What is the Allegory in Lord of the Flies

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Blood erupted from his body, splattering as the boulder pulled away. Lord of the Flies is an allegory written by William Golding. As war continues in the background, a group of boys has crashed onto an island and attempt to create a society of their own. While the boys seek ways to survive, the novel lacks a prominent female character. Nevertheless, the presence of feminine energy is negatively represented beside masculinity.

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There are several ways femininity is integrated into the story. One resemblance is the island setting. Description about the island appears at the opening of chapters, both colorful and delicate. “The pink, shattered top of the mountain,” (40) is mentioned throughout the book and describes the masses of granite. The color pink is delicate, sweet, and feminine, associated with girls and candy. In contrast, masculinity first arrives in a disrupting manner, clashing with the peacefulness of the island. The plane crash where the boys were introduced left “a scar” in the middle of the forest. Soon after, they decide to create a small signal fire for their rescuers to see. The boys tear up the forest, searching for wood to burn. Carried away by the glory of creating fire, they realize the fire had spread to the trees and watch the smoke become thicker. “Acres of black and yellow smoke rolled steadily toward the sea… as a jaguar creeps on its belly,” (44). This indicates that the fire, like an animal, preyed on the pink rock, suggesting the dominant idea of masculinity over femininity. The rest of the boys stare in awe at the “power set free below them,” (44) whereas Piggy, who represents femininity, only sees destruction in the spread of fire. By the end of the book, a larger, more dramatic fire ignites the entire forest, obliterating the island. A naval officer arrives to rescue the boys after seeing this fire. Neglecting the island after depleting it, the boys forget about the fire for the newly found chance of going back home, showing that masculinity abusively torments femininity for selfish needs.

Femininity appears through the characters as well. Ralph recalls ignoring a book solely because it was about two girls. Even as their hair grows longer, the boys refuse to tie their hair back because it is like a girl. The role of femininity is tossed around as chaos arises further into the novel, but Piggy holds this position in significance. In the first chapter, Piggy is introduced as the bespectacled “fat boy” with plump legs and short height in contrast to the rest, who are taller, thinner, and healthier. Piggy also corresponds with pink through the color of his face, whereas the others, such as Ralph, are described as red. Having to wear glasses, it becomes a problem when they are taken away by the boys, losing sight. In addition to eyesight and weight, Piggy has asthma. This shows that he is vulnerable, and Piggy’s weaknesses cause him to be avoided by the boys, who are masculine. Piggy also represents femininity because of communication. When he first meets Ralph, Piggy follows him while talking about himself. “My auntie told me not to run…on account of my asthma,” (9). Generally, females have a more outgoing nature when speaking to each other, and instances are frequent when Piggy is presented talking about his aunt. This exhibits Piggy’s skill of communication and the only indication of a female voice, whereas Ralph only speaks about his father. Another reason why Piggy brings femininity to the island is his maternal essence. Piggy is seen removing “thorns carefully” from his knees and searching for “safe lodgements for his feet,” (7). This shows that he takes care of himself, in ways such as his glasses, asthma, and overall health. Piggy is also responsible for watching over the “littluns,” or the younger boys, showing the established motherly position. Additionally, Piggy’s real name is never revealed, suggesting the idea that he does not deserve a name, or is not considered important enough by the boys. This shows that femininity is dismissed and deformed, so masculinity has no interest in it.

The sow also symbolizes femininity. When the sow is killed, it foreshadows the extermination of feminine resemblances, such as Piggy and the island. Piggy’s name directly connects to the sow, and they both share similar fates. The sow, introduced while Jack’s hunters are active, is killed. When she is spotted, the hunters attack her with spears. “…The sow staggered her way ahead of them, bleeding and mad, and the hunters followed,” (135). The sow, which had been feeding her piglets, represented femininity and “maternal bliss.” After she is hunted down, the other feminine entities are destroyed. Piggy is murdered near the end, and the ruination of the island follows. Masculinity takes advantage of femininity, putting it in an abused position.

The island, Piggy, and the sow fill up the empty role of a female character. Unfortunately, these additions are eliminated by the end of the book. The island burning out, Piggy’s death, and the hunting of the sow are results of the presence of masculinity. Lord of the Flies negatively presents feminine qualities to enhance masculinity.

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What is the Allegory in Lord Of The Flies. (2020, May 14). Retrieved May 28, 2023 , from

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