Lord of the Flies
Negative Consequences Of Fear In “Lord Of The Flies” By William Golding
Imagine that you have been on an air crash; you land on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. You have nothing except for fear. What would you do? Fear, is not only an emotion frightens you, but it also would come along with other undesired influences. In the novel “Lord of The Flies” by William Golding explains this point perfectly through the survival of a group of young boys on an isolated island.
Throughout the entire story, fear brings about several negative consequences to people, such as, weakening courage, losing mind, and preventing people from doing appropriate things. First of all, fear is likely to weaken people’s courage. In other words, it makes people cowardly. In the beginning of the novel, the boys didn’t express much fear against the beastie in the jungle. They still had adventurousness to explore around the island and ignite fire to make signal on the mountains. However, the circumstances changed after they discovered something that made their hair stand on end. “No go, Piggy. We’ve got no fire. That thing sits up there – We’ll have to stay here”. This speech from Ralph responded to Piggy reveals that he had been completely defeated by fear. He didn’t dare to go up the mountains anymore. He was not as brave to take risks as he used to be. The contrast above distinctly identifies that fear reduces courage.
Other than weakening people’s courage, fear will also result in losing people’s mind. One, Two, fear leads people to make impulse decisions and judgments that end up with grave consequences such as death. “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!” This speech was yelled out by a bunch of boys when the saw the “beastie” ran towards them. However, this is an example of dramatic irony, the “beastie” was actually Simon who was going to announce that the “beastie” they saw is only a dead body of a pilot. As the boys were nervous and panic awfully, they murdered the “beastie” – Simon without even thinking twice. As a result, they made a careless and serious mistake which is enough to attest that fear will lose people’s ability to think. Thirdly, fear is apt to prevent people from doing appropriate things. According to the novel, at the beginning of chapter five, Ralph used the conch, which is a symbol of power, to convene an assembly in order to censure the kids for their failure to obey the rules. Due to the fear of unknown and beastie, the boy wandered around anxiously instead of courage.
Survival – a Theme in “Lord of the Flies
Survival is a theme in Lord of the Files because of the way that it changes the humanity in the boys and because survival is the most important factor of survival. In the begining the boys were worried about surviving, finding out where they were. Signal fire was started, and the boys tried their best to keep it running. In the end, the boys had to fight for survival against Jack’s tribe, eventually survivors would rescue the boys who were left.
The boys followed the Hyerarchy of Needs, beggining with things like shelter and water, they eventually develop their own government, electing Ralph as leader. Ralph seemed to be more aware of the fact they had to keep themselves alive, worried more about keeping the fire going and having basic needs of survival. They created a hunting party to kill pigs and get meat. They also gathered fruit. They built huts for shelter.
Jack cared more about hunting and messing around, never worried about the problem at hand. He wanted power over the boys and didn’t care much about survival. Jack was the first to lose his humanity as his savage nature took over.. The signal fire was a huge symbol for survival in the Lord of the Flies, which was the only way for them to be noticed for rescue, to cook food, and stay warm.
Peggy kept Ralph in line and helped him keep his focus on getting rescued instead of giving himself over to the beast. Peggy symbolized order on the island. Peggy’s specs lit the fire that allowed the boys to be rescued and survive. The fire was necessary in their survival because it allowed thr officer to find them. They lost their identities as their survival instincts took over. The order they established on the island fell apart when the beast became a reality. The boys went to extreme measures to survive.
The conch symbolized authority and government. Ralph and Peggy respected the conch and taught it was necessary in survival. In the beginning the conch helped them create rules to help them survive. The idea of having to keep themselves alive eventually pushed the boys to the savage ways towards the end of the novel. The term „Survival of the Fittest” really played a role, as the boys had to fight to stay alive after the fighting behind the two tribes broke out.
At the end of the story, survival and rescue came for the remaining boys. Survival made itself evident throughout the whole novel, whether it be in a good or bad way.
Nature Settings: Symbolism and Shaping Perception
Natural occurrences are often portrayed in literature as accurate reflections of mankind’s actions. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the weather patterns frequently correspond to the happenings on the island. Upon the arrival of the schoolboys, the island is plagued by destruction caused by their irresponsible actions. On various other occasions, the weather predicts coming incidents, including death and rescue. Natural occurrences often serve as visual representations of how the boys feel. However, the first evident connection between the boys and the natural setting is the destruction that the characters inflict on the island.
The instant the boys arrive, they immediately disturb the bliss on the island and begin to destroy the natural and pristine setting. Upon the children’s arrival, they create “the scar” which is the location where the plane crashed. This event is the first form of damage they inflict on the island. Shortly after their arrival the boys begin to adapt to their surroundings; Ralph creates the idea of a signal fire, which the boys quickly agree to. Despite the good sense behind this new feature, their placement of it was thoughtless. This lack of judgement leads to the first forest fire: “Beneath the dark canopy of leaves and smoke the fire laid hold on the forest and began to gnaw. Acres of black and yellow smoke rolled steadily toward the sea” (44). Because this idea was not well thought through, it contributed to the destruction of the island. And this was not the only occasion when fire caused havoc on an isolated location as a result of their actions. Later, the savage boys on the island are overpowered by the need to kill Ralph and almost kill themselves in the process. In the attempt to assassinate him, a forest is set on fire once again, but far more severely this time: “Now the fire was nearer; those volleying shots were great limbs, trunks even, bursting. The fools!” (198). The absent-minded decisions the boys have made have further pushed the island toward complete ruin. In addition to setting the fires, the boys also affect the well-being of the island through their shifts of attitude. The boys quickly become lazy and ignore the rules put in place in order to help maintain the purity of the land, leading them to contaminate the island with man-made waste: “We chose those rocks right along the bathing pool as a lavatory. That was sensible too.” (80). Specifically here, the younger characters are becoming careless of the rules, corrupting the cleanliness of the island with their own pollution.
