Tragedy and Fate in Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies

Examines the way two famous novels, “Of Mice and Men” and “Lord of the Flies” use a combination of symbolism and conflict to make a statement about human character and society.

Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Golding’s Lord of the Flies are both prophetic novels that depict highly symbolic characters in excessively conflicted situations. This essay analyzes how these dramatic couplings of symbolism and conflict represent a larger social philosophy. Through character analysis, it is revealed how each hero of these different stories is forced to reconcile with his opposite, an enemy, a counter-force who prevents moral progress from taking place and who condemns the novel’s outcomes to particular tragedies. Each author thus makes a statement about human character in a social world that is doomed to tragic ends.