Choose a novel in which the novelist makes effective use of symbolism. Show how the writer made use of this technique to enhance your appreciation of the text as a whole. In your answer you must refer closely to the text, and to at least three of symbolism, theme, structure, or any other appropriate feature. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding Have you ever imagined being stranded on a fictitious tropical island? , Or how about waking up one morning with a group of children on an island and finding out there is no sign of adult life?
In the book “Lord of the flies” by William Golding these circumstances come true as a group of young boys are stranded on an island as they face their fight for survival following a plane crash. The boys face a tough task on the island as they face the expectance of the unknown. The night is still and sombre, and in the murky gloom, arisen from his slumber, the vampire leaves his tomb. His eyes are pools of fire, his skin is icy white, and blood his one desire this woe begotten night. Then through the silent city he makes his silent way, prepared to take no pity upon his hapless prey.
An open window beckons, he grins a huge grin, and pausing not one second he swiftly climbs within. And there, beneath her covers, his victim lies asleep. With fangs agleam he hovers And with those fangs, bites deep. The vampire drinks till sated, he fills his every pore, and then, his thirst abated, licks clean the dripping gore. With powers now replenished, his thirst no longer burns, His quest this night is finished, so to his tomb he turns, and there awhile in silence he’ll beneath the mud until, with thoughts of violence, he wakes and utters……… blood! Jack Prelutsky.
Out of all the alternatives which could have been my choice, I have picked ‘The Vampire’ by Jack Prelutsky because of various reasons. In this essay, I will be explaining about some of the poem’s features and why I have selected it as my favourite. First of all, the most intriguing thing was how the writer had formed such a vast and intense environment within the space of merely a few words: as soon I started reading this poem, I had no problem whatsoever settling into its mood and setting; the other factor which came to my interest was how quickly I had adapted to tone of the poem.
From the very beginning of the poem, a vivid and ominous atmosphere is created- take the first stanza for example: “The night is still and sombre, and in the murky gloom, arisen from his slumber, the vampire leaves his tomb. ” It is quite easy to notice the strong adjectives (still, sombre and murky) and the nouns (night and gloom) used by Jack Prelutsky to produce this dark and eerie setting.
Throughout the poem, the vampire’s intension is concealed by the writer-however, Jack Prelutsky does provide the reader with contextual clues: “blood his one desire” in line 3 of the second stanza and “upon his hapless prey” in the last line of the third stanza are just two of the phrases giving an vague idea of the vampire’s objective. The writer used this technique as a tool to engage the reader to the poem, by making them try to figure out what was the vampire’s purpose through the evidence he had given.
In addition, the concept of rhyming can be seen in the poem; every stanza follows the rhyming pattern A B A B. This pattern is constant throughout each stanza of the poem, except, that is, the last: the last verse follows the pattern A B A C: the reason for the change of rhyming pattern in this verse is yet again one of the ingenious skills used by the writer to form a simple, but an immense effect. If the last line, “he wake and utters……… blood! ” is compared with the other lines of the poem, then many contrasts can be found among them.
Firstly, this is the only line in the poem which uses an exclamation mark; in this case, the exclamation is placed there to show a sign of surprise and revelation in the last word of this line; an ellipsis is found just before the last word, to hold the reader in suspense, in doing so amplifying the surprise that follows. The change in the rhyming pattern in this line acts with the exclamation mark and the ellipsis to expand the contrast between this line and the rest of the poem and multiply the effects of the disclosure in the last verse. Numerous figures of speech are also seen in several parts of the poem.
A metaphor is a word or a phrase applied in an imaginative way to compare two things or people of the same quality by saying that they “are/ is” the object to which they being compared with. Another figure of speech that is much alike to metaphor is simile; however, unlike metaphor, a simile compares two similar objects using words such as “like” or “as”. In this poem, Jack Prelutsky uses metaphor in many situations: “His eyes are pools of fire” and “his skin is icy white” are two of the metamorphic phrases in line 2 and 3 of the second stanza.
There is another figure of speech within the phrase “His eyes are pool of fire”- if this phrase studied carefully then it would appear that “pool and fire”; two words which are the opposite of each other; is combined here to make a metaphor. When opposites are used together, like in this example, an oxymoron is produced. On the first line in the fourth verse, “An open window beckons”, another figure of speech is shown: this type is named personification. Personification is when an object-in here, the window- is given human qualities, which, in this phrase, is beckoning.
Besides the personification and the metaphor, there is one example of alliteration-the repetition of letters and sounds for effect. This is in the first line of the poem, “The night is still and sombre”. All of these figures of speech work together with adjectives and adverbs to generate meanings beyond the literal meaning of words throughout the poem. There are other kinds of figures of speech such as onomatopoeia, assonance and pathetic fallacy- nevertheless they are not included in this poem.
