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Lord of the Flies was written by William Golding, and the topic of this essay is to show how Golding suggests that the boys on the island gradually move from their civilized behavior to total anarchy. In the book, Lord of the Flies, an undefined number of boys are stranded on a desert island, and a leader is chosen. From the start, there is a power struggle between the chosen leader, Ralph, and the leader of a boys choir,Jack. There is also a gradual descent into anarchy as the boys spend more time on the island alone. In the end, they are rescued by a navy ship, but not before atleast two children are dead, namely Piggy and Simon, both murdered. In this essay it will be shown that the boys on the island move from civilization to total anarchy, through the examples of their use of face paint, the death of Simon and the destruction of the conch.
In Lord of the Flies, an example of their move from civilization to anarchy lies the use of face paint among the boys on the island. Some of the boys, like Ralph and Piggy, never wear face paint. This shows that they stay civilized throughout the story, while the other kids do not. Early in the story, when the hunters chase after a pig, they all where mud, clay, and charcoal as face paint to be 'like things trying to look like something else-'; (Lord of the Flies, William Golding, p. 66). Later, when Jack forms his own tribe they go hunting with masks of pig blood on their faces, as masks. Golding suggests that the children are able to disguise themselves behind these masks, and escape any punishment, therefore freeing them to do as they please. This shows that Golding wanted the reader to think that while the children are afraid of punishment (when they have just arrived on the island), they are civilized in their behaviour, but when they wear their masks, and are able to rid themselves of the responsibility of their actions they begin to act more savage-like.
Another example of how the children on the island moved from civilization to anarchy is the progression of the dance they perform. In the beginning, when they dance they all gather in a circle and one child is in the middle, acting as the beast. The children would then proceed to pretend to beat the child, but instead leave him unharmed.
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The final example of how they enter a state of total anarchy is the breaking of the conch. At first, the conch is a symbol of civilization and order. All the kids come when Ralph blows on the conch, and everyone respects the holder of the conch, and they let him speak. Gradually, the conch's role is downplayed by Jack, first when he says the conch doesn't matter up on the mountain, and later, when he interrupts the speaker holding the conch during meetings. Eventually, the kids stop coming when they hear the conch, and its significance is close to non-existent, but it is a sign of civilization for Piggy. Piggy respects the conch up until his death, and when Jack's raiding party attacks to get fire, '[he] was sure [Jack]'d go for the conch'; (p. 155). When the conch is destroyed, too, Golding suggests that all remnants of civilization are destroyed along with it. When 'the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist'; (p. 200), it is hinted that all civilization is gone, and that anarchy now rules the island.
In conclusion, evidence that the island went from civilization lies in the facts above. It was shown that the boys on the island went from civilization to anarchy, shown by the examples of the destruction of the conch, the transformation of the dance, and the use of face paint. I have learnt that if man is is not careful, the same thing will happen to the earth that happened to the island, it will be destroyed by our own hand. Writing this essay I have also learned that the Earth is just like the island, and that humans are just like the boys, and that we have to take care of each other, and ourselves.