The next key reason that will establish the connection between nature and the boys is the foreshadowing created by the depictions of weather. As the island is quickly established as a Utopian paradise, any change of weather is easy to notice, further showing the change of the proper school boys into savages. The first significant alteration in the weather involves the clouds forming above the land: “Over the island the buildup of clouds continued” (145). Due to the fact that the island sky is consistently clear, the clouds become more meaningful when presented in this scenario. The darkness that forms over the island enhances Simon’s terrible position, and the negative energy around him foreshadows more doom to come. During the final battle between the savages and Ralph, the sun appears once again, adding hope to the sense of doom within the situation: “He could see the sun-splashed ground over an area of perhaps fifty yards from where he lay, and as he watched, the sunlight in every patch blinked at him” (197). Since the sun is a symbolic representation of a hero and light symbolically represents hope, the shining of sunlight foreshadows the near rescue from the Navy officers.
The collective emotional state of the boys is also reflected by the natural settings on more than one occasion. At the time that the boys arrive, the setting is bright and beautiful: “The shore was fledged with palm trees. These stood or leaned or reclined against the light and their green feathers were a hundred feet up in the air” (9). When the boys enter this location, they become overjoyed with their new-found freedom and with the absence of adult authority. The overwhelming euphoria in this situation is expressed by the surroundings. Although the weather often reflects the optimism and joy in certain situations, it can have a negative association as well. When the boys kill Simon, the weather changes to mirror the savage action they have just completed: “Then the clouds opened and let down the rain like a waterfall. The water bounded from the mountain top, tore leaves and branches from the trees, poured like a cold shower” (153). The rain in this instant is used to encompass a variety of emotions. Sorrow, an impulse commonly associated with rain, is present in this situation due to the loss of an innocent child. The guilt in this scenario is only felt by those who have remained civilized; the rain symbolizes the overcoming rush of emotions perceived by those in grief. Yet violence is demonstrated by the savages in this scene as they attack Simon viciously: “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore” (153). The description of the boys murdering Simon is represented by how violently the rain is striking the island, hence giving the same uncontrollable characteristic to both savage and civilized. As the physical deterioration of the island occurs, the mental deterioration of the boys is also occurring, further creating the connection between the settings and the characters.
Within Golding’s narrative, the connection between the young boys and natural setting is significant due to the effects that these two aspects of the narrative exert on one another. As the boys destroy their temporary home with reckless ideas, they are leaving a physical impact on the island that reflects their inner feelings. The environment not only parallels the past actions of the boys, but also predicts the boys’ future actions as well. Essentially, the weather and setting act as mirrors–and frighteningly lucid ones–for many of the children’s emotions.
The Theme of Savagery versus Civilisation in The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel in which the theme of savagery versus civilisation is explored. Some British boys are stranded on an isolated island at the time of an imaginary nuclear war. On the island we see conflict between two main characters, Jack and Ralph, who respectively represent civilisation and savagery. This has an effect on the rest of the boys throughout the novel as they delve further and further into savagery.
The theme of savagery versus civilisation is first introduced to us through the symbol of the conch shell which we associate with Ralph as he is the person who first uses it and becomes the elected leader of the boys. This symbolises authority amongst the boys. At the first assembly Ralph says “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak…he won’t be interrupted”. This suggests civilisation as Ralph is allowing each boy to have an equal say and opinion. If they have the conch, no matter who they are or what age they are they will be given the chance to speak and will be listened to by the rest of the boys. The boys have created the island to be a democratic place which shows a civilised side to them as they try to mimic the homes they have just left.
Contrasting with the symbol of the conch is the symbol of the beast which comes to be associated with Jack as by the end of the novel he is almost devil worshipping it. The beast begins as a “snake thing” but by the end of the novel it has become “the Lord of the Flies”. The first quote shows us that the beast is clearly evil. Western society considers snakes to be bad omens because it was a snake that led Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. However at this stage of the novel the beast is quite insubstantial as it is only a “thing”. As the boys fear of the beast grows so to does the beast itself until it has manifested into the devil – the ultimate and most powerful evil. He has a strong status as a Lord although it is over something pretty disgusting – the flies. The boys belief in the beast leads them to behave more like savages as they act out from their fear and they begin to loose hold of the rules, led by Jack, thus demonstrating the theme of savagery.
