Critical Essay

Texts all have meaning; this fact is undisputed but the existence of more than one reading is debatable. Many argue the dominant reading of a text is its only reading and other possible readings are part of the prevailing reading. Others argue that each individual interpretation is its own reading; separate from the dominant one. Both views are equally plausible. The amount of interpretations of a text relies on the interpreter as a text may have many connotations but only one may ever be accepted. The 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, contains a variety of nuances and as such provides for the perfect example in examining the connotations any text may contain. This text in particular includes a dominant reading on society as well as insights into the topics of power and fear.
The Lord of the Flies is dominantly taken to be a commentary on society; its dynamics as well as its weaknesses. Through the plot of the novel, Golding has displayed the dynamics of democracy as well as anarchy detailing with each its hierarchical systems as well as effectiveness and treatment of individuals which gives the reader an insight into how each society operates.
William Golding stated:
"The theme [of the novel] is an attempt to trace back the defects of society to the defects of human nature...The moral is that the shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system."
The character Simon in the novel has also stated:
“Maybe […] there is a beast


What I mean is… maybe it's only us.”]
Golding, as well as his character, has implied that weakness in society is each individual person as evil exists inside every human being and society itself being successful is dependent on each individual’s morals and ethics.
Contextually, the era in which the novel was written, namely after WWII and at the beginning of the Cold war, is significant in the dominant reading. Influencing the dominant reading, the...