In William Golding’s novel, “Lord of the Flies,” one of the most poignant moments occurs when a parachutist lands on the island where a group of young boys are stranded. At first, the boys mistake him for a beast, but as they approach, they realize he is, in fact, a human. The parachutist’s appearance raises countless questions, not least symbolically. What does he represent? What is his significance in the context of the story? It’s a powerful moment in the book, one that carries deep meaning for both the characters and the reader.
The arrival of the parachutist marks a turning point in the story. Suddenly, the boys are forced to confront the reality of their situation in a more profound way. They can no longer cling to the hope that they will be rescued or that they will be able to manage on their own indefinitely. The arrival of another human being, albeit already dead, is a stark reminder of the boys’ isolation and vulnerability. And yet, the significance of the parachutist goes beyond the practical implications of his arrival. There is something deeper at play here, something symbolic that speaks to the larger themes of the book.
At its core, the parachutist symbolizes the intrusion of the adult world into the realm of childhood. The boys are forced to confront the harsh realities of the world and lose their innocence in the process. Golding uses the image of the parachutist to underscore the loss of the boys’ childhood and, by extension, the loss of their humanity. It’s a powerful metaphor that resonates throughout the novel. The image of the parachutist is haunting, staying with the reader long after the book is finished.
The significance of the parachutist’s arrival in the story
In William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” the arrival of the parachutist is a pivotal moment in the story. Here are some of the ways that the arrival of the parachutist is significant:
- The arrival of the parachutist marks a shift from the boys’ childish games and squabbles to a more serious and dangerous reality. Up until this point, the boys were able to pretend that their situation was just a fun adventure, but with the arrival of the parachutist, they are forced to confront the harsh reality of their circumstances.
- The parachutist represents the outside world and its influence on the boys. Even though the boys are stranded on a remote island, they are not entirely cut off from civilization. The arrival of the parachutist reminds them that there is still a world outside their island and that they are not entirely on their own.
- The way the boys react to the parachutist’s arrival reveals their true character. Some of the boys, like Ralph and Simon, are concerned about the welfare of the parachutist and want to help him. Others, like Jack and the hunters, only see the parachutist as a potential source of meat. The parachutist’s arrival brings out the boys’ true nature and shows just how far they have already strayed from civilized behavior.
- The way the boys handle the situation with the parachutist foreshadows the violence and chaos that will engulf the island later in the story. If the boys had reacted with compassion and concern for the parachutist, perhaps the story would have ended differently. However, their callous and violent response sets the stage for the dark events that will follow.
The Boys’ Reaction to the Parachutist’s Arrival
When a dead parachutist lands on the island, the boys’ initial reaction is fear and confusion. This event marks the first time that the boys come into contact with the outside world and the reality of the war happening beyond their secluded island.
- The younger boys believe the parachutist is a monster and run away crying.
- Ralph and Piggy, on the other hand, are fascinated by the appearance of the parachutist. They venture to the top of the mountain to examine the body, hoping that it will provide some answers about their situation.
- Jack and his hunters view the parachutist as an opportunity to prove their bravery and dominance over the island – they dress up in war paint and perform a mock hunt around the corpse.
Overall, the boys’ reaction to the parachutist symbolizes their varying responses to the arrival of the adult world and the responsibilities and challenges that come with it.
It is interesting to note that the boys’ reaction to the parachutist also marks a turning point in the novel – their previously idyllic society begins to crumble as the boys become increasingly divided and resort to violence and savagery. This event foreshadows the ultimate descent of the boys into barbarism and chaos.
The Significance of the Parachutist’s Arrival
The arrival of the parachutist also holds great symbolic significance in the novel.
Firstly, it represents the intrusion of the adult world (represented by the war and the parachutist) into the innocent and unsupervised world of the boys. This intrusion makes the boys confront the harsh realities of life that they were previously sheltered from.
Secondly, the death of the parachutist symbolizes the breakdown of the social order and the consequences of uncontrolled violence and aggression.
|Symbolism of the Parachutist||Description|
|Death||The death of the parachutist symbolizes the destruction and violence that is creeping into the boys’ society.|
|The Adult World||The arrival of the parachutist represents the intrusion of the adult world (represented by the war and the parachutist) into the innocent and unsupervised world of the boys.|
|The Breakdown of Civilization||The death of the parachutist symbolizes the breakdown of society and the consequences of uncontrolled violence and aggression.|
Overall, the parachutist and its symbolism play a critical role in Lord of the Flies, representing a stark reminder of the darker side of human nature and the fragility of societal order.
