The Lord of the Flies has always been identified as an allegory of man falling from grace. In this case we have boys left on an island with no adult supervision. First there was isolation, grouping, and efforts at maintaining the conventions of a well-ordered society. Left on such a primitive state, Golding reemphasized the Darwinian theory of the survival of the fittest. Strong personalities asserted themselves over weaker ones and temporary allegiances are built up to temporarily avoid a clash between the strong which was bound to happen, nevertheless.
The first chapter of Golding’s masterpiece sees us through a relatively peaceful regrouping of lost kids; the establishment of a hierarchy; and awareness of total isolation. The kids didn’t necessarily leapfrog into primitivism. Traces of adherence to conventions were still evident and sincere efforts towards civilized restraint were apparent; notwithstanding Ralph cavorting on the waters. The main antagonist Jack, who in the end reverted to extreme savagery, was no exception.
While exploring the island with Ralph and Simon, they chanced upon a piglet caught in a tangle of creepers, Golding related that Jack immediately drew his knife with a flourish but knowing the enormity of what he was about to do, did not push through with the killing (21). When the other boys asked him why he didn’t, Jack responded, “I was going to! I was choosing a place. Next time–! “(22). That was Jack in Chapter One. Later in subsequently chapters, the determinedly savage Jack shed all qualms and even contributed to the death of Piggy.
Still in the initial chapter, we caught a glimpse of Jack’s regard of what is humane and civilized. He was almost on the abyss of savagery but not yet over there. Given the chance that an adult or group of adults appeared in Chapter One, what would Jack be then? I believe that he will still be Jack, his nature bursting in the seams but not yet unbound. Reference Golding, William. “Lord of the Flies. ” January 2009. 4Shared. 16 March 2009 <www. 4shared. com/books/pdf/Lord of the Flies>.
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