Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
Lord of the Flies Theme of Wisdom and Knowledge
(Click the themes infographic to download.)
Knowledge in Lord of the Flies is more about awareness and wisdom than anything else. There are certain important truths that some characters are privy to and others are not. The characters that are “in the know” seem to have possession of these truths innately, as though by some spiritual means. The boys left in the dark are simply at odds with their more savvy counterparts; they fail to understand these wiser children (like Simon) and instead of trying to learn from them, violently lash out at them. It seems, then, that the wisest boys are sacrificed, made martyrs for the very key knowledge they possess. The irony is that, by killing these knowing boys, the naïve characters are keeping themselves in the dark.
Questions About Wisdom and Knowledge
- Who’s the most intelligent boy on the island? Who is the wisest? What’s the difference?
- How do the boys feel about Simon? Are they fearful? Confused? Intimidated?
- What do the boys learn during their island getaway?
Chew on This
In Lord of the Flies, ignorance always brings destruction.
In Lord of the Flies, knowledge always brings destruction.