What is Ironic About the Ending of Lord of the Flies: A Surprising Twist
The ending of William Golding’s classic novel, Lord of the Flies, is undoubtedly one of the most thought-provoking and ironic conclusions in literary history. As the story unfolds, a group of young boys finds themselves stranded on a deserted island, struggling to maintain order and civilization. However, as the plot progresses, the boys descend into savagery, ultimately leading to a shocking and unexpected climax.
The irony lies in the fact that the boys are initially rescued by a passing naval officer, who arrives just in time to save them from their self-destructive behavior. On the surface, this seems like a happy ending, as the boys are finally rescued and brought back to civilization. However, upon closer examination, the true irony of the ending becomes apparent.
Throughout the novel, the boys’ descent into savagery is depicted as a result of their innate human nature, their primal instincts taking over in the absence of societal rules and structures. They form their own tribe, led by the charismatic and power-hungry Jack, and engage in brutal acts of violence and destruction. The island, once a symbol of freedom and adventure, becomes a place of darkness and despair.
When the naval officer arrives, he represents the return of civilization and order. However, it is important to note that the officer himself is a part of the same war that has ravaged the outside world. He is dressed in a military uniform, symbolizing the violence and destruction that the boys have just escaped from. In this sense, the rescue is not a true salvation but rather a return to the very society that bred the savagery in the first place.
The irony deepens when we consider the boys’ reaction to the officer’s arrival. Instead of expressing relief or gratitude, they are ashamed and embarrassed by their behavior. They had been caught up in the thrill of their newfound freedom, but now they are confronted with the consequences of their actions. The officer’s presence serves as a reminder of the darkness that lies within all of us, and the boys are forced to confront the reality of their own capacity for evil.
In conclusion, the ending of Lord of the Flies is ironic in several ways. The rescue by the naval officer, while seemingly a happy ending, actually represents a return to the violence and destruction of the outside world. The boys’ reaction to the officer’s arrival highlights their own guilt and shame, as they come face to face with the consequences of their savage behavior. This unexpected twist serves as a powerful commentary on human nature and the fragility of civilization.