Theme of Light Versus Darkness in The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
In chapters seven and eight of “Lord of the Flies” Golding uses dark and light, and other related concepts to symbolically express feelings. The darkness symbolises fear and blindness. When Jack, Ralph, and Roger were climbing up the mountain, it was nightfall. Then they saw what they thought was the beast. The author described it as, “a rock-like hump where no rock should be.” (123). The rock-like hump they think is the beast, is actually a dead body. This assumption happens because the darkness prevents them from seeing well, so they are too afraid to get a closer look. The blackness can also symbolize blindness. Like when Simon was hallucinating and he looked into the dead pig’s mouth, “There was blackness within, a blackness that spread.” (144). This blackness blinded him as he became unconscious.
On the contrary light can symbolise comfort and clarity. The boys can freely walk around and do things during the daylight because they can see everything. Unlike during the night, when their imagination can take hold of the darkness and turn it into something else. Even Ralph says, “As long as there’s light we’re brave enough. But then?” (125). He is basically saying that when the light disappears, so does their courage. The fire can also represent hope. For example Ralph says, “ The fire’s the most important thing. Without the fire we can’t be rescued.” (142). The smoke from the fire serves as their hope to get off the island because it can guide any rescuers to their location.