of the flies was published in 1954 by the Nobel-prize winner William Golding during the period of the cold war and the atomic age but the book situates during the World War II that has happened some year before the publication aside from the fact that William Golding had participated during this war in the royal navy participating in the sinking of the German ship the Bismark and participating in the invasion of Normandy making more clear the way he puts the characters and how they change into more savage beings aside for stating his idea of how the culture the man creates fails showing the influence of the context at that time.

The purpose of this extended essay from the novel “The lord of the flies” by William Golding is to show to what point the loss of innocence of the main characters of this novel that change from good educated kids to savage people when they get in a virgin island doing a lot of things that kids should not do, making the loss of innocence a progressive thing

This topic was chosen because it is very important how people even children can change into a totally different kind of people especially in one characteristic which is present in all kids and that is the innocence.In this novel the innocence is one of the many characteristics that change but in this case it changes into a form of savagery that is not normal in children that came from the city but because of the circumstances it changes into that way.

Abou the topic “the loss of innocence” I will talk about different points that will help to understand it as how this children were before lossing their innocence ,how they were when they loose it , the way they lose it and the pros and cons of this loos of innocence

This extend essay will be divided in two. In the first part it will be seen the author , historical context, the influences of Wiliam Golding and his style of writting and in the second part a discussion of the loss of innocence that is present in the novel.

We could generally get to realize that the kids of the novel were force because of their surrounding to become savage people and loss their innocence to stay alive in that deserted island by doing a lot of things that a kid would not normally do.

Chapter I


Biography of the author

The author William Holding was born in his grandmother `s house in cornwall were he spent many childhood holiday there. He grew up at his family home in Marlborough Grammar School (1905 to retirement). His father Alec Golding, was a socialist and a teacher with a strong commitment to scientific rationalism, William and his elder brother Joseph study in the same school were their father taught. His mother Mildred was a woman that supported the moderate campaigners for female suffrage. In 1930 William went to Oxford university as an undergraduate at Brasenosed College where he study natural sciences for two year before moving to English literature

Golding took his B.A second class in the summer of 1934, and later that year he wrote his first book named Poem, this book was published in London by Macmillan & Co, through the help of his Oxford friend, the anthroposophist Adam Bittleson.Golding during all his life was an avid animal rights activist

Golding married Ann Brookfield on 30 September 1939 and they had two children, their names were Judy and David.

In 1985 Golding and his wife moved to Tullimaar House at Perranaworthal, near Truro,Cornwall, where he died of heart failure,8 years later, on 19 June 1993. He was buried in the village churchyard at South Wiltsshire (this place is near the Hampsire and Dorset country boundaries. He left the draft of a novel, the double tong, set in ancient Delphi, which was published later.


World war II changed thinking about man’s essential nature, one of this man was him. Before the war people believed that man was essentially good-hearted and society was often evil. However, the atrocities of the war made it very difficult to many people to believe any longer in the supposedly good and innocent nature of human beings as the predominant part of people. You can see the influence of this shift in thinking in Golding’s works. Some of Golding’s favorite childhood authors were Edgar Rice Burroughs with Tarzan of the Apes, Robert Ballatyne with Coral island and Jules Verne with Twenty thousand leagues under the sea [1] 

Each of these books portrays man as a basically, normal good creature who struggles to avoid the evils of society. Golding yearned to be similar to the characters in the stories and fables he read “They held me rapt,” Golding once said of the books he read. “I dived with the Nautilus, was shot round the moon, and crossed Darkest Africa in a balloon, descended to the center of the earth, drifted in the South Atlantic, dying of thirst…. It always sent me indoors for a drink-the fresh waters of the Amazon”. [2] When he was twelve Golding decided to be a writer. He planned a twelve-volume work on trade unions but he could never complete the enormous plan. As said before with his love for books and reading and his early attempts at writing, Golding of studied literature in college.

