Lord of the Flies by William Golding

1320 Words6 Pages
Civilization can be destroyed as easily as it is created. Without the walls of society, humans are capable of committing actions that they would have never thought possible. Lord of the Flies focuses on a group of boys who are alone on an island without authority. The novel reveals what can become of humanity without the presence of authority. In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the protagonist Ralph symbolizes leadership, civilization, as well as the loss of innocence. Ralph is the closest resemblance to authority that the boys have on the island. His appearance plays an important role in him signifying authority, “You could see now that he might make a boxer, as far as width and heaviness of shoulders went, but there was a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no evil” (Golding, 10). His appearance changes throughout the novel as well as his character. Ralph portrays the most significant character because the majority of the novel revolves around him. He becomes the leader of the group of boys in the beginning of the novel, until he starts to struggle for power with the antagonist, Jack. Ralph experiences a journey that causes him to lose his innocence and he discovers many things about humanity. Ralph’s symbolism of leadership, civilization, and the loss of innocence reveals what can become of society. Evil is within all of humanity, humanity can transition from civilization to savagery without the walls of society present. One of Ralph’s best character traits is his leadership. Good leadership is an important part of keeping a civilization in order. Ralph demonstrates his strong leadership early on in the novel. He knows if the island does not have rules and order it will be completely ch... ... middle of paper ... ...dea of being free overcame them as well as fear. He represented civilization and showed how a figure of civilization was present but the idea of being liberated from civilization will most likely lead to savagery. His loss of innocence reveals that evil is within all of humanity. The urge to hurt is within every human however, some are able to keep it out of sight but some cannot because the urge is too strong. The presence of authority changes how one acts because once the boys are found by the naval officer the boys who were just about to end civilization, started to weep as well because they realized all of what they had done, “[...] the other little boys began to shake and sob too” (Golding, 202). They wept now, but when they were acting as savages they didn’t. Lord of the Flies comes to show how inhumane society can become without a stable civilization.
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