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Biblical Parallels in Lord of the Flies

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Madeline Gazaway

on 2 April 2014

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Transcript of Biblical Parallels in Lord of the Flies

Simon as a Christ Figure
Simon has been seen as a Christ figure in the Lord of the Flies.
The Island as the Garden of Eden, and the fall of man.
Biblical Parallels in Lord of the Flies
Nakedness as a symbol
of innocence
Simon makes a prophetic vision of his death just as Jesus had.
Like Jesus, Simon thought of his death as trivial if it means the survival of someone else.
Simon set out to spread the word that the "beastie" was actually found in all the boys, which is similar to Jesus spreading the word of God.
Simon developed the idea of the "beastie" being inside all of the boys like the evil in all man, just as Jesus developed the profound concept that man can be defeated by his inherent evil nature, to be the most savage animal that has walked the earth.
Simon, like Jesus is sensitive to the feelings an emotions of other people.
Jesus and Simon were both able to understand truths.
Christ and Simon were both persecuted for their ideals.
Both Jesus and Simon reawaken from a temporary death.
Both Jesus and Simon's deaths were unjust.
Both Simon and Jesus possess a "dual identity"
Lord of the Flies: Symbol of Evil
Discussion Questions
1. Why do you think Golding decided to make parallels between the Lord of the Flies and the Bible?
2. What underlying message can be conveyed from the book about human nature and religion?
3. Do you think other religious parallels can be pulled from the book?
Jack and Ralph as Cain and Abel

“The boys' constant dissension throughout the novel stems from a larger, more threatening evil within them: one, which brings to mind the story of Cain and Abel. Due to his charisma and conviction, Ralph beats Jack in the race for chief. Jack's boiling "mortification" (Golding 22) seen earlier in the book, is eventually released in a full-on attempt to kill Ralph: "He ran forward, stooping. 'I'm chief.' Viciously, with full intention, he [Jack] hurled his spear at Ralph" (Golding 180). In this sense, what was a petty jealousy has now become a motivation for murder, resembles the idea of the beast, originating as a littleun's nightmare and with the boys' mounting fear, escalates to a ravenous darkness encasing the island. This can be seen as a parallel with Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:6-8. 6. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7: If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

8: Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him”.

Furthermore, this attempted murder is done after Jack assumes the position of chief, revealing that his conduct stems from a personal anger towards Ralph rather than a means of achieving a goal. Likewise, Cain kills his brother Abel out of a deep-seated feeling of spite and jealousy. Finally, in Lord of The Flies as well as in the bible, the victims are murdered with "full intention:" even when thinking clearly, Jack and Cain do not demonstrate sound or moral judgment. Towards the end of the book, officers arrive to rescue the boys and Ralph has the chance to study his surroundings: he fathoms a brutal truth, "…the other little boys began to shake and sob too…Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart…" (202). The undeniable pleasure of childhood: living young and unaware of depravity in the world has been stolen from the boys during their life on the island. The ruination of a beautiful land and the cold murder of two close friends have brought out a "darkness in man's heart" that the boys were not ready for. Because they understand this untamable evil within them, they "weep" for the end of their own "innocence" and days of simplistic living. In Cain and Abel, Cain too cries after murdering his brother: he learns that he has a "darkness" within him, which drives him to commit the ultimate sin, murder”. This darkness is within all of us and the novel, Lord of the Flies portrays how society has been ruined to an extent because of jealousy, spitefulness, and anger. In the bible, the story of Cain and Abel shows us how our emotions can bring forth the most radical of actions that can hurt others. In conclusion, we should not make permanent decisions on temporary feelings.

lord of the flies symbolized evil, corruption, and savagery.
Simon figures out from the lord of the flies that the beast is not something you can hunt down and kill, it is within each of them (pages 143-144)

The lord of the flies start stealing (Piggy's glasses and Ralph's fire) and murdering (Simon and Piggy) when they are tempted by the beast
The symbol of evil that parallels the lord of the flies is the devil, the devil is evil and this is evident when he murders Job and the people he cares for in the book of Job
The catalyst for this evil is the boy's island situation similar to when Adam and Eve started disobeying god and sinning when they were in the garden of Eden
Overarching Statement
In the Lord of the Flies, William Golding traces the defects of society back to the defects of human nature. This can be seen through the biblical parallels in the book. Jesus taught that every man has evil inside of him and if man is defeated by his inherent evil nature he can be the most savage creature to walk the earth. In The Lord of the Flies Simon discovers that the “beastie” lurks within each of the boys, which is a way of depicting the evil inside each boy. The savage in each boy appears more as the amount of time they have been away from civilization increases, and as their savagery increases it got harder for the boys to keep their society intact.
Island vs Garden of Eden
Genesis 3:10 says the following:
8 Then the man and his wife heard the
sound of the Lord God as he was walking
in the garden in the cool of the day,
and they hid from the Lord God among
the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord
God called to the man,
“Where are you?” 10
He answered, “I heard you in the garden,
and I was afraid because I was
naked; so I hid.”

Adam and Eve were naked. Making them feel
vulnerable. They were innocent, but exposed.
Their innocence can be compared to the boys
in the book because they didn’t know what they
were doing or where they were. They were
foreigners to the island just as Adam and Eve,
representing man, were foreigners to Earth
when they were in the garden of Eden.
Both are lush and green environment filled with pristine vegetation. Golding described the lush setting as "a great platform of pink granite thrust up uncompromisingly through forest and terrace and sand and lagoon to make a raised jetty four feet high. The top was covered with a thin layer of soil and coarse grass and shaded with young palm trees." This is almost the same as the setting of The Garden of Eden. "All kinds of beautiful trees grow there and produce good fruit."(Genesis 2.9)
The abundance of things needed for life
The abundance of things needed to live were also present in both places. This was evident through the abundance of fruit in both places."We walked with n accustomed tread through the acres of fruit trees." God says the same thing when he says to Adam & Eve "I have proclaimed allkinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat" Genesis 1.29-30)
Like the Garden of Eden, the island was also portayed as perfect, which nothing could be improved upon. The long white beach and the nice warm bay were a perfect match with the lush landscape and refreshing streams of the Garden of Eden.

Lack of Authority
The absence of authority was present in both stories. Just as Adam and Eve are placed in the garden, the boys are placed on the island. Just as God was absent in the case of Adam and Eve, there was no one presiding over the boys on the Island.
Their response
In both stories, they felt free to be naked. In the bible it says, "The man and woman were both naked, but were not embarrassed." (Genesis 2.25). This parallels with one of Ralph's first actions on the island, "He became concious of the weight of his clothes, kicked his shoes off fiercely and ripped off each stocking with it's elastic garter in one single movement... He undid the snake-like clasp of his belt, lugged off his shorts and pants, and stood there naked, looking at the dazzling of the beach and water." (8) Ralph was not embarrassed just as Adam and Eve weren't.
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