Golding employs a third-person omniscient narrator in
The narrator reflects Jack’s internal thought the least out of all the major characters, but still takes the reader inside his head, as after he kills the so “His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come the them when they had closed in on the struggling pig...” We also spend brief amounts of time inside the heads of littluns in order to show that the impulses ruling the main characters are universal and innate. We only see these characters briefly, such as Henry, who becomes “absorbed beyond mere happiness as he felt himself exercising control over living things,” or Maurice, who still feels “the unease of wrongdoing” when he throws sand in Percival’s eye. Golding shows that even the youngest boys experience lust for power, or remorse at causing pain. Yet he mostly shows the littluns from a distanced perspective. This technique likens them to a generic mob, capable of acting as a single organism, as when they join Jack’s tribe and unquestioningly participate in the pursuit of Ralph. By switching between brief interior glimpses into specific littluns and presenting them as a single character, the narrator shows the way the individual is susceptible to mob mentality.
In utilizing a third person point of view, Golding also lets the reader see action that none of the boys themselves witness, creating dramatic irony, which is when a reader knows more than a character does. The reader witnesses the scene of the paratrooper landing on the island, so when the boys believe they see a looming beast, the reader understands it’s actually a corpse animated by the wind. When Simon discovers the truth about the beast, it is knowledge he shares with the reader but is unable to spread to the other boys, as they kill him in their trance-like frenzy before he can explain. The beast then slips from the mountain during the storm, preserving the reader as the only person who knows the beast’s true identity. At the end the reader briefly sees the boys from the officer’s point of view, as “little boys,” and “tiny tots… with the distended bellies of small savages.” In this case, the dramatic irony is that the reader knows the horror of the situation, while the officer believes the boys are playing a harmless game.