In life today, society holds many expectations of its people. Members of society are expected to behave in a civilized manner; conforming to law, following social norms, and acting with dignity and without violence. When the boys became marooned on the island, they were forced to question the expectations they had always observed. This brought about a large battle between those who decided to remain civil and those who would rather rebel. Civilization is pitted against acts of savagery in a plethora of ways in Lord of the Flies when determining who had the right to speak during assemblies, when the group hunted pigs, throughout the struggle over Piggy’s glasses, and finally with Simon’s death.
When the children and the littluns crash-landed onto the island they were faced with a monumental choice; should they retain their civility and order, or rather resort to their natural animal-like instincts? To this question, each of the members of the new society gave a unique answer. A few chose civility to the very end. From the beginning, Piggy was faced with the responsibility of maintaining a working system of command. “We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us”. (Golding 16) He tried to restore order with the other children so everything did not get out of hand when no one knew what to do. Not all inhabitants were civilized, because some refrained against the rules and common wishes from among the rest of the group. A main rule the group formed was that whoever held the conch had the right to speak. However, even with this regulation in place, there was a constant influx of shouts from the littluns. “Whee-oh!” “Wacco” “Bong!” “Doink!” (Golding 33)...
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...there was some sort of authority that who they had become was horrendous. They cried for the deaths of their friends, as well as the darkness inside their hearts. They cry after realization of what had happened to them while they inhabited the island. They had allowed savagery to win.
Civilization struggling for power against savagery was shown throughout Lord of the Flies. These opposite mindsets are shown battling while determining who had the right to speak during assemblies, when the group hunted pigs, throughout the struggle over Piggy’s glasses, and finally with Simon’s death. These polar opposites are shown throughout these examples and reveal the desperation of clinging to civilization while savagery took over the actions of the some of the boys in Lord of the Flies.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2006.
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