The Symbolism of the Dead Parachutist
Lord of the Flies is a novel that is filled with symbols, one of which is the dead parachutist. The parachutist is initially interpreted as a sign of hope as he is believed to be a military rescuer who would save the boys from their isolated situation. However, the realization that the figure is actually dead crushes their hope and becomes a symbol of loss, destruction, and fear. Here are some of the symbolic meanings of the dead parachutist:
1. Failed Adult World
The dead parachutist symbolizes the failure of the adult world to provide guidance and keep the society safe. The fact that the boys are alone on the island without any adult supervision or support demonstrates the abandonment of the boys by the civilized world. The boys are forced to establish their own rules and leadership, leading to chaos and savagery. The dead parachutist is a reminder that the adult world, represented by the parachutist, has failed in its duty to protect the youth from the horrors of the world.
- The dead parachutist symbolizes the failure of the adult world to provide guidance and keep the society safe.
- The boys are alone on the island without any adult supervision or support.
- The dead parachutist is a reminder that the adult world has failed in its duty to protect the youth from the horrors of the world.
2. Fear of the Unknown
The dead parachutist is initially mistaken for a beast, which is one of the primeval fears of mankind. The boys’ fear of the unknown manifests in their behavior as they hunt what they believe to be the beast without confirming its identity. The discovery that the beast is actually a parachutist is a relief, but the sight of a dead person wearing a parachute hanging from a tree creates a new level of fear among the boys. The sight represents death, which is unknown and terrifying to them.
3. Loss of Innocence
The trauma of discovering the dead parachutist and the realization that there is no rescue coming leads to the boys losing their sense of innocence. It marks a turning point in the novel, where the boys go from being children to being hardened and changed by the harsh realities of their new environment. The killing of Piggy, Simon, and the thirst for power shown by Jack and Ralph all represent the loss of innocence as they become more and more savage in their desperation to be rescued.
|Adult world||The failure of the adult world to provide guidance and keep the society safe.|
|Fear of the unknown||The terrifying realization that the beast is actually a dead parachutist hanging from a tree.|
|Loss of innocence||The discovery of the dead parachutist marks the point where the boys start to lose their sense of innocence, leading to the killing of Piggy and Simon.|
In conclusion, the dead parachutist in Lord of the Flies has a number of symbolic meanings. It represents the failure of the adult world to keep the youth safe, the fear of the unknown, and the loss of innocence. The novel shows how the boys’ isolation and desperation lead to them becoming savage and brutal, all emphasized by the discovery of the dead parachutist.
The Connection Between the Parachutist and the “Beast”
In William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” the arrival of a parachutist on the island marks a significant turning point in the story. The boys mistake the dead body of the parachutist for the “beast” that they fear is on the island. This connection between the parachutist and the “beast” highlights several important themes in the novel.
- The irrational fear of the unknown: The boys’ fear of the “beast” represents their primal fear of the unknown. They project their fear onto a tangible entity, the imagined “beast,” instead of accepting that the “beast” is a part of themselves.
- The power of suggestion: The idea of the “beast” is sparked by a little boy’s nightmare and is reinforced by the fear-mongering of other boys. The boys’ collective fear grows despite the fact that there is no real evidence of the “beast’s” existence. The arrival of the parachutist confirms their fear and escalates it.
- The loss of civilization: The boys’ fear and behavior become increasingly savage as their time on the island extends. The mistaking of the parachutist for the “beast” represents their complete regression to primal instincts and their loss of touch with civilization.
The connection between the parachutist and the “beast” is also illustrated in a table showing the similarities and differences between the two:
|Both are dead or non-existent entities that the boys fear.||The parachutist is a real, human person while the “beast” is an imagined entity.|
|The boys mistake the parachutist for the “beast.”||The “beast” is a figment of their imagination.|
|The arrival of the parachutist escalates the boys’ fear of the “beast.”||The “beast” is a concept created and fueled by the boys themselves.|
In conclusion, the connection between the parachutist and the “beast” in “Lord of the Flies” is a complex one that highlights themes related to primal fear, suggestion, and loss of civilization. The mistaking of the parachutist for the “beast” is a pivotal moment in the story that marks the boys’ descent into complete savagery.