One of ways Golding shows conflict between savagery and civilisation is when Jack and some of the other boys are killing the first pig. Jack chants “kill the pig, cut her throat, spill the blood”. This suggests savagery as the boys are being violent and aggressive when killing the pig and they don’t care about it. This is particularly clear through Golding’s word choice. Jack talks about cutting the pig’s throat which makes it sound like a savage action and spilling her blood which reinforces the lack of care and feeling shown towards the pug’s carcass. This shows that the boys are no longer feeling guilty about what they have done thus showing them becoming savages.
We can see the conflict between savagery and civilisation developing further when Piggy’s glasses are broken. We are told “Piggy cried out in terror ‘my specs!” This shows us that the boys savage natures are beginning to overule their more civilised sides. At the start of the book Jack would never have dared touch Piggy, but here he actually snaps and goes for Piggy who he despises. We can tell that Piggy is really scared as Golding chooses the words “cried” and “terror” to describe the scene. Piggy sounds like he is hurting and is genuinely terrified about what Jack might do to him and the loss of his sight. Piggy’s glasses have also come to represent intelligence on the island, with them breaking we see that the pathway to savagery is now completely open for the boys. This is the first true piece of violence between the two factions on the island and it will result in nearly all the boys becoming savages.
A final way in which we see the theme of savagery versus civilisation being demonstrated is when Ralph sticks up for Piggy after he is attacked by Jack. Ralph says “that was a dirty trick”. This shows that Ralph is really angry at Jack for what he said and did to Piggy. He is still attempting to impose himself as leader here as he says this in an aggressive and assertive tone. This suggests there is still some glimmers of civilisation on the island at this point as there is still someone with a sense of moral goodness ready to fight for justice.
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel in which the theme of savagery versus civilisation is shown. Ralph represents civilisation as he wants to enforce rules and let everyone have an equal say. Whereas Jack who represents savagery as he rules over the boys and he is not interested in what they have to say. Through the boys actions Golding shows us that we need rules and to consciously impose them to make sure society functions properly.
“Lord of the Flies” By William Golding
“We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?” (Golding, Lord of the Flies). A famed quote for an even more famous book, Lord of the Flies. Written by William Golding, it can seem like a simple adventure story when just reading it. But if you truly analyze the text, it’s a deep story about mankind, and what it means to be human. I believe like in the book, where the society the boys built was destroyed, our society is destined to fall. The reasons are both simple, yet very complex: not being able to communicate, the separation of governments, and division of people through religion.
Humans are social creatures. We learn, laugh, and care for the safety of each other… sometimes. War, however, is also something we are used to. War and fighting are probably older than even civilization is. The more modern we become, the more we argue and fight, and even kill. In these modern times, with weapons of mass destruction, the world is a more dangerous place than it has ever been. However, we have speakers to tell our governments not to fight, and to help make laws. This is where the conch comes in. In Lord of the Flies, the boys find a conch early on and use it as a sort of microphone. Whoever is holding the conch gets the right to speak his opinions and thoughts. Without this, there wouldn’t be rules on the island. But, this conch also does cause quite a bit of problems among the boys. The conch eventually leads to Piggy’s death, whom after he voices his opinions starts a fight, getting a rock thrown at him and leading to the poor boys death (Golding, 164-165). These events are most likely symbolism for the real world, how a few truthful, angry words can lead to the death of a (mostly) innocent person. After Piggy’s death, Jack lashed out in rage and tried to kill Ralph as well. Two separate leaders of two different tribes fighting… sounds like a war. And this is even more accurate considering what the two boys represent. Ralph represents a democratic government because he was chosen by his peers to become chief.
Even Ralph himself states, “ ‘I’m the chief’, said Ralph, ‘because you chose me’ ” (Golding, 137). Early on in the book, the boys ‘vote’ for Ralph to be their leader, just like in a democratic government where the people choose their own leader on their own free will. Jack, however, represents an autocratic government. As the book describes him, “painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol..” (Golding, 135). Jack is seemingly worshiped like a god and treats his peers like one. Jack, with Roger by his side, tortured and beat the twins to get them to obey their commands. Even in the final chapter, it is implied Jack and Roger has hurt one of the twins into telling them where they think Ralph is hiding (Golding, 175). These two boys representing two different governments do not get along at all, even in the very beginning Ralph is very skeptical of Jack. As the book is ending towards the end, the two boys loathe each other, and the two tribes have a semi-war. With the two governments fighting for their own causes, with neither being exactly a good intention, it reflects our world perfectly. Along with these wars came anger, sadness, and death. Including the death of a few friends, such as Simon. Simon is a very interesting character to this story. He is kind and quiet, always thinking. He is also the only boy to have truly communicated with the Lord of the Flies. In fact, Simon is the __only boy to not at one point become savage and wild. He seems to behave purely and perfect, almost… holy. More than likely, Simon is symbolism for religion, most specifically Christianity, as he is Jesus Christ. Early on in the story, we see his kind heart. He selflessly gives the little boys the best fruits from on top of the tree, even if they wouldn’t thank him afterward (Golding, 51). This kind act almost mimics the actions of the famous Jesus Christ himself. Even the part where Simon and the Lord of the Flies interact is a heavy indication that the young boy has religious inspirations. While Simon represents Christ, the Lord of the Flies represents Satan. This one is even slightly obvious, as one of the many names for Satan is ‘Beelzebub’, which directly is described as ‘Lord of the Flies’.
