Theme Of War In Lord Of The Flies

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William Golding’s perspective of war as illustrated in Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies by William Golding paints a graphic tale of the horrific acts of savagery committed by a group of boys abandoned on an island. While diving further into the novel the reader begins to realize that the acts of the boys are not far from the crimes of mankind. In Lord of the Flies, Golding uses Irony and characterization to illustrate that despite advancements in technology, war is still nothing more than the primal savagery of man. The message from the grown up world that is sent to the boys highlights the irony in the contrast of the idealistic view that is placed on civilization and its actual nature. After an assembly Piggy and Ralph begin to worry…show more content…
The irony of Ralph being saved from his own world of war by an officer of war shows how death and destruction is found also in the supposedly civilized world. Golding makes it clear that the true purpose of the “savior” and his ship is not forgotten, “A naval officer stood on the sand looking down at Ralph in wary astonishment on the beach behind him was a cutter, her bows hauled up and held by two ratings. In the stern-sheets another rating held up a sub-machine gun”(180). The mention of the officers vessel serves as a stark reminder that while the officer ends up rescuing the boys, his real purpose is not originally to save lives, but rather to take them “Although we feel relief over Ralph 's rescue, we suddenly understand that the adult world is little different from the world of the island, a place where men hunt and kill each other indiscriminately, a place where men can blow up the entire planet, our island in the sea of the universe”(Henningfeld). Ralph’s savior is not exempt this savagery; rather he is involved in the very heart of it. The officer sees the boys in their paint and spears and in response says that it must be “fun and game” (181). The officer has become conditioned not to see the reality of savagery in man. He cannot see that the boys’ “game” is a crude reproduction of the war he comes from. The officer then learns of the true state of the events that…show more content…
The introduction of Jack and his choir boys helps set up the characterization of the boys in comparison to war; “The creature was a party of boys, marching approximately in step in two parallel lines and dressed in eccentric clothing. Shorts, shirts and different garments they carried in their hands; but each boy wore a square black cap with a silver badge. The boy who controlled them was dressed in the same way though his cap badge was gold” (12, 13). This characterization of Jack and his boys is reminiscent of an army. They walk in a methodical fashion and don clothes that clearly tie them together and set them apart from the others on the island, similar to the uniform of a soldier. Jack is also described as the boy that controls them and stands out because his badge is gold similar to how a general controls his troops and while he is a part of the group stands separate and above the rest. The comparison between Jack’s choir boys and an army is made even clearer when Ralph is trying to assign them a purpose on the island and tells Jack, “They could be your army- or hunters-“(16). This directly links the hunter to an army. Throughout the novel, as time proceeds Jack and his hunters begin to change. On their first attempted hunt Jack cannot bring himself to kill a pig with just his knife, so to help him hunt he
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