Tree of Life
In many religions, the Tree of Life is perceived to be a symbolic representation of higher powers and the control they exert over humans. In early times people believed this spiritual tree would give them a path to immortality. On the other hand, other religious leaders state that this very tree could be the cause of the pitfalls in life. In the novel, Lord of The Flies William Golding utilizes the Tree of Life as a pathway taken by each of the boys into savagery that ultimately led to their spiritual death. Despite the belief that curiosity and manipulation lead to the eternal suffering of humanity, the tree of life provides a path of return in order to possess spiritual redemption, because it alludes to the leadership provided by external forces in order obtain spiritual fulfillment.
When faced with hardships it becomes easy to conform to evil forces, but the immense destruction that occurs leads to the damnation of one’s spirit. In Lord of The Flies, Golding shows the influence that the evil forces have on the boys is being fueled by the enmity they have towards their own souls. The boys are constantly running away from themselves, by creating a mask for himself Jack made a metaphorical border between his real self and what the other boys see, “the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self- consciousness” (Golding,1954, pg.48). Jack’s instinct to be the strongest and toughest boy among the group causes him to change his identity and lose his true self. The boys allow their inner demons to take over their bodies and don’t realize that they are going through a constant cycle of pain and agony. “the children in the novel represent a race already fallen, and their relationship to the natural world is not custodian, but destructive” they never experience the feeling of spiritual freedom, because as soon as the conch shell was blown their souls were taken away from them without their knowledge (Vuuren,2004, pg.8-9). Since the boys never experienced the feeling of spiritual freedom they cannot decipher between captivity and liberation. The boys only believe what they can see, and even that is not entirely real.
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Illusions create misconceptions which can lead to one’s dissociation from themselves. In Lord of the Flies, the boys are constantly being tricked to believe that they are on a beautiful island when actually they are in a completely different world. Through the book, the boys only hear certain noises and now “The only sound that reached them through the heat of the morning was the long, grinding roar of the breakers on the reef. -Ralph lolled in the water. Sleep enveloped him like the swathing mirages that were wrestling with the brilliance of the lagoon” which emphasizes the fact that the boys are vulnerable to any forces surrounding them good or bad (Golding,1954, pg.9). If the boys are not conscious of their surroundings, they are not able to defend themselves from the evil spirits around because they are not able to see them due to the mirages surrounding them. Though the boys are blinded by the mirages the fighting spirits that emanate from Jack and Ralph allow the two to step up as leaders within the group. The tree of life is present within them creating each unique personality. But due to the chaos occurring on the island the boys were not able to “think deeply about the powers of [their] soul, and [their] deepest selves, making it impossible to comprehend aspects of the 10 key attributes [wisdom, kindness, judgement, etc.]” (Kabbalah and Healing). Thus, providing an explanation as to why the boys were not able to be unified while on the island as they lacked the basic traits that every human being is composed of.
One might believe that the tree of life was the reason that humanity was deemed to hell because of the sin that was created by Adam at the beginning of creation. By eating the fruit produced by the tree of life Adam took a perfect world and destroyed it, thus separating the creation from the creator causing the creator to put a curse upon humanity “ ‘Cursed is the ground because of you’ (Gen 3:17), re-echoed in the words: ‘Anyone who is hung on a tree bears God’s curse” (.Gordon,2018,pg.5-9) This curse that is put upon man is the cause of hardships and strife, if Adam had not eaten the fruit from the tree there would be no curse, creating the idea that if the tree of life was never created there would be no struggle in the world. However, the tree of life shapes a way to escape the curse. “The Tree of Life brings the offer of healing for the whole world. The curse has been lifted and the world has become one where each person will serve the other and God. The wheel has come full circle, and the world can start again” creating peace within a once chaotic world (Gordon,2018, pg.7). In modern times the tree of life is not seen aa literal tree but as a metaphorical tree, within Christianity and Catholicism the tree of life is seen as Christ (the ultimate sacrifice) making him the tree of life between the beliefs.
As presented, the tree of life provides a path of return in order to possess spiritual redemption, because it alludes to the leadership provided by external forces in order to obtain spiritual fulfillment. Therefore, the tree of life is not a form of destruction but one of restoration and peace.