The role of fear in the boys’ interpretation of the parachutist
The inclusion of the parachutist in Lord of the Flies serves as a prime example of how fear serves as one of the primary factors that shape the characters’ reality. The boys, who are trapped on the uninhabited island, are already living in a state of fear, as they struggle with the uncertainty of their future.
Upon seeing the parachutist, the boys’ fear is only amplified, and they begin to interpret the sighting as a potential threat to their safety. The idea that the parachutist could be a possible enemy represents the boys’ belief that they need to be constantly vigilant to survive. The significance of the parachutist in the story thus constitutes the boys’ loss of innocence, as their interpretation reflects a lack of trust in the outsider and an increasing awareness of the danger they are in.
- 1. Fear makes the boys interpret the parachutist as a threat
- 2. The parachutist signifies a loss of innocence in the boys
- 3. The boys’ interpretation reflects a lack of trust in outsiders and increasing danger
The table below outlines the progression of the boys’ interpretation of the parachutist in the novel:
|Chapter 3||The boys initially confuse the parachutist with a “beast” as they struggle to understand what happened to him.|
|Chapter 6||The boys start to become paranoid as they question whether the parachutist is a sign of a potential enemy.|
|Chapter 9||The boys’ fear transforms into a brutal killing as they brutally murder Simon, who they mistake for the “beast.”|
In conclusion, the parachutist in Lord of the Flies symbolizes the role of fear in the boys’ interpretation of reality. Fear drives the boys to interpret the parachutist as a threat. Their interpretation reflects their lack of trust in outsiders and an increasing awareness of the danger that they are in. It is only when they confront their fears and begin to trust each other that they are able to escape the island and regain their lost innocence.
The Effect of the Parachutist’s Arrival on the Boys’ Descent into Savagery
As the boys’ experience on the island progressed, their behavior became increasingly savage and animalistic. The arrival of the parachutist, however, marked a turning point in their descent into savagery.
- The parachutist symbolizes the intrusion of the adult world into the boys’ isolated and chaotic existence.
- His violent death and the subsequent fear it inspires among the boys represents the breakdown of the moral order that had previously guided their actions.
- The boys’ reaction to the parachutist’s arrival and death serves as a commentary on the capacity for violence and cruelty that exists within all human beings, regardless of age or social status.
Furthermore, the boys’ reaction to the parachutist’s arrival can be seen as a reflection of their own internal struggles with violence and power. The killing of the pig, which had previously been a ritualistic and almost innocent activity, takes on a new level of brutality and violence after the arrival of the parachutist. The boys, in their fear and confusion, turn on each other and become increasingly savage as they grapple with their own fears and desires.
The following table summarizes the effect of the parachutist’s arrival on the boys’ descent into savagery:
|Breakdown of moral order||The boys’ reaction to the parachutist’s death represents a loss of the moral code that had previously guided their actions.|
|Introduction of adult world||The arrival of the parachutist symbolizes the intrusion of the adult world into the boys’ isolated and chaotic existence.|
|Reflection of internal struggles||The boys’ reaction to the parachutist’s arrival is a reflection of their own internal struggles with violence and power.|
In conclusion, the arrival of the parachutist in Lord of the Flies is a key turning point in the boys’ descent into savagery. It represents the loss of the moral order that had previously guided their actions and the introduction of the adult world. The boys’ reaction to the parachutist serves as a commentary on the capacity for violence and cruelty that exists within all human beings, and their internal struggles with power and violence are reflected in their actions on the island.
The comparison of the parachutist to other symbols in the story (e.g. the conch, Piggy’s glasses)
In Lord of the Flies, several symbols are used to represent different aspects of the children’s descent into savagery. The conch, Piggy’s glasses, and the parachutist are among the most significant symbols in the story. Let’s take a closer look at how these symbols compare to the parachutist.
- The Conch – At the beginning of the novel, the conch symbolizes order and civilization. It allows whoever holds it to speak and be heard, and it becomes a tool for democracy as the children attempt to maintain their ties to civilization. However, as the story progresses, the conch loses its power, just as the children lose their connection to civilization. Similarly, the arrival of the parachutist is a reminder of the outside world and civilization. However, it also foreshadows the loss of that connection and the children’s descent into savagery.
- Piggy’s Glasses – Piggy’s glasses are another symbol of civilization and order. Without them, he cannot see, and he cannot help the children start a fire to signal for rescue. As the story progresses, the glasses become a sought-after commodity, and the children’s desire for them foreshadows their descent into savagery. The arrival of the parachutist also presents the children with an opportunity to maintain their connection to civilization, as they could potentially use the parachute to signal for rescue. However, they instead use it as part of their savage rituals, further emphasizing their loss of civilization.
