Civilization Versus Savagery in Golding's Lord of the Flies

809 Words4 Pages
The novel “Lord of the Flies” was written by William Golding to demonstrate the problems of society and the sinful nature of man. Golding uses symbols, characters and objects to represent his main ideas and themes. The conch was used to call meetings but is also symbolic of the government structure and power. One of the main themes in the novel “Civilization vs. Savagery” is fought between two egos, Jack the Id who represents savagery and the desire for power and Ralph the Ego and protagonist, who represents order and leadership. William Golding created a society that was controlled by the dominant ego and influenced mostly by the person with the most manpower. Jack who was the leader of the hunter group influences the rest to join his tribe to hunt and kill. However, not all of the children on the island had the same savage trait as some others. This created a clash between tribes and leaders. You were left with the Good vs. Evil or Civilization vs. Savagery scenario. It can be seen from the very beginning of the novel that the schoolboy’s divided themselves into groups. When Ralph calls the first meeting by summoning them with the conch shell he decides they should vote on a leader. Ralph’s decision on voting for a leader is democratic and civilized. Unlike Ralph Jack Meridew claims he should be the leader because he is "chapter chorister and head boy." (“I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple arrogance, “because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp.” Pg 29).When it came time to vote the choir members voted for jack while the other boys voted for Ralph. Ralph lets Jack be in charge of his choir. This causes the group to be divided into two groups, one led by Ralph and one led by Jack. It was s... ... middle of paper ... ...case getting rescued. When the characters in "Lord of the Flies" begin acting savage they go so far that it results in the destruction of their environment as well as the destruction of their civilized minds. In the novel “Lord of the Flies” the author William Golding sets out to demonstrate what can happen when good clashes with evil, or in this case the Civilized versus the Savage. He selected two individuals to represent each group. Jack represented the savage and Ralph represented the civilized. As the novel progressed their priorities became clearer. Ralph wanted to be rescued and Jack wanted to kill. Due to their personality clashes, later in the novel series of unfortunate events occur at the end of the novel. It can be learnt that the rules and laws that guide us are there for a reason. To teach us the difference right and wrong and keep us behaved.
Open Document