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Why Is Setting Significant In Lord Of The Flies?

In Lord of the Flies, the setting has an important influence on the story and the actions of the characters in it. As it is set on a deserted island, isolated away from society and civilization, it allows a microcosm to be born. A plane crash causes the schoolboys to land on the island and force them to create civilization between themselves. The fact that the boys are away from rules and reason gives them the lease to misbehave and do as they wish, which couldn’t be done if they were lost somewhere else, highlighting the importance of the Island’s isolation. The idea of being without “grown-ups” seems daunting to Piggy, but for the rest of the group, it is more like an adventure. Piggy sometimes seems to be the only one with a mature mindset, and he realizes that they could be stuck on the Island forever, while the little un’s, choir boys, and the rest don’t think about the long term.

The Island is described as quite like a luxury holiday, “palm terrace” and “white surf flanked on a coral reef”, which also shows how the boys only think of their time on the island to be temporary. On the Island, where there are no grown-ups, there are no boundaries. Because all the boys are just children, they have not learned the proper values of what civilization means and how it is created, or how to live in peace. Most of the boys did not know each other and therefore have to live alongside strangers, and instead of trying to do it in a collected way, because the majority haven’t yet learned manners, there are many arguments and the civilization that was somewhat built up during the reign of Ralph deteriorates very quickly. The boys are no longer willing to do their duties, and simply cannot be bothered to respect others anymore.

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This gets to such an extremity, which is highlighted by the murders of Piggy and Simon. Golding uses the oxymoronic phrase ‘dark luxuriance to describe the forest on the island, which shows the contrast between good and evil amongst the boys. Lord of the Flies is set during World War II. This is of significance due to the happenings of the novel, the acts of violence, and the war that goes on between the two groups of boys. The isolation they live in forms civilization and community, which is a microcosm of the real world. Golding is using the island to reflect what is happening in the real world, sending a political message to the world. The island in which the boys inhabit is presented as perfect and luxurious.

“Palm and beach and water drew to a point at infinity”, all pleasurable features. The island is described as lush, comparable to the Garden of Eden. Placing the boys away from society in a “paradise” place like Eden suggests that Golding is suggesting the traits of violence and savage are innate in the boys, or that those feelings are inevitable. In conclusion, I think that the setting – of an Island – was important to the story because it simply could not have happened in a different sort of setting. The island allowed a microcosm to be born amongst the boys and allowed them to be away from order, civilization, rules, and society. This allows them to create the small amount of civilization that they do create before it is torn down.

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Why Is Setting Significant In Lord Of The Flies?. (2021, Apr 13). Retrieved May 9, 2021, from