The Lord even foreshadows Simon’s untimely demise, saying how he should join his ‘friends’, whom they also have a high risk of dying as we head closer to the end (Golding, 130). But what does this have to do with modern society? Well, early in history, many wars were fought because of religion. One famous example is the crusades, several infamous battles against Christians and Muslims, started to secure the holy land of Jerusalem. Arguably, the two tribes could possibly represent two different religions. They both go to war for the same reason; to gain and have power. Jack wants power, and Ralph, even though he doesn’t specifically state so, wants power as well. The one voice of reason and the neutral man in the middle is the one who ends up getting killed by his friends. Simon is true neutral, and that led to his death. Golding’s first ever novel was an instant classic. With gruesome deaths, aggressive violence, and scenes that make you hold your breath, it’s truly a conversation of humanity and the way we are programmed to behave. After all, we were once wild animals just like the lions and tigers that live out in the jungles. As Piggy shouted angrily, “What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?” (Golding, 82). What are we? Have we advanced in technology so much we are no longer wild? Or if the situation calls for it, would we go back to our natural survival instincts, living for ourselves with no care whom we hurt?
Lord of the Flies: The Analysis of the Gender-Related Impact
Did the role of gender have any influence on the actions in the well known novel the Lord of the Flies? Would things have turned out differently if it was all girls stranded on the island, instead of all boys? Gender criticism explores the differences between men and women, the gender stereotypes that are enforced by today’s society, and how William Golding portrays the role of gender in his novel, the Lord of the Flies.
Men and women have some clashing characteristics that separate themselves from each other. For instance, men have larger hearts and lungs, and they have higher amounts of testosterone, which makes them 30% stronger than women. Men are more violent and physical, while women are more emotional and gentle. Also, men and women process information differently, because of differences in a portion of the brain called the splenium. A woman’s splenium is much larger and has more brain wave activity. Women have better night vision, and see better at the red end of the light spectrum, and have better visual memory, while men see better in the daylight. When women try to solve a problem, they often rely on help from those close to them. Women will talk through their problem, discussing the situation in detail, and how they could solve it. While reaching the solution is important, how they solve the situation is important too. Men like to dominate the problem and use it as an opportunity to demonstrate their ability.
Society and media has a huge role in enforcing gender stereotypes. Male images in today’s world portray the male race as being dominating and violent, strong and overpowering. These stereotypical portrayals target young men and make them think that in order to live up to society’s standards, they must resort to aggressive and dominant behavior. Female stereotypes are totally opposite. The media portrays women to be very “ladylike”. They show women as caring, passive, polite, and nurturing. Parents usually raise boys on aggressive sports, such as football or hockey, which encourage competition and violence. Girls, however, are generally brought up on “feminine” activities, such as dance or figure skating, which promote a gentle nature. When a boy shows more interest in dolls than in trucks, his family may be distressed, and provoke him to reveal his “masculine” side. Displays of emotion by boys are often criticized for being “unmanly”, whereas emotional behavior in girls tends to be expected and accepted. As a result, boys tend to not only hide their feelings, but criticize others for showing their emotions. Girls, on the other hand, encourage one another to express feelings and console one another naturally.
In The Lord of the Flies, we are made aware that all of these boys come from boarding schools, an early indication that they have been kept from the company of females from an early age. William Golding isolated these boys from the opposite sex, showing us the nature of men alone. Had females been in the same situation as the boys in the Lord of the Flies, we can infer that they would have fared considerably different. The Venture Theater in Montana staged two versions of the Lord of the Flies, one male, one female. “The girls are more psychological and the boys are more physical,” said Wood, the director. During rehearsal, the boys stomped around an imaginary campfire with great intensity, alternatively screaming, “Kill the beast” and “Kill the pig.” When the girls rehearsed the same scene, their dance was much more choreographed with each girl moving independent of the others. During the dialogue scenes, the girls used body language and tone of voice to show their savagery. The boys would just let whatever felt right come out. Girls are masters of the nasty and well-known talking-behind-your-back-and-make-everyone-hate-you trick. Any and every girl, even the sweetest, has this talent, and it can and will reveal itself under dire circumstances. The girls don’t need to become savages to outcast someone. But savages they would very well become anyway. The evil would reach them eventually just as it took over the boys. Order would be lost, and although there wouldn’t be as much violence as there was with the boys, rivalries would still be manifested.
In conclusion, gender played a huge role in the Lord of the Flies. Physical differences between men and women, media stereotypes on ideal gender conduct, and family socialization, are all factors that contribute to the actions of the boys on the island, and how things would’ve turned out had it been girls instead of boys.
Lord of the Flies by Golding : the Light in the Dark
The Light in the Dark
In the midst of darkness, there is light. Light is often used as a symbol for purity and divinity. The evil of human nature often exposes the inner darkness that lies within people. Those who do not let their human nature take over are the light that strays away from the darkness. This becomes clear in Lord of the Flies. A plane crash leaves a group of boys stranded on an island. As time passes they become progressively more barbaric and turn into savages, except for one boy named Simon. In the last four paragraphs of the chapter entitled “A View to Death” in Lord of the Flies, Golding uses an abundance of light imagery in his descriptions of the sky and water, of the creatures, and of Simon himself in order to suggest the apotheosis of Simon.
