What are the 3 main themes in Lord of the Flies?

What are the 3 main themes in Lord of the Flies

In William Golding’s classic novel “Lord of the Flies,” the author explores several complex themes that shed light on the darker aspects of human nature. But what are the 3 main themes of Lord of the Flies?

The three main themes that run through the book are:

  • Civilization vs. savagery.
  • The impact of humankind on nature.
  • The nature of humanity itself.

These themes intertwine with the story of a group of British schoolboys who become stranded on an uninhabited island and must survive on their own without any adult supervision. Examining these themes provides insight into the psychological and sociological underpinnings of the story. It offers a broader commentary on human behavior and the human condition.

What are the 3 main themes in Lord of the Flies? (Complete Answer)

The Lord of the Flies is a haunting portrayal of the dark side of human nature. The author explores several complex themes that are relevant even today through the story of a group of boys stranded on an uninhabited island. This article will examine the three main themes in the Lord of the Flies.

#1: Civilization vs. Savagery

One of the most prominent themes in the novel is the conflict between civilization and savagery. The boys are initially well-behaved and follow the rules of British society. However, as they become more isolated and left to their own devices, their behavior changes, and they become increasingly savage. The boys’ descent into savagery highlights the fragility of civilization and how easily it can be destroyed when people are left to their own devices. Golding uses the boys’ behavior to suggest that savagery is inherent in human nature and that it is always lurking beneath the surface of civilization.

#2: The Impact of Humankind on Nature

The novel also examines the relationship between humankind and nature. The boys are stranded on an island that is beautiful and seemingly untouched by humans. However, as they begin to explore and make their mark on the island, they leave a destructive trail in their wake. They start fires, chop down trees, and kill animals. All of these actions have a devastating impact on the island’s natural ecosystem. Golding’s message is clear: human beings tend to destroy the environment and upset the delicate balance of nature.

#3:The Nature of Humanity

The final theme in “Lord of the Flies” is the nature of humanity. Golding suggests that human beings are not inherently good but are capable of both good and evil. The boys on the island are a microcosm of society, and their behavior reflects the behavior of the larger society. Golding’s message is that human beings are not born evil but can become evil when they are put in certain situations. The boys’ behavior on the island demonstrates how people can quickly turn on each other and become violent and aggressive.

What is the main problem in Lord of the Flies?

The main problem in Lord of the Flies is the struggle between Jack and Ralph. This conflict represents the clash between a peaceful democracy and a violent dictatorship as they fight for who will lead the island. The boys’ struggle to maintain order and control their primal instincts is also a major problem throughout the novel.

Is nature a theme in Lord of the Flies?

Yes, nature is a theme in Lord of the Flies. It is present throughout the novel, from the boys’ initial arrival on a pristine island full of butterflies and wildlife to the destruction of their surroundings as they become more savage. The changes in the island’s ecosystem are symbolic of the boys’ descent into savagery and loss of innocence. The flies that take over the island at the end are a stark contrast to its earlier beauty, representing decay and death.


In conclusion, “Lord of the Flies” is a thought-provoking book that offers a rich and layered exploration of the human condition. The three main themes of civilization vs. savagery, the impact of humankind on nature, and the nature of humanity combine to create a powerful commentary on the darker aspects of human behavior. It is a must-read for anyone interested in examining the complexities of human nature and the consequences of unchecked human behavior.

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