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Conflict Between Barbarism and Reason in Lord of the Flies

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Conflict Between Barbarism and Reason in Lord of the Flies

 
     William Golding's Lord of the Flies is a carefully constructed fable that was, in Golding's words, "an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature." (Grigson 189). The novel shows a group of English boys reverting to savagery on a Pacific island. The book deals with the conflict between humanity's inner barbarism on one side, and the civilizing influence of reason on the other.

 

Each of the two characters I have chosen to contrast and compare is presented in the novel as the most influential representative of each of the two sides. Jack, the chief of the hunters, representing the hidden human passion and almost animal cruelty, and Ralph, with Piggy and a few other children, who is representing human common sense.

When the reader enters the book, they find the whole group of the boys on a small island after they had been evacuated from their hometown and after their plain had crashed leaving them on the island with no grown-ups.

 

At the beginning of the book the position of Jack and Ralph is more or less equal. They are both well-conditioned boys of school age, who find themselves on a lonely island with some other boys of various age, but not older than themselves. They share similar opinions about their situation and its solution. They both want to be rescued and taken home. They both realise that there are a lot of things they must do to survive on the island until all of them get rescued. And lastly, they both are dominant types, but yet at the beginning of the novel they both acknowledge each other's authority and behave to each other in a friendly way.

 

At the return Ralph found himself alone...


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Epstein, E.L. "Notes on Lord of the Flies." Lord of the Flies. U.S.A.: Puntnum Publishing Group, 1954. 185-90.

Fitzgerald, John F. and John R. Kayser. "Golding's Lord of the Flies: Pride as Original Sin." Studies in the Novel 24 (1992): 78-88.

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. U.S.A.: Puntnum Publishing Group, 1954.

Golding, William. "Lord of the Flies as Fable." Readings on Lord of the Flies. Ed. Bruno Leone. Sand Diego: Green Haven Press, 1997. 88-97.

Houston, Daryl L. 1995 "Golding's themes" taken from http://www.lookup.com/Homepages/95416/golding.html

The Concise Encyclopedia Of Modern World Literature (1963) ,edited by Geoffrey Grigson, New York, Hawthorn Books Inc., pg. 189-190

Woodward, Kathleen. "The Case for Strict Law and Order." Readings on Lord of the Flies. Ed. Bruno Leone. Sand Diego: Green Haven Press, 1997. 88-97.

 

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