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The Archetypal Analysis of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

Author: ChenYuHuan
Tutor: LiMin
School: Shandong Normal University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: archetypal characters archetypal images archetypal rituals Lord of the Flies
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Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 192
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Executive Summary


The thesis analyses the archetypes in Lord of the Flies according to Frye’s archetypal theory. Based on the myths, Frye’s archetypal theory dealt with the interior analogy in literature, namely, convention, structural modes and principle inside literary works, to find the commonness and developing rules of literary types as a whole. According to Frye, the myths are the basic modes which appear as the archetypes contained in other modes, which is a series of displaced myths. The characters, images, scenes and themes in Lord of the Flies are the displacement of mythological archetypes. These archetypes form a structural relevance which shows the consistence of the theme in the novel. The value of the novel gains the universality in literary archetypes.The whole thesis is divided into four chapters plus an introduction and conclusion.In Introduction, the author William Golding and his work Lord of the Flies are briefly introduced, followed by a literature review of the novel at home and abroad, showing the necessity and feasibility of the study. The purpose of writing the thesis is also put forward, which is to expound the deeper meaning of archetypes by analyzing the archetypal structure in the novel.Chapter One presents the theory of archetypal criticism, which undergoes three developing stages: James George Frazer’s social anthropological theory, Carl Jung’s psychoanalysis and Frye’s archetypal criticism. The author takes Frye’s archetypal criticism as the theoretical basis of the thesis. According to Frye, the archetypes can be characters, images, rituals, themes and so on. These characters, images, rituals and themes in Lord of the Flies are actually the displacement of mythological archetypes, so it is feasible to apply the theory in the thesis.Chapter Two discusses the archetypes of characters in Lord of the Flies. Three archetypal characters are analyzed in terms of the myth of Pentheus and Dionysus while Simon is analysed according to the archetype of Jesus.Chapter Three studies the archetypal images from The Holy Bible. The serpent is the original sin in the heart of human and it seduces man to lose the Garden of Eden. The writer also analyses the archetype of fire.Chapter Four analyzes the archetypal rituals in the novel, including the revelry archetype and sacrificial archetype. The violent rituals of the boys show their primitive and savage traitsThe thesis is ended with a conclusion. The mythological archetypes and the biblical archetypes endow the modern myth Lord of the Flies with the profound significance, and is one of the main reasons for the immortality of the work.

Full-text Catalog


Abstract     6-8
Summary     8-9
Introduction     9-14
Chapter One Introduction of Archetypal Criticism Theory nbsp and ;   14-19
1.1 Development of archetypal criticism     14-17
1.1.1 James Frazer's sympathetic magic and ceremonies     14-16
1.1.2 Carl Jung and archetypal criticism     16-17
1.2 Northrop Frye's archetypal theory     17-19
Chapter Two Archetypal Characters     19-41
2.1 Archetype of Pentheus - Ralph and Piggy     19-28
2.2 Archetype of Dionysus - Jack     28-33
2.3 Christ's spokesman-Simon     33-41
Chapter Three Archetypal Images     41-50
3.1 The archetype of serpent     41-43
3.2 The archetype of Eden     43-45
3.3 The archetype of fire     45-50
Chapter Four Archetypal Rituals     50-57
4.1 Revelry ritual     51-53
4.2 Sacrificial ritual     53-57
Conclusion     57-59
Bibliography     59-63
Acknowledgements     63-64
Publications     64

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