Style of language

The language used in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is generally quite formal. The narration features a lot of dialogue, which helps to develop the readers’ sense of the individual characters. When the boys speak, they use the language of typical 1950s schoolboys: 

Ralph turned with shining eyes to the others. 
‘Smashing.’ (pp. 23-24)

The boys use idioms and slang, suggesting their shared social class and their similar experiences. The exception is Piggy, who sometimes uses non-standard grammar when he speaks: “ ‘I’m sorry I been such a time. Them fruit -’ ” (p. 5). Piggy’s language suggests that he might come from a different social class from the other boys and marks him as an outsider. 

Metaphors and personification

In terms of the choice of words, Golding repeatedly uses imagery drawn from the natural world to descri...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in