The Color Metaphors and Their Portrayal in Lord of the Flies

In Sir William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the symbolic usage of color communicates the innocence and the evil on the island, in addition to each of the boys’ characters. The contrasting light and dark colors in the book represent the goodness and evil, the lighter colors signifying the kids’ innocence and morals, the darker colors representing the darkness on the island and in the boys’ minds and hearts. The color of the boy’s skin and hair also symbolizes their different personalities; Ralph’s reasonable hair represented his calm personality, while Jack’s bright red hair represented his fiery and bloodthirsty personality.

Throughout the unique, there are numerous examples of light colors representing innocence and goodness amongst the boys. When Ralph and Piggy initially discover the conch, it is referred to as being light in color: “In color the shell was deep cream, touched occasionally with fading pink” (p. 11). The conch brought order and civilization by calling the kids together (p. 12), and by permitting the boy holding it an opportunity to speak without disturbance (p. 31). This civility brought guidelines and order which the young boys abided by, and allowed them to demonstrate the goodness and morals that they had prior to they crashed on the island. The naturally taking place lightness of the island likewise represented innocence and goodness, in specific the yellow sun and white sand. When the sun was up, the boys lost their worry, as they believed that the monster disappeared in the daylight: “He says in the morning it developed into them things like ropes in the trees and awaited the branches” (p. 35). The pale colors represent the goodness of the island, enabling the kids to feel relief and security when they were showing. Another example of this revolves around the chapter Monster from Water, as the white sand was what secured the kids from the water and the darkness. “The tide was coming in and there was just a narrow strip of firm beach between the water and the white, stumbling stuff near the palm balcony” (p. 81). This shows that as the worry and darkness of night neared, the white sand disappeared, taking with it the young boys’ goodness and innocence.

The theme of savagery, evil, and darkness is a persisting component of Lord of the Flies, and are signified through the use of dark colors. The dark, blackness of each night brought fear to each of the boys, as they believed the night was when the monster came. “He states the beastie came in the dark” (p. 35). When the darkness of night was lessened by the lightness of the morning, the boy’s lost this worry. The modification of colors that included the modification of weather condition likewise symbolized the darkness and savagery that each of the young boys had. The start of the chapter that Simon was killed in started with “Over the island the build-up of clouds continued” (p. 160). It then stated “Colors drained from water and trees and pink surface areas of rock, and the white and brown clouds brooded” (p. 160). This reveals that the lighter colors like blue, green and pink were drained pipes, and that the darker colors such as brown started to form, which signifies the reduction of innocence and boost of savagery that was connected with the act that the young boys will devote. As the time got closer to the murder, the weather condition darkened and ended up being blacker as a storm approached; “There was a blink of intense light beyond the forest and the thunder exploded again so that a littlun started to grumble” (p. 167). Lastly, the contrast in between the white colored smoke of the boys rescue symbol and the black smoke that was designed to eliminate Ralph is an example of the boy’s modification from innocence to evil. When the kids made their fire that was designed to be a rescue signal, it was said that “A billow of white and yellow smoke reeked up” (p. 179). At the deepest moment of the kids’ descent to savagery, they created a fire to murder Ralph. This fire was different, and was described as black: “His voice rose under the black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island …” (p. 224). The darkening of color symbolizes the darkening of each of the kids’ hearts.

The various colors of each young boy’s hair represented their different qualities and personalities. In the very first line of the book, Ralph is referred to as having fair hair: “The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last couple of feet of rock …” (p. 1). This is very similar to his personality, as he proved himself to be reasonable, as he developed the suggestion of utilizing the conch to enable every single kid the chance to speak (p. 31), innocent, as he showed many thoughts and qualities that proved he was just a young (p. 6), and potentially had the most goodness out of all of the young boys, as he wound up being the only young boy on the island who wasn’t a savage. Jack, on the other hand, had bright red hair; “Inside the floating cape he was high, thin and bony; and his hair was red underneath the black cap” (p. 16). Red is likewise the color of blood, for that reason symbolizing the bloodthirstiness of Jack, which can specifically be seen when he becomes obsessed with hunting (p. 74). It is likewise the color of anger, and Jack proves himself to be very upset to the point where he ended up being violent and hit Piggy (p. 75). Finally, Roger had black hair, and although it was not as obvious as Jack, he possessed the very same evil and darkness. This can be proved when he intentionally killed Piggy by pulling the lever that launched the bolder (p. 200), and by murdering Piggy, he proved himself to be the darkest of all of the kids on the island.

The various colors in Lord of the Flies are symbolic to the different characters and characteristics of each of the young boys, and the various shades of color represent the contrast of the goodness and darkness of the island and the kids. The dark colors represent the evilness of the boys, and is translucented the darkness of the night sky, the bad weather, and the black smoke, and the light colors represent the goodness of the kids and the island, and is shown through the creamy-white conch, the golden sun and the white sands that secured the boys from the fear of the monster. Color, for all these factors, shows to be an important and reoccurring theme in Sir William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

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