Although not everyone may prefer it and the vocabulary is rather difficult to fully understand, I personally think that this is great poem-overall, from my prospective, “The Vampire” by Jack Prelutsky is a narrative poem written with tremendous caution and elegance. The first sign of symbolism in the book is when one of the little boys, also known as ‘the littluns’, tells the group that he saw “A snake-thing. Ever so big”. This puts the group into an uproar about how some sort of beast is lurking on the island.
Being holder of the conch, Ralph tries to calm everybody down by saying “he must have had a nightmare”, but Jack just has to pop in stating that “if there was a snake we’d hunt it and kill it. During the night of the boy’s search for the beast, Jack claims to have seen it. The following morning he calls a meeting and lets everyone know that there is really a beast. The beast a creation of the boys’ minds, reflected as the most frightening object ever. The “beast” was slowly transformed from a bear to a flying, invisible, living thing, which eats everything in its way, especially human beings.
It holds fear in the most terrifying way causing the end of the book to develop like it does. Although the beast they imagine doesn’t exist, they flinch at the thought of the beast. This changes their behavior; they are so scared that they do not wander alone in the jungle. This fear, which the beast causes in the boys, allows Jack to keep his tribe under his command by creating an image for him. He is looked up upon as someone gutsy and strong, not scared of the beast unlike everyone else.
The fire on the mountain is a symbol of escape and hope, and used as a signal for attracting the attention of passing boats/planes which might rescue them. Ralph introduced this idea in an attempt to establish a shift of kids for the maintenance of the fire. Towards the middle of the book, the shift wasn’t followed, resulting in the fire being put out. It is easy to understand that when the fire burns high the boys have a high sense of hope of being rescued, but when the fire burns low because of neglect there is a low sense of hope and depression affects them all.
Despite all of Ralph’s attempts to keep the fire going throughout the book, Jack’s authority is too strong and with the tribe Jack formed, Ralph is forced to let it burn out since he has no one to take care of the fire. The lord of the flies is a pig’s head on a stake used as a sacrifice for the beast. It is given this name for the swarm of flies, which surround it. Jack believes that by giving the beast some food, the beast will not bother his tribe. At one point in the novel, it appears to be talking to Simon defining what is evil and what is good.
This conversation inspires Simon to go to the mountain to find the beast. He realizes that the beast does not exist and this leads him to his death when he is brutally killed by the other kids because they thought he was the beast. The scar symbolizes a wound caused by mankind upon an untouched natural island. It is the place where the airplane crashed on the island. It plowed through the thick jungle, creating an area of chopped-down trees and shrubs. This is the place where Piggy and Ralph first met. Piggy introduced himself and became Ralph’s companion.
Close to the scar is the pool that Ralph and Piggy find the conch in. The conch is an symbol of peace, organization, and honesty for it has an authority which Ralph created at the beginning of the book. The conch is used to establish order in the boy’s meetings because whoever has the conch, has the right to speak. The conch gave order in a world without grown ups and, like the law, it was respected, but when the kids realize that there was no punishment for disobeying it, they took advantage of the freedom to rebel against it.
In the end of the book, when the conch is destroyed, Ralph is forced to give up and, with him; all the desperate attempts to be civilized are pointless. Golding presented numerous themes and basic ideas that give the reader something to think about. One of the most basic and obvious themes is that society holds everyone together, and without these conditions, our ideals, values, and the basics of right and wrong are lost. Golding is also showing that morals come directly from our surroundings, and if there is no civilization around us, we will lose these values.
There were many other possible secondary themes I noticed in the book such as people will abuse power when it’s not earned, When given a chance, people often single out another to degrade or improve their own security, You can only cover up inner savagery so long before it breaks out, given the right situation, It’s better to examine the consequences of a decision before you make it than to discover them afterwards and the fear of the unknown can be a powerful force, which can turn you to either insight or madness.
One thing I found interesting about this novel was I recognized that we must study and compare the characters of Jack and Ralph to understand Golding’s meaning of the novel. Once the author lets the reader find the characters of similarities and differences it lets them understand Jack’s and Ralph’s rivalry. Golding tries to tell us a lesson of staying in a civilized society and not entering the dark and gloomy society. Watch the people around you for the people closest may be the people about to destroy civilization and the chance of being saved in this case.
The Lord of the Flies” has so far been the one of the most interesting books I have ever read. The book is extremely addictive and written very cleverly, it did not take long for me to get into and finish it. Golding is an author with deep thoughts and a good understanding of human nature, which was very noticeable throughout the novel. I felt the novel was certainly both entertaining and educational. Entertaining in a way that the book is packed full of death, torture and most importantly, realism.
Reading this book made feel as though I had my own character role in my mysterious exploration of the unknown. The educational side of the book I think was being on the adventure. What you learned from your experience. It lets you see what kind of issues you would have to handle or face up to if you were on the island with the others. If I was to trapped on an island now I think actually reading Lord of the Flies who fill me with experience and ideas to take me through my fight for survival.
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