Lord of the Flies

Death and Social Collapse in Lord of the Flies

Oscar Hammling has said, "We die ourselves every time we kill in others something that deserved to live." Man's relationship with death from the hour of his birth and his inherent concern for himself above others are themes often used in literary works to depict mankind's mental, spiritual, and social weaknesses. Death is a prominent motif in William Golding's Lord of the Flies and specific events throughout the novel are important in the development of the story and in expressing the tragedy that ultimately results from manifestations of evil in mankind. The demises of the mulberry-marked boy, the sow, Simon, Piggy, and the attempted murder of Ralph are among the most important events used by Golding as catalysts in the expansion of the plot.

The death of the mulberry-marked boy is the first of several events that ultimately leads to the destruction of society in the novel. He is the first of the boys to introduce the beast and is also the first to die. His death results from irresponsible actions on the part of the other boys and foreshadows evil to come. The boy's untimely end serves as a reminder of guilt for Ralph, who does not even notice that the child is missing until Piggy notifies everyone....

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