'The Lord of the Flies' - Savagery

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'The Lord of the Flies' - Savagery

William Golding’s novel ‘The Lord of The flies’ presents us with a group of English boys who are isolated on a desert island, left to try and retain a civilised society. In this novel Golding manages to display the boys slow descent into savagery as democracy on the island diminishes.

At the opening of the novel, Ralph and Jack get on extremely well. We are informed Jack, “shared his burden,” and there was an, “invisible light of friendship,” between the two boys. Jack changes considerably throughout this novel. At first he tells us, “I agree with Ralph we’ve got to have rules and obey them,” This shows us that at the beginning of the novel, just like Ralph, he wants to uphold a civilised society. We are also notified, “Most powerfully there was the conch.” As the conch represents democracy we can see that at the beginning of the novel the boys sustain a powerful democratic society.

This democratic society does not last very long as the children (especially Jack) have a lack of respect for the conch and the rules. We can see this when Jack decides, “We don’t need the conch anymore, we know who should say things.” As the conch represents democracy we can see that civilisation on the island is braking up and savagery is starting to take over. We can also see a brake up in society when Jack says, “Bollocks to the rules!” Here we can see that Jack contradicts himself while managing to diminish the assembly and the power of the conch. Golding has made the two boys’ act similar at the beginning of the novel to show us how ‘normal’ they are. This demonstrates Golding’s view that absolutely anyone can be over ruled by power and become savage (like Jack) when civilisation collapses.

After this incident we can see continual conflict between Ralph and Jack. We can see this when Jack proclaims that Ralph, “Isn’t a proper chief.” Golding is trying to show us that this conflict is very similar to the conflict between humanities inner barbarism and the living influence of reason. We can see other evidence of this conflict within ourselves, with the masks that Jack and his hunters put on. We are informed that Jack, “ rubbed the charcoal stick between the patches of red and white on his face” The mask represents the dark line (charcoal) between good (white) and evil (red) within ourselves. These masks also let the boys hide f...

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...s when Ralph points out, “There’s going to be a storm.” This slowly builds us up to Simon’s death.

We Can see that even Ralph and Piggy have a savage side as they, “found themselves eager to take place in this demented but partly safe society.” This demonstrates Goldings view that everyone has a savage side to them.

At Simon’s murder the boys, “Leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit and tore.”

This clearly shows us that the boys are completely barbaric and have no self-conciseness. The reason why Golding did not inform us straight away that Simon was the beast was because he wanted us to try and see things from the boys’ perspective.

As Simon was trying to tell the boys that the beast did not exist, his death symbolises that mankind can’t face the truth about their inner desires.

Part of Golding’s intent was to demonstrate that the evil is not recognised in specific populations or situations. On the island the beast is manifest in the deadly tribal dances, war paint and manhunt: in the outside world the same lust for power and control plays out as a nuclear war. Throughout ‘The Lord of the Flies’ Golding has managed to show that evil is present in everyone.
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