Lord of the Flies Point of View

Instructor: Liz Breazeale
Point of view is an important aspect of any literary work - but what is it? In this lesson, you'll learn about POV as it relates to Golding's ''Lord of the Flies'', its purpose, and its point.

What is Point of View?

Everyone's got a point of view, his or her own way of looking at the world. You're realized this, no doubt, after thousands of arguments about politics with your family or discussions about movies with your friends. Everyone has an opinion and a world view.

A work's point of view (POV) refers to who (or what) is telling the story. There are three distinct POV types: first, second, or third person. You'll hear about third person narration in this lesson, which means the narrator uses 'he' or 'she' to refer to the characters in a story, but still knows the inner workings of one or more characters. William Golding uses this type of POV in his novel Lord of the Flies.

Third Person Omniscient

More specifically, Golding takes advantage of third person omniscient POV in this work. This type of narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all the characters, and relates those thoughts to the reader. This makes it really easy for you to understand the motivations and desires of multiple characters, but this also means you're not tethered to one character's interpretations. You may have biases, sure, but you're sort of above the action, interpreting it on your own.

You don't know who exactly is narrating this book, but that doesn't matter. The narrator isn't directly involved in the action, and is merely relaying events. Of course, the book is so violent, you may find yourself wanting the narrator to intervene, but since this is third person omniscient storytelling, the poor kiddos on the island are out of luck.

Here's an example of this distant narration from the novel:

'Ralph disentangled himself cautiously and stole away through the branches. In a few seconds the fat boy's grunts were behind him and he was hurrying toward the screen that still lay between him and the lagoon.'

See? The narrator isn't passing judgment on Ralph's actions here, or telling you what to think about him. The actions are being described, and, although you're told Ralph moves cautiously, the narrator is only explaining this in the context of his movements, not telling you what to think.

The narrator merely tells you that Ralph goes into the jungle without judging his actions

Why Use This POV?

As stated in the previous section, Golding uses this type of POV in order to allow readers their own vantage point, their own seat high above the chaos and cruelty of the novel. The characters fall further and further into madness, but you never do. You get to see these boys for what they truly are: scared little kids left without adult supervision for far too long.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account