Exposing the Human Soul in Lord of the Flies

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Exposing the Human Soul in Lord of the Flies 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. "'I agree with Ralph,' states Jack. 'We've got to have rules and obey them. After a... ... middle of paper ... ...tegrate 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.
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