Archetypes in Lord of the Flies

Abstract: June, 2004 The primary concern of the present thesis is with the archetypal qualities of Lord of theFlies. William Golding constantly uses references and allusions from Greek mythology andBible. According to Northrop Frye’s definition of archetype, there exist archetypal images,figures, narrative patterns and themes. They play vital roles in the novel. The seeminglyfragmentary and casual archetypes form a structural relevance, which determines the interiorconsistence of the theme of Lord of the Flies, and create the distinctive aesthetic function. Theassignment of this thesis goes into three parts, which is further divided into six chapters The first part (Chapter 1 & Chapter 2) gives a comprehensive view of the necessity,importance and feasibility of the study of the archetypal qualities in the novel. I examine thepresent archetypal system in which the recurrent archetypes from mythology and Bible can beexplained relevantly. Frye’s archetypal critical theory is presented too. The second part, including Chapter 3, 4, and 5, is the core of the thesis. Using the criticalstrategy of Archetypal Criticism, and considering the textual content of Lord of the Flies, thesecond part elucidates the internal structure of the archetypal system. This part is classified intothree chapters: archetypal characters, archetypal narrative patterns and archetypal motifs. Eachof them is an autonomous unit, but it has its relevance with one another. The third part of the thesis is my tentative conclusion. The importance of the mythologicalarchetypes and biblical archetypes lie in the aesthetic function in Lord of the Flies. Great workdraws its strength from former literature. In the novel the archetypes are kindled and brought tobear upon the conscious outlook of the world nowadays. So it touches something in the soul ofeveryone…
Key words: archetypal characters; archetypal narrative patterns; archetypal motifs; archetypal images

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