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Lord Of The Flies

Lord Of The Flies The Shattering of Reason within a Society William Golding in his novel Lord of the Flies symbolically describes the degeneration of a civilized society in three stages. Embedded within this story of a group of young boys struggling to survive alone on a deserted island are insights to the capacity of evil within the human soul and how it can completely destroy society. After a plane crash that results in their inhabitation of the island, the boys establish a democratic society that thrives on order, necessity, and unity. Slowly, however, the peaceful society that they create shatters through a path of hatred, disrespect, murder, and the release of the true human soul. Upon a desolate tropical island, the lost boys begin to organize themselves to gain a sense of stability, order, and brotherhood. They elect Ralph, the oldest boy at twelve years of age, as leader and use a conch found in the lagoon as a symbol of democracy and respect.

Two other children, Jack, the head of a choir group, and Simon, a small but intellectual boy, accompany Ralph on an expedition to determine whether the land is truly an island. They find that it is indeed true, and compose a plan to light a fire on the beach to create smoke; their only hope of rescue. After they obtain the glasses of an intelligent and rather fat child called Piggy, they make a fire using the sunlight and glass lenses. However, the fire spreads to the forest quickly and destroys the group’s supply of firewood. The boys shrug this off as an accident and Ralph and Simon commence work on shelters. They begin to build a society that contains rules and government.

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‘I agree with Ralph,’ states Jack. ‘We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages’ (40). The boys establish bonds of friendship and work together to help one another, but soon forget what is truly most important to their survival civilized living. One morning, Ralph sees a ship on the horizon and realizes that the new fire they had built is no longer burning because of the negligence of the boys assigned to be watching it. He is furious, yet Jack and his choir group ignore Ralph’s complaints and begin hunting for a wild pig, setting out with dreams of chase, glory, and slayings.

The difference between common sense and minds influenced and dulled by eagerness grasps the majority of the boys and begins to disintegrate the peace within their society. Ralph talks to the boys about their carelessness and how it is detrimental to the entire island. Their respect for one another is wearing away slowly. They looked at each other baffled, in love and hate. All the warm salt water of the bathing pool and the shouting and splashing and laughing were only just sufficient enough to bring them together again (50). The true problem, however, is the beast.

A small child sees a beastie on the mountain and the entire group begins to talk about the subject with fear and intent of killing it, whatever it may be. After the fire is rekindled by Ralph’s orders, Sam and Eric, two young twins, are on duty watching and they spot a lumpy figure huddled on the forest floor several yards away. They run to the camp and tell the others about what they have seen. Jack, Ralph, and Roger decide to climb the mountain and search for the creature. They see the figure also and are able to make out its head, eyes, and teeth, and becoming frightened, run away. Once they return to the shelters, Jack calls a meeting to discuss the beast. In the meeting, Ralph takes control over the discussion and Jack becomes angry and yells about Ralph being chief.

He calls an election for a new leader, yet Ralph wins again, and because of this, Jack storms off down the beach yelling that he can live on his own. Shortly after this, Piggy and Ralph discover that they cannot find several boys in their camp. They realize that they have gone to live with Jack and that life on the island will never be the same again. Simon climbs to the top of the mountain, and finds the beast, but examines it to see what it truly is instead of hiding from the fear as before. He finds that it is a dead man wrapped partially in a parachute and runs down to the beach where Jack’s group, along with Ralph’s, is feasting.

As Simon bursts forth from the threshold of the woods, the boys mistake him for the beast and brutally attack him. Eventually they know it is not the beast, yet they continue to slaughter in their excitement and rage. Simon is dead; killed by those whom he depended on to survive. The next morning in Jack’s camp the savages tie up a small boy, Wilfred, to be beaten; the reason unknown and presumably non-existent. Reason has escaped the actions of the boys. As Sam and Eric said to Ralph: ‘Never mind what’s sense.

That’s gone’ (172) Jack comes to Ralph’s shelters in the middle of the night and steals Piggy’s glasses so that he can start a cooking fire at any time. Piggy is furious and along with Ralph, Sam, and Eric, the only boys outside Jack’s domain, go to Jack’s fort to try to recover the glasses. Instead of peaceful discussion, Roger murders Piggy by dropping a boulder on him and some boys capture Sam and Eric and take them into the fort. Ralph is alone now and defenseless except for a wooden spear. Jack forces all of the boys in his camp into a manhunt for Ralph and they form a line the width of the island, cutting off any escape routes.

Behind them trails a fire that will engulf the entire island. There is no chance for Ralph to evade them. The boy, alone and fearful, hides in a thick bush. The boys are close to finding him when he runs out and in his terror dashes to the shore of the beach. If not for the navy officer who stood there ahead of him, waiting to find who had created the smoke, the boys would have been left to disintegrate in the evil within themselves. They start in peace and end in hatred and murder.

With the exception of Ralph and Piggy, the boys completely abandon reason, civilization, and the thought of rescue. They fight the harmless beast that terrifies them, not knowing that something so much more fearful, deadly, and destructive lie within themselves. Being human, they have a capacity for evil inside of their soul that is immeasurable and can destroy the life of everyone around them, including their own. They never realize this and continue to break their morals, which were simply superficial rules of society that were fed to them unwillingly. They act upon these morals despite their own thoughts and emotions. The latter is the definition of civilization. As it wears away layer after layer in this book, the true human soul is bared, naked and fearless.

