Lord of the Flies written by William Golding is a novel about human beings losing their sanity and becoming in humane. In the book some British boys have crash landed on to an isolated and desolate island. The more time they were stranded, the more savage the boys became towards each other and eventually, they resorted to killing each other without feeling any guilt. In Chapter 7 entitled “Shadows and Tall Trees,” Golding uses perception as the motif to enhance the theme of everybody having a different point of view on the world; therefore, one should stop to think differently upon acting.
From the very beginning of the chapter, perception plays an important role. The chapter title “Shadows and Tall Trees” (Golding 109) says that the boys will each have different points of view on what they see on the island. This represents the boys having their own individual idea of what is seen. It is significant because this already lets the reader know that the boys will perceive images of unknown objects that aren’t actually there, instead it is all in their heads. Golding shows perception can sometimes be misleading to the human eye. As the chapter continues, “there came the sound of boys scuttling away.
Astonishingly a dark figure moved against the tide. ” (120). This signifies the boys beginning to hear noises and see objects unknown to them. The boys each having different ideas and thoughts of what “darkness” (120) is also represents the way our minds can deceive us. With time the boys are imagining more and more objects and noises. “I saw a thing bulge on the mountain. “ “You only imagined it,” said Ralph shakily, “because nothing would bulge. Not any sort of creature. ” ” (121). The more they see the more they become frightened “and the darkness and desperate enterprise gave the night a kind of dentists chair unreality” (122).
They become so frightened of the images they perceive that they don’t think before acting and they see things they should, like “in front of them, only three or four yards away, was a rock-like hump where no rock should be” (123). Golding continues using perception throughout the chapter to explain how the boys will go mad and the inhumanity begins to get to them. When they see “before them, something like a great ape was sitting was sitting asleep with its head between its knees. ” (123) they have no idea what to do and they aren’t sure of what they see.
This foreshadows that the boys will lose sight of what is important and what they need to do to survive. Throughout chapter 7, Golding skillfully uses perception as the motif to enhance the different points of view that each human being perceives. Golding’s use of dark figures, “shadows”(109), “darkness” (122), and unimaginable figures signifies the importance of different perception that can be seen by different people. In the end, he shows us that we must carefully and cautiously think before we act. Works Cited Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York, NY: Penguin, 1954. Print.