Theme
The theme of the book is, an attempt to trace back the defects
of society to the defects of human nature...The moral is that the
shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the
individual and not on any political system."
Settings
Lord of the Flies takes place on an island. Although he does
not tell us where the island is, he describes it in detail. He says
that it has a jungle at one end, with a rocky mountain above it.
At the opposite side is the lagoon where the boys go to bathe
and where they first met after the crash. Near there, up the
mountain, is a platform where it was decided a fire would stay
lit in hope of rescue. This was in the ideal position, having a
view of the ocean, therefore allowing any passing planes or
boats to spot them and rescue them. It was on this mountain
that the parachutist was also spotted by the boys, and mistaken
for a beast. Inland, the jungle served many purposes. In the
dense jungle, food was plentiful, and the plants served as a
means of escape for Ralph during his run from Jack. Simon
stayed there during his stage of insanity, and the used the plants
to build shelter.
The boys plane was shot down during an atomic war. This set
the stage for the problems that would arise on the island among
the boys. Their behavior reflects their surroundings, as they
acted just like they were participating in the war. The island is a
very isolated place with absolutely no contact with the outside
war. The only way that they could contact an outsider was by
chance, if a plane or boat happened to spot them. These boys
from boarding school were in some respect lucky to land on
this island, for it did have its advantages. There was food,
wildlife, and fresh water. It was not their surroundings, but
themselves that led to the downfall of their civilization.