Bibliography Lord of the Flies English Essays.

Lord Of The Flies

Lord Of The Flies In the book The Lord of the Flies the beast turns out to be the boys worst enemy even though it never really existed. The beast turned out to be the boys themselves. They were all scared the beast would kill them, but they ended up hurting or killing themselves just by defending themselves from the so called beast. The first sign of the beast was when the boys were first scared. When the little boy told the rest of the boys about the snake-thing he saw in the woods he refers to it as the beastie. None of the boys really believe him, but in all their minds it gets them thinking and worring about whats on the island, and if there are any beasts of some sort. The beast occurs any time the boys are frightened. If they hear a noise in the woods it must have be the beast.

If they see something that scares them it must be the beast. This freightenment works the boys up so much that their primary goal is to kill the beast. In the end they kill themselves, and they realize that they were running from themselves. The beast never existed anywhere, but in their heads. I think the author, Golding, felt the same why when he wrote the book.

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The beast is the boys, and it ends up being their worst nightmare, and they dont even know it. That interpetation of the beast changed throughout the book and i began to realize what the author meant by the beast.

Lord Of The Flies

Lord Of The Flies The Lord of the Flies is a picture of our society today. Discuss the statement and show the way the statement applies The Lord of the Flies is about a mini-society of boys formed by chance. Their isolation from adults forced reality upon them and so they had to think for themselves and work together. As a commentary of todays society it does well to explain some of todays issues like violence, laws, pride, greed, fear, religious power and the conflict between living in a civilized society or savagery. It is all about the choice the boys made when life became real.

In the beginning their lives were controlled and protected by their parents, teachers and police officers. Jack cannot kill the pig even though he can eat meat because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh. (p 41). Roger cannot hit the boys with the stones even though he could if he wanted to because he has been conditioned by the society he used to live in. This is the type of society the children live in.

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Everything is a game until the beast. The beast signals the end of the games and start of reality. Lives are at stake in perspective of the boys and survival must occur in any form. Our society is much like this as todays society is also about survival and what choices we make to survive. The mini-society started off peaceful.

The purpose was to set a signal fire and live off fruit until help came. The conflict came when the fire and hunting could not be committed to at the same time. As the fire was a 24 hour task and hunting needed the whole party, the party started to take sides. Ralphs fire would be the sensible thing to do to get rescued however hunting would lift the standard of living for all the boys and would also be a luxury, recreational event. The fire was hard work and immediate results were none even though long-term results would be better.

The hunting side wins eventually. In Australia today we are spending beyond our ability to afford this spending. This means we have a great influx of goods and services but as a community we are cheating ourselves as this leads to a current account deficit and the cost of living in this deficit must be paid plus the deficit. In this books case, the deficit was their morals and the interest was paid in life. The conch was the symbol of power and it represented the order in the beginning of the book. It brought them together and provided laws for the society. The main law being whoever holds it has the right to speak without interjection or disrespect while he was speaking.

It is much like a policemans badge or even the mace in our parliament. However, the beast held a greater power over the conch which was fear. It is used by Jack to gain power over the rest of the group. His promises and rallies to kill the beast eased the fear of the boys and hence he won over the group. The killing of Simon as the beast but saying the beast was still alive, showed Jack had used the beast to keep his power as leader of the tribe.

In a way, it became a religion as Jacks ritual of killing pigs for their heads to keep the beast happy. This was his method of promoting hunting. Other examples of this in real society are the Vikings whose promise of Valhalla made them among the best warriors of all time in the world. In todays society, religions can give power and money to many people. Fear of gods or protection from all fears in society can make person donate to a religious unit material goods or loyalty.

Even traditional religions like Catholicism can allow the leaders to lead a life of luxury. Violence in the book increases as it does in society today. At first, the intention of killing the first pig was there and then when a pig was finally killed, killing became easier. The restraint that deemed killing unacceptable in society was broken. Next came the killing of the beast or Simon.

They recognised him as the beast although they knew it was Simon but as they all joined in, killing Simon became a cheered event and not a tragedy. The boys realised that nothing would happen if they killed humans as their peers were also killing and so the restraint was broken even further. The killing of Simon was not an event enjoyed by all as Ralph and the twins realised the mistake because the restraint was still strong inside then. The feelings become more intense as this happened. In every step, the darkness of mans heart became an ever greater presence amongst Jacks group but when the realisation of fault happens to Ralph and his group, their wish for peace becomes even more great.

Savagery and civility or, evil and good both become more intense and defined. Piggys death shows the ultimate in disregard for death as Jack declares that he meant to kill Piggy and starts a completely defined death hunt for Ralph. Our society today, has changed to a completely defined peace push after the world wars. However, disregard for human life is still trying to match the push as thousands still die under the hands of others in civil and international wars, in muggings and robberies, and generally in hatred killings of personal, racial, religious and revenge reasons. The significance of the officer in the final scene is the way he turns a blind eye to the boys and waits for them to pull themselves together.

In conclusion, the Lord of the Flies is a picture of our society today. It shows the darkness of mans heart and where the break down of restraint can result in killing and violence. When laws and morals can no longer apply to man then the darkness of mans heart will escape. This anarchy is a picture of our society today in war, greed, fear, and is the other half of our civilised society. It is a picture that exists and will remain with man no matter how far we bury the darkness whether we bury it shallow like Jack and Roger or deep like Ralph and Piggy.


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