Diane Andrews Henningfeld
In her article on Lord of the Flies, Diane Andrews Henningfeld examines various allegorical interpretations found within the novel. She starts by offering background information about the novel’s connection to R.M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island and emphasizes that an allegory is a story that symbolically represents something else. One allegory she explores is the political one, where Ralph and Piggy’s leadership style contrasts with Jack’s form of government. Henningfeld underscores the historical context of the book, particularly its relation to the aftermath of World War II and the early 1950s. She then delves into the psychological allegory, suggesting that each character embodies a different aspect of human psyche. In concluding this analysis, she asserts that Ralph represents the ego, mediating between id’s desire for pleasure and superego’s moral conscience. Another presented allegorical interpretation is a historical one as similarities are drawn between the novel’s setting and Garden of Eden. Additionally, Henningfeld notes parallels between Jack and Ralph to Cain and Abel while Simon serves as a Christ-like figure in certain aspects.Henningfeld concludes by summarizing her teachings to provide insight into conveyed information.
The book is allegorical in representing historical events from the late 1940s and early 1950s. The relationship and shared ideas between Ralph and Piggy mirror the relationship between Eisenhower and Churchill. They both aimed to prevent dictatorship, similar to the situations in Germany under Hitler and Italy under Mussolini. Golding effectively conveyed this appeal in the novel, making it relatable to both historically-minded and general audiences, as it was a recent or ongoing global concern at the time. The importance of the historical allegory was emphasized by Henningfeld in her essay.