Author's Note: I wrote this for an Essay contest. How was the punctuation and the title? If you have any changes to suggest please tell me! Thank you.
William Golding wrote a very well laid out novel, everything has symbolic meaning even the island. In the very beginning of the novel, Ralph lays out their situation, the plane crashed on a jungle island, there are no grownups and the airport that they flew from was atom bombed. This island is completely isolated, the boys have no contact with civilization, there aren’t any adults and to top it off no one knows where they are.The setting is an island because Golding needed a place that was isolated and completely disconnected from civilization in every way.
The island needed to be secluded from civilization in all ways possible. In order for the book to work, Golding made sure that the boys were out of reach from civilization. “They stood on the top and could see a circular horizon of water.” This establishes the truth that the boys are completely alone on this remote island. Golding couldn’t have contact with civilization in the novel so that he could have a stronger plot. If they had any contact with others, the novel would be quickly over. Thus the boys are completely isolated and the adults are nowhere to be seen.
In order for the novel to work, the boys would need to be able to roam free without adult supervision. “There aren’t any grownups. We shall have to look after ourselves.” This sets the stage for the boys survival skills and for the rest of the novel. Throughout the entire book we see the boys cross many lines that they couldn’t have with adult supervision. For example earlier on in the book Jack tries to kill a piglet, “The three boy rushed forward and Jack drew his knife again in a flourish.” Even if they were isolated, did anyone know where they were?
They soon figured out that no one knows where they are, allowing all the events in the novel to happen. “Nobody knows where we are.” This fact alone sets the stage for the rest of the novel. If anyone knew where they were, the boys would have been picked up in a short amount of time. Golding used this as a why to create a few symbols such as the fire. The boys wouldn’t need it if someone knew where they were. Also the novel would have little suspense if the reader knew that the boys would be found in the end. Golding did an excellent job of creating suspense in his novel.
The setting of the novel was an island so that the boys would be isolated from any contact with others and from civilization. This helped Golding have a strong plot and a great amount of suspense. As the reader can see it was a necessity for the setting to be an island. If it was on the mainland or if they had contact with civilization, the novel would be over in a few pages. Thus the island played a very important role in the novel and Golding made very good use of it.