The book was not considered a success at first, it was not until the 1960s, when it captured the attention of college and high school students that critics began to acknowledge Golding’s talent. Even now there are differing opinions about the novel. Some believe Golding’s writing is bombastic and didactic, that he does not allow you to have any opinion but his. Other critics see him as the greatest English writer of our time. You will find that part of the fun of his book lies in deciding for yourself what you think. Golding has continued to write in spite of the controversy over his work. It would seem that the criticism, rather than frightening him, only challenges him to continue writing. In the same way, Golding challenges readers to think about what he considers most important: the true nature of human beings. The three novels that followed Lord of the Flies–The Inheritors, Pincher Martin, and Free Fall–brought him more success, while the controversy over his talent, or lack of it, continued. Eventually Golding stopped teaching to write full time. In 1983 Golding was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. [3] 

When World War II began in 1939, Golding joined the Royal Navy. He saw action against German warships, he was in antisubmarine and antiaircraft operations, and in 1944 he was involved in the D-Day naval support for the landings on the beaches of Normandy. He continued to read the classics even as he acquired a reputation for loving tense combat. And his war experiences changed his view about mankind’s essential nature. Because of the atrocities he witnessed, Golding came to believe that there was a very dark and evil side to man. [4] “The war,” he said “was unlike any other fought in Europe. It taught us not fighting, politics or the follies of nationalism, but about the given nature of man.” [5] After the war Golding returned to teaching in a boys’ school, which may explain why the characters in Lord of the Flies seem so real. Ralph, Jack, Piggy, Simon, and the other boys are based on the faces and voices of children Golding knew. Thus his reading of the classics, his war experience, and his new insight into humanity laid the groundwork for his writing. His first three novel were very much alike the novels he read and he call them as rubbish imitations, these novel have never been published. His fourth novel was Lord of the flies, and when it was finally accepted for publication in 1954, it had been turned down by a lot of publisher around twenty of them

In his writing style it can be seen that it is exiting and fast- moving with a lot of aspects that is shown in it, one of them is the length of the sentences depending in the situation, he use long sentences if he wants to move slowly, this sentences are deliberately use to slows the reader´s pace so that the reader feels relax and to do not expect some of the things that are coming next in the story. This is done to make a sensation of surprise in the reader. On the other side he uses short sentences to make the story impacting as he uses them when something important and shocking is happening in the the story in other words a moment of tension. There is also the use of symbols, this symbols, the majority of them are objects that are in the nature each of them meaning something important as justice or violence. Aside from this he is an author that writes with a great control over sensitivity as he writes the deaths of animals or people in very descriptive and gruesome way as he was a person that saw the horrors of war, he also like to do the mirror technique as he like to contrast the thing that are shown with opposite words as dark and light, isolation and friendship. Finally he like the use of imagery to enhance the situation to make it more clear to the reader of what is going on.

Chapter 2:

There are many evident themes in the book the lord of the flies by William Golding. One of the most evident themes trough the novel would be the loss of innocence. It is shown as the story progresses that the innocence of the children is disappearing as the education they received is only a way to maintain the real essence of man that is evil. Because of the lack of civilization an education in the island where the children are trapped the become violent, cruel and primitive showing the real essence of man that the author likes to use in his novels.

The loss of innocence is evident in most characters of The Lord of The Flies. But first of all this means that this characters at a timet hey were innocent, this can be seen in the first chapters of the of the book when it is said that this children, Ralph and the others, were good sons and daughters , that they studied in a private school ,they liked to play that they were part of the high society meaning that they had money , as part of the high society in England they were children that were teach with good manners for example, to drink a cup of coffe in the afternoon.All of this meant that they were very educated children that will always do the correct thing nad that they would not hurt anyone but, when the accident with the plain occur that leads them to crush within a virgin island this changed in a progressive a notorious way as the the time passed by because this savagery was needed to survive within the islands there were no easy things to get as in the civilization were they only had to ask for the things to they parents as most children an in contrast in the island thy were by themselves trying to survive so they had to hunt animal to eat making a huge contrast in the behavior they had in the civilization and the behavior they had to have in the island, as the children that were portraded swimming in the lagoon in Chapter 3 that when crushed in the island they only wanted to be rescue that turned The painted savages in Chapter 12 who have hunted, tortured, and killed animals and human beings and that now they do not want to be rescued anymore.The autor, William Golding, as a man that hated war is trying to show with this that civilization can not delete the evil nature of the human being that it is shown in the worst moments of the life of the man and that this civilization can only hide and control this evil side that all man have.

