Essay on Society's Struggle Against Its Savage Roots

Essay on Society's Struggle Against Its Savage Roots

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Society's Struggle Against Its Savage Roots

Webster's online dictionary defines civilization as "a society in an advanced state of social development". Without the restraints of society, the behaviour of people will regress to their savage beginnings, due to the fact that one's need for survival will overpower all other impulses. The descent into savagery, man's inherent desire to survive over anything else, and the need for civilization and order shows how society unnaturally holds everyone together. Society artificially bonds everything together by imposing rules and structures and without the reminders of civilization and its conventions the savagery of human nature emerges.

The strength of a society can be linked to its dependence on its physical and social characteristics so that when members of a society are separated from those characteristics they are in jeopardy of a regression away from civilized behaviour. The journey of this descent into savagery is shown through the Congo as an uncivilized setting, Kurtz's uncivilized mission and through the theme of William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies. To begin, the Congo in Africa is home to dark native peoples that are portrayed with a natural, primal quality, a stark contrast to the civilization in Europe. The setting is where the supposed sophistication of civilized men is deconstructed. Marlow tells his shipmates about his childhood dreams of visiting uncharted places on maps. However, once a space had been discovered by Europeans, "it had ceased to be a blank space of delightful mystery - a white patch for a boy to dream gloriously over. It had become a place of darkness" (Conrad 71). Once a location has been discovered by the civilized world, it is exposed to th...


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...impact of his absence from civilization's governing structure. Society relies heavily on its need for order and symbols of that order for its survival. Without them man's savage instincts take over and society's continued existence is in jeopardy.

In conclusion, it is the innate nature of mankind to choose survival above all needs which brings out the hidden savage in all of us kept only in check by the artificial restraints placed upon mankind by society. The descent into savagery, man's inherent desire to survive over anything else and the need for civilization and order shows how society unnaturally holds everyone together. The aspiration to endure is an intrinsic response that may lay dormant until the chains of society and civilization are removed; when that day arrives, their dormant instincts will arise and bring about a regression back to that of a savage.

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