Lord Of Flies By William Golding

William Goldingís Lord of the Flies is a sordid tale about a group of kids who
are stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. The story is set
during the Atomic War and plenty of references are made to the fact. However,
the real key to the story lies in the role of Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies.

Beelzebub has a central role in the story as he represents the Beast, or evil,
that dwells within all humans. The Beast cannot be hunted and since it dwells
within all humans, humans are all guilty because mankind is sick. The
destruction of mankind is a point that Golding makes apparent often in this
novel. He establishes early on that Beelzebub is a force within all humans that
drives them to destroy and maim. In the story the central emblem of the story
lies in the dead airman. The boys mistake him for Beelzebub and basically begin
to worship him. In fact, the most effective portrayal of Beelzebub appears early
in the novel in the form of the dead airman. The parachute carries him through
the night to the top of the mountain, where his body is entangled in the trees.

It is in the way in which he is hung that makes it appear as if he was sitting
on a throne of some sort. Sam n Eric first come upon it and are scared to death
at the mere sight of it. However, when the whole group returns to the site the
horrific monstrosity bewilders them. In this quote from the book it clearly
states the groupís actions. " Behind them the sliver of moon had drawn clear
the horizon. Before them something like a great ape was sitting asleep with its
head between his knees. Then, the wind roared in the forest, there was confusion
in the darkness and the creation lifted its head, holding toward them a ruin of
a face. " The experience alone accelerates the deterioration of the already
weak civilization of the group. The experience brings young Jack to committing
himself fully to the newfound dark religion. (Johnston, 126) Beelzebub was the
cause for accelerating the destruction of the boys. He was not the outright
cause. The Atomic War generated the novel; it was the sole reason that brought
the boys to live on the island in the first place. It is in this sense that the
boys only duplicated the adult society that had been crashing down around them
while they were part of the civilized world. Golding uses the dead airman to
continue the war on throughout the novel. With each new day the boys become more
and more savage. One by one the boys lose sanity. Beelzebub is slowly entering
the boys, and through the use of Jack as a minister of evil, delivering the boys
to insanity and corruption. (Gindin, 160) Golding however does offer mankind
hope through the character of Simon. Simon is the one character in the story
that knew how to deal with Beelzebub. The day before Simon dies he learns that

Beelzebub dwells within and cannot be hunted by humans. Simon finds that the
evil Beelzebub represents is inside people and ineradicable. Simon is the only
character in the novel to come to terms with the darkness and impending doom of
the groupís situation. Simon looks darkness in the face and, with great
courage, comes to terms with the ignoble nature of mankind. Beelzebub has
blinded every other member of the group. Piggy, for instance, pins all blame on

Jack. Piggy misses the point because Jack is only the minister for a greater
evil. Jack is to blame only in the sense that he lives in all of us, that we are
all guilty because mankind is sick. Still, Simon is the one exception to this
general condemnation. Simon is the one spiritually sound person on the island.

Simon is an epileptic and it is sickness that makes him a saint. Simon is not
interested in leadership and prefers to keep to himself. Rather than involve
himself in the promotion of the self, Simon concentrates on the nature of
reality. He is one of the meek, of the poor in spirit, who are promised the
kingdom of heaven, not the congratulations and rewards of earthly fortune. After
the group removes Simon the decline in morality is greatly accelerated. Golding
does not immediately symbolize this acceleration though. He allows it to flow
from a series of events instead. First, the "littluns" complain of