The process of innocnece degradation can be seen in the spar between Jack and Ralph appears to be constantly stirring. It occurs in the begging of the novel with the election of Ralph as chief all the way to the hunting of pigs. It seems that all Jack wants to do is hunt and kill even before they have any shelter to protect them from the elements. For example in chapter 3 it was said by Jack, “We want meat” (pg 54). Jack says this on more than one occasion. It is also evident that the boys are becoming more and more savage. For example in chapter eight during the successful hunt of a pig Jack says, “Pick up the pig.” , “This head is for the beast” referring to the sows head (pg 137). The head of the pig was impaled upon a spear through the ground as an offering for the beast. Towards the end of the novel it has become self-evident that the innocence of the boys has been completely lost. It at one point had gotten so bad that instead of hunting for food for the necessity of food, human beings were killed. For example, in chapter 11 a young boy named Roger, a sadist, rolled a boulder down a hill during a feud and killed piggy. Another example of loss of innocence can be provided in chapter 10 where Simon goes to tell the boys of the “real” beast while the boys are in a chant screaming, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill His Blood!.” Simon is stabbed with a spear and dies. Society is a key element lacking in The Lord Of The Flies causing the new erratic behavior among the boys.

The boys in lord of the flies were unable to retain the much-needed innocence to preserve peace amongst the boys. The ideal supervision and stability of the “grown-up” world that was lacking caused the instability among the boys and the epitome of the downfall of innocence of mankind at its most primitive state with a huge contrast of what the children were before and what they are now, as when Ralph is first introduced, he is acting like a child, splashing in the water, mocking Piggy, and laughing. He tells Piggy that he is certain that his father, a naval commander, will rescue him, a conviction that the reader understands as the wishful thinking of a little boy. Ralph repeats his belief in their rescue throughout the novel, shifting his hope that his own father will discover them to the far more realistic premise that a passing ship will be attracted by the signal fire on the island. By the end of the novel, he has lost hope in the boys’ rescue altogether. The progression of Ralph’s character from idealism to pessimistic realism expresses the extent to which life on the island has eradicated his childhood.

Also you can see that there is a lot of symbolism that represents the loss of innocence as in the island is coded in the early chapters as a kind of paradise, with idyllic scenery, fresh fruit, and glorious weather. Yet, as in the Biblical Eden, the temptation toward corruption is present: the younger boys fear a “snake-thing.” The “snake-thing” is the earliest incarnation of the “beast” that, eventually, will provoke paranoia and division among the group. It also explicitly recalls the snake from the Garden of Eden, the embodiment of Satan who causes Adam and Eve’s fall from grace. The boys’ increasing belief in the beast indicates their gradual loss of innocence, a descent that culminates in tragedy. We may also note that the landscape of the island itself shifts from an edenic space to a hellish one, as marked by Ralph’s observation of the ocean tide as an impenetrable wall, and by the storm that follows Simon’s murder.

Altought the lack of moral during thier actions is a bad thing , this has pros and cons the pros is that this help them to survive in the island since there is no place to be a educated and a formal man becouse if you are this way there you will get killed an eat by a wild animal or by other things so in a way here applies the “survival of the fittest” as a principal law to survive, the advantage of the lack of moral in that place is that they will not feel guilty for the killings of animals or people since you need to eat but on the same side the cons of this is that they will lose all social skills, and civilizad ways they have learn trought their lives, in case they are rescued and bring back to the city this will not permit them to have a normal live there as they adapted all to the island.So in way this lack of moral helps them but at the sametime it puts them on danger.


In conclusion the loss of innocence is an evident theme trought the novel “the lord of the flies” of William Golding that is shown throught this characters in an progressive way as the lack of moral that brings down the innocence makes them do horrible things as cannibalism and other things that are worst as the time passes, but aside form the fact that this brings their moral down, this have advantages that helps them to survive in this chaotic situation full of danger.

With this the author William Golding tries to show that no matter who you are or what your education you have recieved because when people are in a difficult moment of their lives ,their evil side appears losing all the civiliziced way of behaving as this part is always present in all human people despite their social-economic class , this idea of the human society that the author has is the result of his experiences of war as he presenced killing and other horrible things throught this stage of his life changing his way of seeing things into a pessimistic view of people as he probably did in war things that he is not proud of because this situation makes people change his way of thinking and do things that they would not normally do.

This topic could bring new investgiation in the possible future ,in the same book, about “the savagery vs civilization”, this topic is related in a great way about the loss of innocence since it is about the conflict beteween the impulses that exist in all human beings one of them the instinct to live in a peacefull way by following rules and the other being to act in a violent and animalistic way to survive and to gain supremacy over other people.

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