Lord of the Flies Contains a Religious Allegories Demonstrating Christian Beliefs Bohemian Rhapsody, a song written by Freddie Mercury, states the line, “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me.” Could the boys in The Lord of the Flies be taken over by the devil himself? Throughout The Lord of Flies, William Golding uses several deep meanings throughout the book, many of which are religious allegories. Golding published the book in 1954.
At this time, WWII was over and Golding had many experiences from it. He saw first hand how in a time of distress, people sided to evil and savagery. By using symbols, characters such as simon, and the savagery of the boys, Golding displays his experiences during WWII and hides a deeper meaning about religion within. Simon is used by Golding to portray Jesus, a figure in the christian faith, who is known to spread goodness, and health by those who practice the religion. For example, “Simon found for them the fruit they could not reach, pulled off the choicest from up in the foliage, passed them back down to the endless, outstretched hands” (pg. 56).
In the bible, there is a story of jesus feeding thousands out of only a few baskets of food. “… breaking the loaves into pieces, he Jesus kept giving to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish” (Mark 6:41-44). There are many similarities between Jesus and Simon. Both are seen as selfless, as seen in the previous quote from Lord of the Flies. This leads us to the fact that Simon has a deeper understanding of the island, like Jesus had a good perception of the world.
Simon even tries to explain to the others “Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.” (Golding 89). The boys on the island do not agree with Simon. Jesus receives the same reaction from his followers when he tells them about his beliefs in the resurrection of the dead. Simon tries to explain to the boys through these words during a meeting where many of the boys are questioning each other about the actual existence of the beast. Percival appoints the idea that the beast comes from out of the of the water and emerges from the depths only at night. While the boys argue over whether or not the beast exists, Simon proposes that the beast is only themselves.
Even though the remainder of the boys laugh at Simon, Golding has used this to show that human evil is just within a person. The main similarities between the character of Jesus Christ and William Golding’s Simon should now be evident; Both make the effort to be considerate of the general welfare of others, and they see the grander scheme of things. William Golding uses symbolism to convey the devil. In Lord of the Flies Golding creates the concept of the pig head which the boys place on a spear in chapter eight.
When Simon is hallucinating, the pig head comes to life. The pig head refers to itself as lord of the flies, which in hebrew, is another name for Beelzebub, the devil. In previous chapters, Simon tells the boys that the beast is themselves, The devil assures him in his theory when he tells Simon, “You knew, didn’t you? Im part of you?” Simon, being the visionary that he is, realizes the beast/devil and forces his way out of the situation by referring to the lord of the flies as the pig head on a stick. But, the devil acknowledges that Simon has always known where the evil resides, which is within the boys themselves. Golding puts even more additional meaning to the pig head when he describes the beat as a, “dim-eyed, grinning faintly, blood blackening between the teeth,”(pg.137). A large amount of Irony is used in this chapter as Simon, the least evil of all of the boys, is confronted by beelzebub himself, coming face-to-face with the beast everyone was afraid of. William Golding emphasizes that evil can overcome anyone in a time of panic, we see this with Ralph and his encounter with the Lord of the Flies, “The skull regarded Ralph like one who knows all the answers and won’t tell…the skull lay in two pieces, its grin now six feet across…then he backed away, keeping his face to the skull, that lay grinning at the sky.
” Even when Ralph attempts to destroy the beast, it simply continues to grin even wider, which is portraying the fact that the innocence of the boys is destroyed, and the power of evil will always be present among the boys and their island. The theme of savagery is most certainly present in The Lord of the Flies. Some watch documentaries that focus on the brutal and savage killings that animals in the wild endure day-to-day.
This is because we all have an emotion we have adopted by interacting with our society, empathy. Without it, killings would be seen as acceptable and many would show no remorse. The boys on the Island convert themselves to a savage lifestyle towards the end of the book out of the devil’s doing. In chapter two of the novel, Jack claims that, “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.” This statement is soon to be turned against. At first, the boys follow the rules; Speak only when the conch is given to you, keep the fire going, and do not stray away from the lagoon unless instructed to. The first time the rules were to be broken was when Jack wandered away from the fire to kill a pig. While doing so, the fire dies out and an argument bursts out between Jack and Ralph about why keeping the fire going is important. As explained previously, Simon believes the the beast is within themselves.
His allegation is deemed true once the boys choose savagery over civilization. It appears that the devil overtakes his first victim an incident with Roger. For example, “‘Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw.
” This quote can be found in Chapter 4, on page 62, of the novel, Lord of the Flies. Roger makes sure to not hit Henry with the rocks out of what society has taught him. The “invisible six-yard diameter circle” surrounding Henry is the information the Roger’s parents, and other adult influences that he’s come in contact with have taught him throughout his life. Although Roger doesn’t hit Henry, he is overly ecstatic about throwing the rocks at the boy. He is finally free from the acts of innocence and good he faces in civilization. To conclude, William Golding hides a secret meaning with his novel, The Lord of the Flies. From the use of his visionary character, Simon, and the symbolic pigs head that represents Beelzebub, to the progression of the boys savagery, Golding has portrayed many religious allegories throughout the book.
The most defined would be the devil, disguised as an innocent pig’s head.