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Lord of the Flies: The Parachutist

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by

Colton Lee

on 13 June 2011

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies: The Parachutist

Lord of the Flies: The Parachutist What is symbolism? Symbolism is the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships. Symbolism in Lord of the Flies: There are many symbols in the Lord of the Flies, but a significant one is the Parachutist.
Ralph, Roger, and Jack all see the parachutist during the same day. The parachutist is an important symbol in the Lord of the Flies because it is William Golding's representation of the "beast" on or approaching the island. In what the children think is a beast is really the beginning of corruption. This is proven by the location of the parachutist and its path. By several conflicts, the children have set the island onto the brink of anarchy and disorder. The boys' reaction to the parachutist is quite far-fetched. The first sign of the body was by samneric, where they believed to see the beast as a huge animal with wings. This causes the boys to live their life on the island in fear instead of hope that they will be rescued. Interestingly enough, you could view the parachutist as a sign of the boys' fear.
When they see the dead parachutist, which is a sign of some sort of civilization and the being of an adult, it is evident that it made them more scared than having the comfort that there are still signs of rescue and survival. "They became motionless, gripped in eachother's arms four unwinking eyes aimed and two mouths opened." (Pg. 98) What I find interesting is that during the storm, changed the location of the parachutists' body that was swept from the mountain top and drifted across the jungle, beach and lagoon before being carried out to sea. This is a key point because all of these places on the island are being slowly corrupted by the children's savagery. The conflicts on the island are adding on the destruction of civilization and any hopes of survival. Therefore the parachutist's body is symbolizing the darkness the island is slowly becoming. The quote, "soon the darkness was full of claws, full of awful unknown, and menace..." (Pg. 99) foreshadowed the terrible society the children turned their island into.
More ironically at the end however, the parachutist is washed away by the rain from the storm showing that the beast ceases to exist. ________ ________ ________ By having Golding begin with the parachutist falling from the sky onto the mountain top, he was able to provide the readers with again, but this time with a visual representation of how quickly the darkness had been brought upon them. The conflict's on the island lead to lost hope for the children's society.
"The sun was bright and danger had faded with the darkness." (Pg. 118) This quote also personifies darkness with the beast, and how large the problem really is. The Storm and the Body: Parachutist compared to a Marionette: The puppeteer of a marionette is called a manipulator. I find that this relates to the parachutist because the boys are being manipulated to think there is a beast on the island that is growing and they should be scared of it. A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings. I believe that the parachutist is being controlled by the children in a sense that they are the ones that are creating the beast and thinking that it is going to hurt them. The parachute from the parachutist depicts itself as being "wings" for the beast. this also relates to a marionette's strings controlled by the manipulator. “It was furry. There was something moving behin its head – wings.” (Pg. 108) This is important because it all develops a foreshadowing towards their outcome of the society and its corruption and chaos. Their island is a smaller representation of what is going on outside, ie; the war. The parachutist's body likely gave the children a sign that they were not the only ones that were going through outrage and the breakdown of civilization. Darkness and the Beast: Reaction to the Parachutist: Marionette Continued: What is a marionette?
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