The light imagery used in the sky and water glorified Simon. Golding emphasizes the skies description to show Simon’s character. He talks about how “the sky was scattered” with the “incredible lamp of stars”. The clearing of the sky to show the bright stars implies Simon’s significance. He is only one who recognizes the true beasts on the island. Golding uses the “lamp of stars” to signify Simon’s apotheosis because gods are often looked upon as bright and holy. He does this to highlight Simon’s innate goodness. Golding uses the water that surrounds Simon’s body to convey a holy image. The “streak of phosphorescence” and “the great tide flowed”. The phosphorescence provides more light to the scene while the tide represents the cleansing of Simon from his sins to prepare him for ascension. Golding symbolizes the water as a separation of Simon and the savages on the island. Simon is calm and orderly unlike them. The author shows the transition of the sky to contrast the chaos of the killing. As the “rain ceased” the “clouds drifted away”. The drifting of the clouds clears up the sky, indicating calm and peacefulness. This represents the transition from darkness the savages ushered upon the island to Simon’s tranquil ascension. This transition puts emphasis on Simon’s goodness against the opposing evilness. Golding uses the planets above to represent Simon’s ascension. “Over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling”. The earth’s gravity pulls the moon and the Sun’s gravity pulls the Earth. This illustrates Simon’s body being pulled to a greater place, namely heaven. The environment, particularly the sky and water, portrayed by light imagery indicates Simon’s innocence.
The creatures and Simon’s body also signify his apotheosis. Golding depicts the bright creatures surround Simon to glorify his body. The “creatures busied themselves round his head”. The creatures convey an image of a halo. Halos generally surround godly or enlightened beings. Golding uses the image of a halo to show how Simon has qualities of enlightened beings as he is the only pure and holy one on the island. The author also uses Simon’s body to parallel him to Christ. His body “laid huddled on the pale beach”. Golding does not specify how he laid but could be interpreted similarly to Jesus’s death. Showing the similar qualities between the two, Simon represents the Christ figure in the story. He finds food for the boys and died while trying to spread the truth. Golding then beautifies Simon’s body to highlight his significance. Nature dressed Simon’s “coarse hair with brightness” and the “line of his cheek silvered”. The silver and brightness add further radiance to Simon. Nature can often be harsh and unyielding as portrayed in the other parts of the book; but in this scene, nature seems to be accepting Simon. This presents Simon as a unique person since he is the only character to present natural goodness. Golding also depicts Simon’s body disappearing out to the sea to show the loss of goodness. Simon’s “dead body moved out toward the open sea”. As Simon’s body floats away, so does the light on the island. This is significant because, without the light, the boys will quickly plunge the island into darkness. Through the image of the creatures and the portrayal of his body, Simon is created as a holy and blissful character.
Golding describes many aspects of the environment such as the sky, the water, the creatures, and Simon’s body using light imagery while indicating Simon’s apotheosis. The purity and goodness of humanity can easily be taken over. While the boys lose their humanity, Simon remains unchanged. Simon is deified repeatedly throughout the chapter, showing that he stands out from the others due to his good qualities.
The Frightening Character of Jack in Lord of the Flies
In his novel, ‘Lord of the Flies’, Golding highlights Jack and one of the story’s pivotal characters. Whilst it may originally appear that Jack is just one of the many confused boys on the island, Golding quickly sets Jack aside from the other boys by establishing his frightening character. In this essay I will analyse and explore the linguistic techniques and structural elements of Golding’s writing to determine the ways in which they present Jack as such a frightening figure throughout the novel.
Golding presents Jack as such a frightening character in the novel as he describes how naturally ruthless he is. Golding describes how ‘he gave orders, sang, whistled, threw remarks at the silent Ralph’. The juxtaposition between giving orders and pleasant activities such as singing and whistling, combined with the aggressive lexis ‘threw’, demonstrates how Jack lacks boundaries and that in his mind, the difference between right and wrong is extremely ambiguous, hence why it is so easy for Jack to be ruthless. The lexis ‘silent’ has connotations of vulnerability, Golding’s intention being to reveal how Jack thrives on Ralph’s shortcomings, particularly because at the beginning of the novel, Ralph is presented as a strong orator and is listened to by all the boys. Golding makes explicit the contrast between these two characters, with the intention of foreshadowing later events in the novel whereby Jack rather easily assumes the role of leader, depriving Ralph of the title. This indeed makes Jack a frightening figure as the reader feels sympathetic towards Ralph and his weakness compared to Jack’s power. Jack’s natural brutality is seen elsewhere in the novel as Golding describes how ‘[Jack’s] laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.’ This is another example of juxtaposition whereby Golding contrasts his innocent qualities with his affinity for savagery. Because these two different sides of Jack’s temperament are so ambiguous, the reader is constantly uncertain of which ‘version’ of Jack to expect, indeed presenting him as a frightening character. Furthermore, the animalistic imagery in the lexis ‘snarling’ is symbolic of Jacks decline into evil, the dehumanisation indeed presenting him as a frightening character by implying he lacks self-control and the basic human moral instinct for right and wrong. Here Golding’s intention was to forewarn the reader that Jack’s primitive nature is something which does indeed become very dangerous later in the novel, making him a frightening character since at this point the reader is afraid of the possible consequence that may arise as a result of Jack’s instinctive brutality.
