The ‘ Lord of Flies ‘ written by William Golding talks about a group of boys whom their plane was crashed in an isolated island and it shows how they tried to build their own society . However, most of them get totally affected by the primitive life , so the boys splinter into factions, some behave peacefully and work together to maintain order and achieve common goals, while others rebel and seek only anarchy and violence . The overarching theme of Lord of the Flies is the conflict between the human impulse towards savagery and the rules of civilization which are designed to minimize it. Throughout the novel, the conflict is dramatized by the clash between Ralph and Jack, who respectively represent civilization Vs. savagery .The differences are expressed by each boy’s distinct attitudes towards authority.
Civilization can be seen as cultural and intellectual refinement in human society . In the Lord of the Flies , the boys started off adopting civil rules and creating civility amongst themselves. These rules last for some time , and during this time no chaos breaks out. Within the novel there are many signs showing the boys attempt in establishing a civilized society on that island . First , there is the conch which represents order and encourages the boys to have respect and patience for each other ; this is illustrated in the quote ” I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak , he can hold it when he’s speaking . ” . The second thing to show how they tried to be more civilized is their need to elect a leader . The boy’s electing a leader is perhaps one of the greatest displays of democracy and civilization that happens in the book . “Yes! Let’s vote ! Vote for chief” this shows they were aware that electing a leader is the only thing to make things work out , especially in a large group of young boys . Another representation of civility in the book is the huts that the boys made. These shelters provide the practical purpose of using shelters to protect them from weather.
They also provide a substitute for home , a place where the boys can gather togother in the hours of darkness to seek comfort from being close to other people . They provide an escape from the darkness and unknown which lies outside their walls . At last , the barometer of the boy’s connection to civilization is the signal fire . In the early parts of the novel , the fact that the boys maintain the fire is a sign that they want to be rescued and return to society . When the fire burns low or goes out , we realize that the boys have lost sight of their desire to be rescued and have accepted their savage lives on the island .Thus , the signal fire functions as a measurement of the strengths of the civilized instinct remaining on the island . Ironically , at the end of the novel , a fire finally summons a ship to the island , but not the signal fire . Instead , it is the fire of savagery – the forest fire Jack’s group starts as part of his quest to hunt and kill Ralph .
On the other hand , Savagery is the fierce , violent and uncontrolled society which is lacking the restrains which are normal to human beings . In the Lord of The Flies , the boys descent to savagery is a gradual process . There are some influential factors for there descent . First reasons may be the lack of faith and fire . As the days go by without any sign of a rescue ship , the boys start to doubt if they ever will be rescued. This discourses them from working to keep the signal fire going . “I’ve been watching the sea . There hasn’t been the trace of a ship , perhaps we’ll never be rescued ..” , as a result for Roger saying this the boys stop guarding the fire and make ir go out ; therefore , a struggle happens to make the fire , also piggy’s glasses are broken which symbolize loss of intellect and civilization and the rise of savage instincts . Another thing to illustrate them getting more savage is the War Paint , Jack uses white and red clay and makes black marks with a stick of charcoal . He wishes to camouflage himself so that the pig won’t spot him in the jungle.
However , once he applies the paint , Jack becomes aware the ‘ behind the mask ‘ of his painted face he is free from all restrains and responsibilities , he can in effect do what he wants . When the boys follow Jack and apply paint to themselves they almost instantly change . The war paint starts to reveal the hunters’ inner savagery and it conceals their true identities so they can do whatever they want with no consequences even murder . The other thing is the Lack of democracy , Rebellion and Fear . When the younger boys started following Jack things got out of control . Jack influenced the boys and made them follow his rebellious ways . He leads them into killing and this the most brutal display of savagery , he also leads them into believing that there is a beast and evoking fear upon them.
This fear of the beast eventually leads to the death of Simon , the most civilized of them all . The last stage happened to the boys is the Loss of innocence . After the boys ‘ most riveting display of brutality and savagery , the boys’ sense of morality is completely gone . Their innocence goes along with it . They are no longer little church boys but brutal savage beinngs completely misguided by an even more brutal leader . In conclusion, in the novel The Lord of the Flies, Golding succeeds in showing the actions, decisions and thinking of young children. At many points throughout Lord of the Flies, he writes for the characters to become gradually more and more evil . He manages to show us how human beings can move from civilization to savagery easily as it’s one of the prime instincts in human beings .
Courtney from Study Moose
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