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What Is The Theme Of Savagery In Lord Of The Flies

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Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding in 1954. Golding’s participation in the Second World War, and especially in the invasion of Normandy may have pessimistically affected his viewpoints and opinions regarding human nature and what a person is capable of doing. This can be seen in his novel, which observes the regression of human society into savagery, the abandonment of what is morally and socially acceptable for one’s primal instincts and desires.
The beginning of Lord of the Flies introduces the main characters and the story’s setting. A group of boys are stranded on an isolated island and must find a way to survive until rescue comes. The protagonist, Ralph, as well as an overweight boy nicknamed “Piggy” come across a
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The rumors of its existence scare the smaller children, but also become the catalyst for Jack and his group to indulge their savageness, due to their desire to hunt it down and kill it. The boys are driven to madness because of it. This “beastie” is the titular Lord of the Flies, or Beelzebub, who in the New Testament is identified as the Devil – a symbol of evil. When one of the characters, Simon, stumbles across the beastie it is revealed that it is a pig’s head on a stick. The pig was brutally stabbed by Jack and his hunters in a frenzy, as the pig squealed in pain. This act of savagery solidifies the loss of innocence and the embracement of evil. Simon hallucinates the head talking to him. “You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” (Golding 158) The Lord of the Flies suggests that his presence is the reason for the boys’ descent into savagery and madness, beginning with the children’s fear of the beast’s existence, followed by Jack’s brutality when killing the pig as well as his transformation into a savage, finally culminating in the frenzied murder of Simon at the hands of the children who mistake him for the beast. While they are beating Simon to death they are also chanting "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" (Golding 168) and dancing around him, similarly to a tribe of savages. The killing of a fellow human being is the biggest sign that evil has enveloped the hearts of the
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