Much like the forbidding, unknown patch of abandoned jungle in which the book takes place (for more on that, see "Setting," the writing style for Lord of the Flies is rich, and dark. Think of a really delicious brownie, only it's a treat that's tinged with evil.
Let's start with the richness of Golding's prose. He renders the setting in great detail, in large part because the setting contributes so much to the tone of the book. What do we mean? (Ahem, have you read our "Setting" section yet?). Let's check out the paragraph that gives the book its title:
Up there, for once, were clouds, great bulging towers that sprouted away over the island, grey and cream and copper-colored. The clouds were sitting on the land; they squeezed, produced moment by moment this close, tormenting heat. (8.210)
Here, Golding describes clouds that are "great bulging towers," which gives us the feeling of being looked down on, watched, even oppressed in a sense. To bolster this effect, he describes the clouds as "sitting on the land," as opposed to where you might expect them—you know, floating in the sky. What's more, "they squeezed," and so all of this description adds up to the final concluding idea, in which the clouds "produced moment by moment this close tormenting heat." So, this really vivid, detailed description gives us an unmistakable sense of being stifled, oppressed, pressed down upon from on-high. In other words, the tension of the moment (in which Simon has just seen the other boys kill the mother pig) is made evident with these awesome details.
And this leads us to the darker aspect of the writing style, where again Golding's great eye for detail really comes into play:
The pile of guts was a black blob of flies that buzzed like a saw. After a while these flies found Simon. Gorged, they alighted by his runnels of sweat and drank. They tickled under his nostrils and played leapfrog on his thighs. They were black and iridescent green and without number; and in front of Simon, the Lord of the Flies hung on his stick and grinned. (8.210)
Um, ew? Being covered in gut-covered flies is, we're guessing, less than pleasant, but so of course is the scene that Simon has just witnessed. Again, the natural setting turns dark, unpleasant, gory, and forbidding here. The pig's severed head becomes the Lord of the Flies, and the transformation from detailed setting to thematic commentary is complete. Through Golding's lush detail, we're given a grim look at unadulterated savagery.
But is it altogether unpleasant, though? Why are the clouds pleasantly "cream and copper-colored"? Why do the flies "[tickle] under [Simon's] nostrils and [play] leapfrog on his thighs"? Maybe there is an underlying attraction to this darkness, the way that a really decadent brownie, one that you know is bad for you, seems so desirable. Hmm….mmm…