- The Parachutist – The parachutist’s arrival reminds the children of the outside world and civilization, just as the conch and Piggy’s glasses do. However, the parachutist also symbolizes death and decay. His corpse begins to rot and attract flies, emphasizing the children’s descent into savagery and the loss of their connection to civilization and life. In a way, the parachutist is a physical manifestation of the consequences of the children’s actions.
Overall, the parachutist can be seen as a symbol that encompasses many of the novel’s themes, including the loss of civilization, the descent into savagery, and the consequences of the children’s actions. Its comparison to the conch and Piggy’s glasses highlights the gradual decay of order and civilization throughout the story.
If you’re interested in exploring the symbolism of Lord of the Flies further, take a closer look at the themes of power, fear, and the loss of innocence. The novel is a powerful commentary on human nature and the fragility of civilization.
|The Conch||Order and civilization|
|Piggy’s Glasses||Order and civilization|
|The Parachutist||Death and decay, loss of civilization|
Exploring the symbols in Lord of the Flies can lead to a deeper understanding of the novel’s themes and a greater appreciation of its complexity. It’s a story that has stood the test of time and remains a powerful commentary on human nature and the impact of our actions.
The connection between the parachutist’s death and the boys’ loss of innocence
The arrival of the parachutist in “Lord of the Flies” brings a sudden shift in the boys’ perception of their situation on the island. What at first seems like an opportunity for a rescue quickly descends into horror, as the boy’s parachute becomes tangled in the trees and he plummets to his death on the rocks below. This event serves as a turning point for the boys, as it marks a clear loss of innocence and a descent into savagery.
- The parachutist’s death marks the boys’ first encounter with the reality of death. Prior to this event, the boys’ experience with death was limited to the death of the pig. The death of the parachutist forces them to confront their own mortality and the fragility of human life.
- The boys’ reactions to the parachutist’s death reveal their true natures. Some of the boys, like Simon, are overwhelmed with empathy and sadness, recognizing the tragedy of the situation. Others, like Jack, are excited by the possibility of violence and power, seeing the death as a means to further their own interests.
- The parachutist’s death highlights the breakdown of social order and the return to a more primitive state. Prior to the event, the boys were still attempting to maintain some semblance of civilization, with Ralph as the elected leader. Following the death, however, the boys become more savage and disorganized, with Jack and his hunters taking control.
The loss of innocence represented by the parachutist’s death is further emphasized by the symbolic imagery of the scene. The parachutist himself is described as a “shapeless mass” with a “flapping sound,” emphasizing the loss of individuality and humanity in the face of death. The tangled parachute also represents the boys’ entanglement in their own primal instincts, unable to escape the pull of their own desires and impulses.
Overall, the connection between the parachutist’s death and the boys’ loss of innocence highlights the novel’s central themes of savagery, civilization, and the struggle for power. By showing the boys descending into violence and chaos in the face of death, Golding emphasizes the fragility of social order and the true nature of humanity when stripped of the constraints of civilization.
|Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Penguin Books, 1954.|
The Interpretation of the Parachutist Symbol in Different Literary Analyses and Criticisms
The parachutist symbol in “Lord of the Flies” is a pivotal element that is open to various interpretations in different literary analyses and criticisms. Here are some of the popular interpretations:
- The Symbol of Fear – The sight of the dead parachutist deepens the boys’ fears and anxieties. The boys believe that the dead parachutist is the “beast” they have been afraid of, and they develop a frenzy of violence against it.
- The Symbol of Death – The parachutist represents the first death on the island and foreshadows the violent deaths of other characters. His death also marks the boys’ descent into savagery and their loss of civilization.
- The Symbol of Civilization – The parachutist is a symbol of the outer world and represents the civilization that the boys leave behind. He is also a reminder of the adult supervision and order that the boys lack on the island.
These interpretations are further explored in the following literary analyses:
The Symbolism of the Parachutist in Lord of the Flies: This analysis explores the different interpretations of the parachutist symbol, including its symbolic significance in relation to the themes of fear, death, and civilization in the novel.
The Parachutist as a Catalyst for Violence in Lord of the Flies: This analysis examines the role of the dead parachutist as a catalyst for the boys’ violent behavior and as a turning point in the novel’s plot.
Savagery and Civilization in Lord of the Flies: This analysis discusses the symbolic significance of the parachutist in relation to the overarching theme of savagery and civilization in the novel.
