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Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies
LordOfTheFliesBookCover
Author
William Golding
Publisher
Faber and Faber. Ltd
Publish Date
1954

Lord of the Flies is an allegorical novel written in 1954 by the Nobel Prize-winning author William Golding.

The book is about a group of schoolboys trying to recreate society after being stranded on an island, only to have it break down when the darker side of human nature defies attempts to establish order. The main conflict in the book is the widening ideological gap between Ralph, the rational and moral leader who wants to establish order, and Jack, who wants a hedonistic, animalistic anarchy. Murder and mayhem ensue as the story continues and things get out of hand.

In Lost

First mentioned by Sawyer after he captures Jin for what he believes to be his burning of the raft (later proven false) and says, "Folks down on the beach might have been doctors and accountants a month ago, but it's Lord of the Flies time now." ("...In Translation")

Later mentioned by Charlie in reference to what the tail section went through: "They seem to have had a rough time of it. It looks like they went bloody Lord of the Flies out there." ("What Kate Did")

Shared themes

  • The introduction of a device that changes the plot of each work. (In the show; the discovery of the Swan. In the book; the finding of the paratrooper who is believed to be "The Beast")
  • Characters who don't seem to play a major role, but help pass information across. (Sam and Eric in the book, Boone and Shannon on the show.)
  • Schism between two major characters for leadership of the island (Ralph/Jack in the book, Jack/Locke on the show); in some ways, follows theme approached in title of "Man of Science, Man of Faith".
  • The question of maintaining morality while promoting order in a recreated civilization (how far is too far in a fear-based society) is broached in both the latter chapters of the book and episodes of the show such as "One of Them".
  • Importance of glasses (Piggy's, used for making fire in book; Sawyer's, used to read)
  • Character with asthma (Piggy and Shannon)
  • A castaway that feels a naturalistic connection to the Island (Simon and Locke)
    • Each of these castaways have a place where they find appealing and mesmerizing. (Locke with the Hatch, and Simon with his secret area only he knows about.)
  • The recurrent appearance of boars
  • A rarely-seen Monster (in the book, no more than a rumor)
  • A running gag of confusion between a pair of characters (in book, Sam/Eric, in show, Scott/Steve).
  • Simon's not-so-accidental death in the book and Boone's death in the show are also both later rationalized as sacrifices to the island (in the former case, by Jack of the book, in the latter, by Locke in the show).
  • Violence from misunderstandings and later, cold-blooded murders by characters that once attracted sympathy (Jack in the book, Michael on the show).
  • In the book the boar-head "speaks" to Simon in a dream, even predicting his death. Similar to various visions on the show, in which someone is seen as dead before it happened.
  • A parachutist arrives on the island and becomes entangled in a tree. In both cases, the parachutist is discovered by plane crash survivors from the island. However, in the case of the book, the parachutist is dead on arrival, whereas in the show Naomi is still alive.
    • Alternately, while not a parachutist, a balloonist arrives on the island and becomes entangled in a tree. In both cases, the deceased is discovered and the dead person leads to a major discovery (no monster or mystical force is terrorizing them and Ben is not Henry Gale but rather terrorizing them).
  • Two conflicting characters form their own groups from the castaways (Ralph/Jack in the book, Jack/Locke in the show).
  • A character is accidently killed after being mistaken for a threat (Simon in the book, Shannon in the show). Even the weather is similar: heavy rain, leading to confusion.
  • Both stories take place on a jungle island far removed from civilization.
  • Both stories explore themes that question the true nature of Man. Lord of the Flies depicts savage behavior of young boys (juxtaposed to adults engaged in global war) to illustrate the author's views about human nature. Lost uses the theme of "Tabula Rasa" (the idea that humans are born with a 'Clean Slate') and the dialog between Jacob and his brother in the opening scene of the Season 5 finale also seems to hint at some underlying conflict over the nature of people. Lost also brings up baptism which is a Christian tradition that deals with Original Sin: the idea that humans are born with innate evil that must be washed away due to Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden as described in the book of Genesis.
  • Both stories explore characteristics that are within everyone, in Lost, the light from the source is within every man (Across the Sea) , and in Lord of the Flies the beast is said to be inside all of the boys. Both sets of characters also somewhat revere the source/beast.
  • The use of boars is common to both stories. They are used as both a primary source of food and possible symbols for something else. In Lord of the Flies the boar's head is the Lord of the Flies, a name sometimes used to refer to Satan . Pigs in literature are often a symbol of unsanitary, unscrupulous, and/or gluttonous scavengers. The animal is forbidden from Judaic and Islamic diets for various reasons. It is not clear what, if anything, boars represent in Lost but it may be revealing that it was Locke's animal of choice and it is the animal that the Man in Black, masquerading as Locke, brought to Richard and the Others in season 5.
  • In Lost the characters must push the button in the hatch in order to survive, in Lord of the Flies the boys must keep the fire alive in the hopes of getting rescued. Characters in both question if pressing the button/tending to the fire will ever help them.

Characters

  • A number of comparisons can be made between Jack Shephard and John Locke on Lost and Jack Merridew and the Lord of the Flies protagonist Ralph.
    • Jack Shephard shares a first name with the antagonist of Lord of the Flies, Jack Merridew, although he is more closely an analogue of Ralph.
    • Jack Merridew represents power, lust and primal aggression. He and John Locke are both hunters whose prey of choice is boar.
    • Both Jack from Lost and Ralph from Lord of the Flies were appointed as the leader, rather than choosing to be leader, and both have doubts about their ability to lead.
    • Ralph is motivated more by reason and his leadership style is more democratic. Jack Shephard is the so-called Man of Science. Science and Reason could be synonymous in this context.
    • In both stories there is a Schism between the two characters as they both struggle for power. In both stories people must ultimately make a choice about which leader to follow.
    • While Jack Shephard may share personality traits with Lord of the Flies' protagonist Ralph, Locke does not necessarily share many personality traits with the Lord of the Flies' antagonist Jack Merridew. His latest manifestation as Jacob's Nemesis however may or may not have more in common.
    • In the series one episode "Outlaws', Sawyer is unable to shoot a boar, the same way Jack in Lord of the Flies was unable to kill the pig the first time they came across one.
    • In the Season 2 premiere 'Man of Science, Man of Faith' Jack gives a speech, promising everyone will be fine as long as they stay together. Locke then announces he is going down the hatch, undermining what Jack has just said, the same way Jack from Lord of the Flies undermines Ralph after Ralph gives the speech telling everyone there is no monster, that they will be fine.

See also

External links

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