Fun and Murder in Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies is a story of hardships, death and ultimately, survival. The island on which the boys are on presented many difficulties. In this situation, there was no time for fun and games, work was much more important. The group consisted completely of pre-pubescent young boys and the thing that destroyed their democratic ways was the allure of having lots of fun, swimming, feasts and other enjoyable activities. If the splitting of the groups, i.e when Ralph and Jack went their separate ways, the bloodshed would have been prevented. But when the decision came to be made, the promise of "..having fun.." from Jack was too much for most of the boys, and that decision they made turned them into the bloodthirsty savages who murdered two innocent boys.
In the beginning, when the boys first met and assembled at the platform, the conch was the symbol of power. The person holding the conch always had the attention of everyone. There was a leader, Ralph, who was elected by the children.
"Let's have a vote."
"Vote for chief!"
This represented democracy, a government elected for by the whole population and they lived in a classless and tolerant society. There were rules which were to be obeyed by all. Nobody was exempt from them, they were agreed on by all. A fire was lit, to attract the attention of any passing ships or planes, huts were organised to be built. There were many plans for the boys but these weren't fulfilled due to the laziness and incompetence of the small children, the "littl'uns". Huts weren't built deadlines weren't kept. In theory, it was like anarchy. This is when the groups were starting to form, the people who enjoyed living like savages, for example Roger, and those who liked the idea of leadership, having a leader and following his instructions like Piggy.
This, in my opinion, is a small-scale resemblance of the real world. If there was no law enforcement, or in Lord of the Flies, adults, people would be just like that. Society would collapse into chaos. The children, although they aren’t mature, they behave exactly as adults would in an environment in which they inhabited. Selfish, greedy always wanting more for themselves and not caring for others.
Through Lord of the Flies, Golding shows what humans really are like. If there is a system of law and order, there will always be the people who want to break free from that, the rebels of the world. In the real world people who resemble the likes of Jack would be the extremists or criminals. The conch represented many things for the children, especially for the more timid children, who didn’t have as much power in deciding what should be done as some others, who had more of a voice in the happenings. For example, someone like Piggy. When he held the conch, he was more unreserved that his usual quiet self. He could face people like Jack and not let them boss him around. In the real world, the conch would be like a large lump of gold. Once people around you see that you have that lump, they will be kind and generous towards you in hope that they get a piece of your wealth, and that’s almost what happened in Lord of the Flies. When Piggy had the conch, and had just set it down for a while, as he sees a larger boy reaching for it, he grabs it back for himself.
Golding’s intention in Lord of the Flies is to show how far the real world is from the ideal world where everyone gets along with each other and there are no conflicts or problems. His point is put across to us very clearly, and the plan of such reproach is to show us what should not happen or what we should try to avoid.
The original island when the boys first landed was a paradise, much like in “Coral Island”. Slowly they fell victim to the evils of the island. Not all the kids believed this, for example “but how could it be a bad island?” asked Piggy. Their fears of the evils are represented by the “snake thing” which was first brought up by a littl’un.
“He wants to know what you’re going to do about the snake-thing”
“Tell us about the snake-thing”
“Now he says it’s a beastie”
“A snake-thing. Ever so big. He saw it.”
“In the woods.”
The provocations of pride, being the top person, the boss, of being a hunter, killing and eating wild pigs, were all symbolized by the pig’s head which they left as sacrifice for the “thing”, their unknown fears. As it sat there, it gathered the flies, thus it was called The Lord of the Flies which is an old expression for Satan. They were just like Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. They did what was wrong, and they were punished by evil, who was Satan.
In the end, when the boys are rescued, it is ironic that the man comes from a war ship, from the real world who is at war. The boys resemble them by having a “mini” war on the island. Jack’s barbaric ways on the island has shown that even though on the outside a person may seem good, but it takes time for their true self to show. Golding has shown us that in a world of order, chaos rules and nothing and nobody is perfect.
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