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The Savagery of Human Nature in William Golding's Lord of the Flies

Powerful Essays
The Savagery of Human Nature in William Golding's Lord of the Flies

One of several significant incidents in this story is when the hunting group killed the first pig. This is a significant scene because it is where the hunters of the group release the savagery that has been covered up by the fact that they were civilized. It also is a significant event because it is the first time that the group of boys ignores the priorities set by their leader, Ralph. Ralph felt that keeping a signal fire to alert passing ships of their presence was more important than finding another source of food. Having his orders disobeyed meant that he was losing power. This scene is also significant because it is the turning point when authority shifts from the hands of Ralph to those of Jack. Jack uses the power to cause chaos in the eyes of Ralph and Piggy. The most significant event in the book was when Simon saw the dead pigs head on a stick. The head was an offering by the tribe to the 'beast.' When Simon stumbles upon it, it 'talks' to him and says that there is nothing to fear because the beast is inside all of us. (A bit of symbolism here.) This may not be the climax as far as plot sequence goes, but in terms of philosophical understanding, it certainly is. Another significant event was the death of Simon. Simon was killed when he came struggling out of the jungle trying to tell his fellows that the 'beast' they had feared was nothing to fear at all. The group though was in the middle of a "killing chant" and they had mistakenly identified Simon as the beast and beat him until he died. Again, this shows the savagery coming out of these boys. Piggy's death was equally significant because it serves as an example of how little power Ralph exert...

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... have been able to put up a better show than that" (201). This is a memorable line because Piggy said in the beginning of the book that the group was not savage because they were British and the British were the best of everything. When the Captain asks if the boys were British, it shows that Piggy was wrong. For the Captain to not recognize them as British means that they really changed while on the island. As the reader can see through the story, they did change. I would recommend this book to everyone because it reveals to us a side of true human nature that people want to hide. We forget sometimes that we are animals underneath the etiquette and properness that covers us. By reading this book, the reader will get a sense of who we could be, which is really who we are.

Works Cited:

Golding, William. (1954) Lord of the Flies. New York: Berkley Publishing.
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