Furthermore, Golding makes Jack a frightening figure in the novel when exploring his style and success as leader of the boys on the island. After Jack has achieved the role of leader, Golding describes how Jack ‘painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol’, this simile implying that Jack is indeed a leader, but more so a king or a god, the religious connotations of the lexis ‘idol’, implying that the boys, instead of just merely obeying Jack, now worship him, indeed presenting Jack as a frightening character as the reader questions how such an ordinary boy managed to obtain such invincible power. Furthermore, the powerful descriptive noun ‘idol’ implies Jack has a considerable amount of control over the boys and the island and Golding’s intention by implying as such was to create a foreboding tone whereby the reader considers what consequences could ensue now that Jack, an extremely evil yet cunning character, has control over the minds of so many impressionable young boys, indeed making him a very frightening figure. The progression of Jack’s power amongst the boys increases very steadily throughout the novel; in chapter 1 Jack struggles to even be considered as leader, so that fact that now he has totally managed to convince so many boys of his capability as leader, reveals Jack’s manipulative disposition, presenting him as a potentially dangerous and frightening character. In addition, Jack’s totalitarian leadership style speaks a lot about his moral values, or lack of them. This is evident when the reader witnesses a turning point in the novel whereby Jack decides that ‘the conch doesn’t count at the top of the mountain’. This imperative is extremely powerful and definite, emphasises Jack’s power as he establishes leadership for one of the first times in the novel. The harsh alliteration creates a very aggressive tone, which considering Jack is already so aggressive at this point relatively early on in his obtainment of power, foreshadows all the extreme brutality that is yet to come in the novel. Golding’s intention at this point was to ensure the reader feels suitably intimidated by Jack, indeed making his character a frightening one.
In addition, Golding implies that a great deal of Jack’s frightening nature is simply a result of his confident persona, in that he is not afraid to establish dominance and generally lacks the instinctive fear that is present amongst many of the other boys on the island. At the beginning of the novel Jack exclaims that ‘[He] ought to be leader’, and Golding immediately enables the reader to understand that Jack is a very arrogant and indeed frightening figure. The lexis ‘ought’ implies Jack feels particularly entitled and by placing him in a dystopian environment, Golding allows Jack to thrive and gain power, his immediately evident assertive and self-assured disposition foreshadowing his impending establishment of leadership. Jack’s frightening amount of confidence is often displayed in moments of conflict, particularly those throughout the novel that involve Ralph. In chapter 11, arguably at one of Jack’s most brutal moments, Golding illustrates how ‘viciously, with full intention, [Jack] held his spear at Ralph’. This moment is very dramatic in that the fate of both characters, indeed that of Ralph considerably more so, is uncertain. Golding’s choice to inform the reader that Jack’s actions are ‘with full intention’ is extremely deliberate, and sets Jack aside from the other characters in that it is clear he is not being controlled by anything or anybody, therefore making him a frightening figure, as the reader realises that Jack’s brutality is most likely a result of a pre-existing tendency, rather than as a result of his situation. This significant element to Jack’s character, whereby he lacks the innocence that Golding portrays within the other boys, combined with his abundant self-assertion is a key part of how Golding makes Jack such a frightening figure throughout the novel.
In conclusion, Golding’s presentation of Jack as the main antagonist of the novel displays in him certain qualities that are particularly frightening; it is through his successful employment of rhetorical devices, combined with the carefully considered structure of his novel that Golding is able to create an emphatic sense of foreboding and portray the brutality of Jack’s character and leadership style, that combined make Jack such a frightening figure throughout the novel.
William Golding’s Insight On Obedience In Lord Of The Flies
In society, obedience is taught at an early age towards your elders and to authority. Humans are taught to follow commands that benefit them even if they lead to violence. However, as we grow up to be independent from our superiors, obedience idea of obedience tends to change. In the Lord of the Flies, the boys show obedience to the leaders. How we become obedient can be understood in multiple ways. In the modern world, people to obey people of higher power. An example of this would be a teacher or a boss. William Golding’s opinion in Lord of the Flies demonstrates that obedience comes from fear and a higher authority and obedience then leads to violence. This blind obedience which is presented towards Ralph and Jack is relevant throughout time depending on the circumstances and fear.
