Topic: Archetypes in LOTF

Discuss William Golding's, Lord of the Flies.
1. How does the story resemble other stories in plot, character, setting, or use of symbols?
2. Are archetypes presented, such as quests, initiations, scapegoats, or withdrawals and returns?
3. Does the protagonist undergo any kind of transformation such as movement from innocence to experience that seems archetypal?


Re: Archetypes in LOTF

Lord of the Flies resembles a whole bunch of Bible stories, 3 of which include: Lucifer,and the angels who he is the 'chief' of, plot to override and replace God by creating an army, but they loose, and then are thrown into hell for all of eternity; Adam and Eve, who are two innocent perfect beings placed in the garden of Eden and given the opportunity to eat any fruit except that of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, are tempted by the serpent and eat the fruit thus creating the fall from grace, and the longing to return to the natural state of grace and innocence embodied in the paradise of the Garden of Eden; And finally, Cain and Abel, two brothers that sacrifice the best of their crop and lamb to God as an offering, but when only the crop is accepted Cain kills Abel.

The archetypes in the Lucifer story such as the army of angels, suggest (as in the Lord of the Flies) the savages who were once good or angelic, and are now following the 'shadows' all the way to hell without really realizing it. The serpent, as in the Adam and Eve story, was suggested quite a few times in the book as the invisible force of temptation slithering out of the bushes, and holding up their notions like a clasp. The sacrifices in the Cain and Able story are almost directly illustrated in the book as the pig's head, or as Simon, or as almost Ralph. All sacrifices to the 'beast' who they didn't want to bother them, just like the brothers lived in healthy fear of God and didn't want him to inflict any kind of punishment for any reason.

Lucifer was the protagonist at one point in his story, being the head angel in all of Heaven, but somehow overcame all of that and switched roles to the antagonist, and thus became the figurehead of all evil in the universe. Adam and Eve most clearly and literally loose their innocence after eating the fruit from the  tree they were forbidden to touch, and this is no differently interpreted than Ralph loosing his innocence by listening to Jack. Cain and Able start out as servants of God living in fear and humility, and then Cain is overcome with jealousy and takes it out on his brother, which is no different than Jack hating the fact that Ralph is picked to be chief of all the boys and wants to 'hunt' him.


Re: Archetypes in LOTF

Why is Simon the character that defines the story and tells it exactly how it is? He's just the boy who always faints. He's just the boy who, in the beginning of the book, had been abandoned by Ralph and Jack. I saw him as mysterious and shy. Never would I have thought he was the only one who later on knew exactly what was going on. Ralph, seemed to know most. As he wanted order, "I had the conch" "I had a right to speak" And Ralph knew that a fire and smoke was the only answer to their survival.  "We've got to make smoke up there- or die." For a young boy, his vast intelligence struck me. So why not Ralph? Couldn't he have delivered the boys the message of what the "beast" really was, through Simon?

The best thing for Simon's survival was to have stayed with Ralph. And the best thing for Ralph's survival  would be to stay with Simon. Those two and all that they knew would better their chances if they just stayed together. If Simon had lived and brought the news of the dead man on a hill to Ralph, Ralph's hope would not had been vanished. Knowing there is no beast might mean there is nothing left to be afraid of. Nothing left to do but make a fire. And nothing left to do but wait. Wait for Ralph's Dad or another ship to come rescue them. So Ralph could go home and recover the innocence he once had. All the boys needed to go home. With the exception of Jack, who only wanted the thrill of the hunt. After all, they're only boys who "fell early and decayed: creepers cradled them, and new saplings searched their way up", or so they would have become.

"And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of a man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wised friend called Piggy. Why does Ralph cry? Simply because it is an initiation. An initiation of a new life. The tears Ralph sheds represents the water in this initiation. Ralph can now do it right. Ralph can be forgiven. And now, Ralph is born again. Just too bad for Simon. Where was he in this initiation? He was just part of Jack's addiction to bad and negative behavior. Jack feels there is no God, he is governed by evil. The hunting, the violence, and the killing. "That Jack Merridew!"


Re: Archetypes in LOTF

So the conch is an archetype of order. Simon was the archetype for savior, or God. And Ralph's tears were an archetype of new life, or baptism. Right?


Re: Archetypes in LOTF

Hhmmm yes. But also, wasn't the fire the archetype for savior as well?


Re: Archetypes in LOTF

The conch symbolizes a civilization?
the conch cant represent a civilization because it gives the person the power to speak, but thats all it did. If you make a civilization you do not need a item to be a leader, a MP, a King. The leaders in todays world do not have symbols for who they are, they have symbols for what they have done, and how they represent that. So I say the conch do not represent civilizations.

Re: Archetypes in LOTF

rbrousseau wrote:

Kristen I disagree Simon is much like Jesus Christ in many ways Simon tried to bring back news to the hunters about what they were going to do and he tried to bring back the good. Simon also died for his cause just and Jesus did. "Simon, sitting between the twins and Piggy, wiped his mouth and shoved his piece of meat over the rocks to Piggy, who grabbed it. The twins giggled and Simon lowered his face in shame." This shows that Simon is sincere and that he could go without meat or food just as Christ did for 40 days.