The Parachute, Beelzebub, and the Beast: This analysis takes a closer look at the symbolism of the “beast” and explores its connection to the dead parachutist and the flies that swarm around his body.
|The Symbol of Fear||The sight of the dead parachutist deepens the boys’ fears and anxieties. The boys believe that the dead parachutist is the “beast” they have been afraid of, and they develop a frenzy of violence against it.|
|The Symbol of Death||The parachutist represents the first death on the island and foreshadows the violent deaths of other characters. His death also marks the boys’ descent into savagery and their loss of civilization.|
|The Symbol of Civilization||The parachutist is a symbol of the outer world and represents the civilization that the boys leave behind. He is also a reminder of the adult supervision and order that the boys lack on the island.|
Overall, the interpretation of the parachutist symbol in “Lord of the Flies” is subjective and open to different perspectives. However, it is undeniable that the symbol plays a significant role in the novel’s themes and plot.
The relationship between the parachutist symbol and the novel’s themes of power, civilization, and morality.
In William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” the dead parachutist, who is found dangling from a tree with his parachute, serves as a symbol for several themes of the novel: power, civilization, and morality.
- Power: The parachutist symbolizes the abuse of power. The boys on the island are initially happy to have a leader and look to Ralph as their savior. However, as time passes, Ralph becomes more concerned with maintaining order than exploring the island and this causes tension. The arrival of the parachutist and the boys’ reaction to it shows that they are capable of brutality. They react to the situation without questioning it, they simply react with a mob mentality, which is a sign of the transition in their collective psyche from order and stability to chaos and madness.
- Civilization: The parachutist is an indicator of civilization’s failure. The dead parachutist is a reminder that beyond the island, the world is engulfed in war and conflict. The smoke signal that the boys had hoped to attract rescue with, only attracts another battle that ended up killing the very person who could have saved them. This means, that the very signals of civilization are what led to the boys’ clinging on to savagery and chaos.
- Morality: The parachutist symbolizes the loss of morals. The boys had already developed an inferior sense of morality before the arrival of the parachutist. Piggy had questioned the morality of intentionally hurting others, but Jack and his followers had dismissed his concerns in favor of the hunt, which according to them was a more important priority. The arrival of the dead parachutist signified that the boys had crossed a line and could never return back to the morals they once had.
The impact of the parachutist on the boys’ collective psyche is described in this table:
|Themes||Before the Arrival of the Parachutist||After the Arrival of the Parachutist|
|Power||Boys are happy to have a leader in Ralph||Transition to mob mentality, use of power for abuse|
|Civilization||Boys seek rescue through smoke signals||Smoke signals attract more conflict and death|
|Morality||Debate about the morality of intentionally hurting others||Boys have crossed a line and can never return back to the morals they had before|
The arrival of the parachutist is a direct representation of the boy’s descent into savagery. Their inability to recognize the sirens of civilization highlight the idea that once humans break away from rules and regulations, it can lead to the destruction of society as a whole.
FAQs about What Does the Parachutist Symbolize in Lord of the Flies
1. Who is the parachutist in Lord of the Flies?
The parachutist in Lord of the Flies is a dead pilot who has crashed onto the island where the boys are stranded.
2. What does the parachutist symbolize?
The parachutist symbolizes the collapse of civilization and the arrival of death on the island.
3. How do the boys react to the parachutist?
The boys are initially scared by the sight of the parachutist, but quickly realize that he is dead. Some of the boys are fascinated by the dead body, while others are disturbed.
4. What do the boys do with the parachutist?
The boys move the parachutist’s body to the top of the mountain and leave it there as an offering to the “beast.”
5. What does the parachutist’s death foreshadow?
The parachutist’s death foreshadows the violence and chaos that will soon engulf the boys as they degenerate into savagery.
6. Why is the parachutist important to the themes of Lord of the Flies?
The parachutist is important to the themes of Lord of the Flies because he represents the loss of civilization and the descent into savagery that is central to the novel.
7. What is the significance of the parachutist’s uniform?
The parachutist’s uniform is significant because it highlights the contrast between the civilized world outside the island and the primitive world of the boys. It also symbolizes the collapse of order and authority in the face of chaos.
Thank you for taking the time to read about the significance of the parachutist in Lord of the Flies. As you can see, this character is an important symbol of the novel’s central themes. We hope you found this article informative and enjoyable. Please come back soon for more engaging content!