One factor that leads to obedience is fear. In the Lord of the Flies, the boys are stranded on an island where they live by themselves. One source of fear in the book is the beast. When the boys were debating about if the beast was real or not, “I know there isn’t no beast not with claws and all that I mean but I know there isn’t no fear either… unless we get frightened of people”. The boys are afraid of the beast which leads them towards Ralph and Jack. When they are scared, they turn to a leader or authority to survive or to feel safe. When they killed Simon, ““I expect the beast disguised himself.” “We’d better keep on the right side of him, anyhow. You can’t tell what he might do.” The tribe considered this; and then were shaken, as if by a flow of wind. The chief saw the effect of his words and stood abruptly”. The author is hinting that fear helps the leader/ authority control the society. The boys are afraid of the beast so they will listen and follow anything Jack says. According to CBS News, “Not knowing what to do is a key factor of obedience”. In Lord of the Flies, the boys do not know what to do so they follow Jack and Ralph because they are older and a leader figure. The boys have lived in England and they are kids so they do not know how to handle this situation well.
Another source in CBS says, “Fear of consequences shows obedience when you aren’t sure of the outcome”. The kids on the Island were afraid to rebel against Jack so they join and obey him. Being afraid and fear leads to obedience towards authority. Another factor that leads to obedience is a higher authority. In the Lord of the Flies, the boys obey Jack and Ralph. When the boys were running around the fire, “Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife…the chant rose ritually…”. The chant was meant to be for fun but the group couldn’t stop themselves from obeying their Jack and performing the dance. Since Jack did it, the boys do it too because he is of higher authority. When they tie up a young boy, Wilfred, on Jack’s orders. Robert tells Roger that Jack wishes to torture Wilfred later and when Roger asks why, Robert responds: “I don’t know. He didn’t say.” This shows that the boys would do anything Jack says without question or complaint. This supports that an authority figure causes obedience. We can see this is reality in Milgrams experiment. The experiment had a participant shock a student from 15 – 450 volts if they got an answer incorrect. His results revealed the disturbing extent to which people obeyed authority even when it meant knowingly inflicting pain. In Milgram’s first set of studies, “26 out of 40 participants continued to shock the students with each wrong answer, all the way to 450 volts. Even when the students pleaded for the shocks to end”. People follow orders similar to Jack’s even though they know they’re inflicting pain. People are obedient when there is a higher authority present.
Although obedience has been taught at an early age, the reasons behind it have remained the same. Even if it is through fear or a higher authority, it leads to obedience which can benefit or harm you or others. William Golding’s insight is that these are examples of how higher authority and blind obedience to tradition can create societies filled with inhumane cruelties.
Lord of the Flies Summary
During a war, an airplane carrying British boys crashes down in the Pacific. All the boys survive, except for the pilot, who was the only grown up among them. Ralph, a handsome boy with long and fair hair, whose father works in the English military, is the first to be introduced in the story. Along with Ralph is Piggy. Piggy is a chubby short boy who wears glasses and has Asthma. Ralph finds a conch from the sea and uses it as a trumpet to call the remaining survivors from the crash site. Throughout the book, the conch is used as a symbol of civilization, order, and power. When he blows the conch, he starts seeing the presence of life on the beach. The first boy who follows the sound of the conch is Johnny, then the twins, few younger boys, and at last, Jack, who is accompanied by his Choir. They ask for a chief and they all vote for Ralph to be their leader. Ralph being in charge now, chooses jack to be the leader of the hunting group. Then, Ralph chose Simon and Jack to go with him to explore the island. In their expedition, they climb a mountain, where they realized that they are on the deserted island. They decided to go down the mountain and go back to other boys. On their way, they find a pig, and jack boldly decides to kill it, but then he hesitates and the pig runs away. Blowing the conch, Ralph calls on an assembly. He talks about having a fire signal, so the ships passing by could notice the smoke and could come to rescue them. A young boy with a huge birthmark on his face from the littluns is pushed forward by the littluns to talk for them. He asked Ralph “what are you going to do about the snake thing, it was a beastie”. But Ralph tells them(the letters) that there is no such thing as beastie, but if they ever find such a thing then they will kill it. The rest of the boys were already overwhelmed because of the fire, so they all start shouting “FIRE” “FIRE” “FIRE” and Jack led them into the wood part of the island. They make fire using Piggy’s glasses, but soon after, the fire becomes uncontrollable and burns many trees.
The littlun with the large birthmark vanishes that night. And no one knows what happened to him. Jack becomes very jealous, of Ralph having all the authority, so he tries to tell the other boys that they should spend most of their energies in hunting rather than maintaining the fire signal. One of the boys helps Ralph to make huts, where they could be safe during storms and rain. Jack takes all the older boys (including those who should be maintaining the fire) with him for hunting. While Jack and his hunters are in the jungle, hunting the pigs, a ship passes by the island, but the fire is already out. And this makes Ralph very angry. When Jack returns with his hunters, Ralph starts shouting at them and so does Piggy. Jack, who is already not liking Piggy and Ralph loses his temper and hits Piggy in his stomach, and breaks one of the lenses from his glasses. The hatred towards Ralph is growing in Jacks mind like a wildflower. No one needs to water it or take care of it, the wild, itself, is helping in its growth. Ralph calls on a meeting trying to set everything right. But, the meeting becomes chaotic when some of the boys start talking about some sort of beast. The previous night when everyone was sleeping there was an air battle, far away and one of the dead parachutists landed on the island, and the boys who were on fire duty thought it was some kind of beast. When the littluns heard about the beast, they started having nightmares every other night. Seeing this, Ralph decides that all the older boys (except for Piggy) will go to the jungle to kill the beast. They searched everywhere but they did not find anything. They came across a dark cave and because it was night time and most of the boys did not want to go there and search. Ralph decides that he will go alone, but soon after Jack accompanies him. When they go to the cave which is located on a mountain, they see the shadow of the dead parachutist and fell into thinking that it is the beast. They feel frightened and start to run away.
