"What's the dirtiest thing there is?" As proposed by a character in Ghoulding's Lord of the Flies, perhaps no one can faithfully answer this question quite as well as Ghoulding himself. In Lord of the Flies, Ghoulding answers this question through his symbolic story of human conflict. The deeper meaning of the book expands on this topic, right down to the crux of human imperfection. Ghoulding shows us man's essential illness through a series of events and sub-themes, each portraying a different aspect of the over all message. With the severity of Ghoulding's plot increasing throughout the story, his point becomes clear with every major turn for the worse. The key to Ghoulding's dark view of mankind is his intricate plot, but more importantly, the characters by which the plot revolves. By the final chapter, his message is undeniable: man's essential flaw is his unstoppable willingness to destroy another.
The story begins with Ralph, the central character and perhaps the most important. Ralph is the only character who remains practical throughout the book. His attempt to find order and organization on the island makes his role crucial as he represents man's last hope. When anarchy erupts among the boys, Ghoulding's line of reasoning is clear. Man's last hope will be overpowered by his essential illness, initially manifesting as his inability to maintain order. With the loss of order, Ghoulding makes it understandable that chaos is inevitable. .
The first appearance of violence on the island is with the killing of the pig, which was mentioned early on but served only as foreshadow to what would come of the island. This introduction of violence signals the downward spiral that spans the rest of the story. Ghoulding's character, Jack, perfectly symbolizes this point through his willingness to kill and his acceptance of violence as a necessary means of survival. Jack not only considers violence essential, but he enjoys it, he longs for it.