Though Ralph explains to Piggy the mysteries dark thing which he saw on the cave, still Piggy remains doubtful. The very next morning Jack opposes Ralph’s power, and he asks all those who are in his favor to raise their hands, but no one does. Ralph remained their chief. Jack got angry and he leaves the group. Saying “those who want to hunt and have fun can follow me”. Soon enough, Ralph is left only with the twins and Piggy. All the older boys join Jack. Jack leads his hunters to the “Castle Rock” (which is on the other side of the island) and they all settle there. Jack paints them all in color, “behind which they hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.” (4:34) they became savages. Jack decides that he will throw in a feast with the meat which they will hunt, and he will invite Ralph and the other boys to join his tribe. Some of Jack’s hunters are very afraid of the beast, but Jack tells them to forget about the beast (8:168). The savages go into the forest and kill a pig, and Jack decides that he will leave the head of the pig on a stick as an offering to the beast so that he doesn’t come out to feed on his hunters. Accidently, Simon finds out the head of the pig in the forest, and he gets into this illumination and he starts seeing this head floating into the air and talking to him. He calls it the “Lord of the flies” because of the ugliness of the head which was caused by the worms and flies which were roaming around the pig’s face. The Lord of the Flies tells Simon that he (lord of the flies) can’t be killed and that he is part of them, and he is in them. Simon faints away. When Simon comes back to his consciousness, he finds the dead parachutist, and he decides to go down to tell everyone the truth. Jack and his tribe go to Ralph’s side of the island. Jack take away their fire and invites them all to his feast. After the twins and the littluns go to feast with Jack, Ralph and Piggy decide that they should go to and see what is happening. The food was finished and the feast was over when Ralph tell all the boys that they should all go to the huts because of the rain. It was this moment when Jack orders a dance, and his tribe starts rehearsing how they killed the pig. Simon crawls out of the forest and he gets inside the circle of the dancing boys, but he could hardly make himself heard because of the storm and the chant that the boys were singing. The boys start hitting Simon as if he was the beast and eventually they kill him. That night there was a heavy storm, and it brought the dead body of the parachutist onto the beach, and it made the boys more frightened and they all start screaming and running around.
The next morning Ralph and Piggy were feeling sad and guilty for what they had done to Simon the other night. On the other side of the island, the savages were not feeling anything at all. Jack’s plan was, to the first hunt, and then later in the day they will go and steal fire from Ralph and Piggy. Ralph was feeling the need for more people to keep the fire signal on. It was during sunset when Ralph gave up on the fire signal and decided to go back to the huts and take rest. In the midst of the night, the savages attacked the huts. They beat the four boys, and they stole Piggy’s glasses. But the four boys gave tit for tat. The next morning, all the four boys groom themselves very nicely, so that they could look like civilized people and not savages. They went to the castle rock to meet the savages, and call on an assembly. When they reach there, Ralph blows the conch— calling on an assembly, but Jack tells him that this is his area and the conch does not have any value here, on his side of the island. Ralph makes Jack angry by calling them “painted fools”. Jack rages upon Ralph and he stabs him with his spear in the chest. But Jack fights back, and in the midst of an exchange of fists between Ralph and Jack, Piggy holds on the conch high and start shouting at everyone. Trying to bring them back to their senses.
Meanwhile, Roger, who was very sadistic and cruel, and also was very loyal to Jack from the beginning of the story, was standing on top of the hill. He pushed a huge rock on Piggy from the mountaintop. The rock hits Piggy and before anyone could move, Piggy fells 40 feet down the castle rock and dies. Everyone became very silent. There was no sound of the boys in the island for a moment. The only thing you could hear was the sound of the waves crashing into each other. After a moment of utter silence, Jack declared himself as the new chief and he threw his spear towards Ralph. Seeing all this Ralph runs away. The savages take the twins as their prisoners and make them their gate guard. Jack as their new chief, give the order to the savages to kill Ralph. They were into thinking that Ralph was hiding somewhere in the jungle. Ralph was smart so he hid near the castle rock because there, no one would ever find him. When the night arrived and all the savages were gathered around the fire, eating and having fun. Ralph crawled to the castle gate and draw the twin’s attention towards him. The twins told him to go back and to never come back here again. They gave him a piece of meat and sent him back, and told him to stay near the castle so that no one could suspect about him. The next morning Ralph finds out that Jack is trying to burn down the whole forest, thinking that the fire would burn Ralph too, who according to him was hiding in the forest. When Ralph sees this, he gets frightened and starts running. Savages take a notice of him and they start running behind them. As soon as Ralph is exposed in open beach, he falls down and collapses. When he looks back up, he sees a newly arrived British naval officer. Ralph starts crying. He cries for losing his friends. Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.