Lord of the Flies
Defects of Human Nature
Human nature can be specified as being the mental qualities of mankind which are comprehended to be shared by all people. In the novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, the defects of human nature are checked out in information. When critics asked Golding about the theme of the unique, he responded, “The style is an attempt to trace the flaws of society back to the problems of humanity” (p. 204). He believes that political systems can not govern society efficiently without first considering the flaws of humanity.
One of the various flaws in humanity which is highlighted in “Lord of the Flies” is the unwillingness of admitting one’s errors. The characters in this book are of young age, the oldest being around 12 or 13 years of ages. This leaves room for numerous mistakes to be made, as children are bound to make mistakes. It is human nature to reject mistakes, and to instead blame accidents on others. In the beginning of “Lord of the Flies”, when the first conference is held, Piggy recommends a head count to monitor everyone, specifically the “littluns.
” Ralph and Jack dismiss this idea by teasing Piggy rather of taking his remark into factor to consider. There was a little kid that talked about a “snake-thing” (p. 35). He is just distinguished by a mark on his face. The other young boys laugh at the child and compose off the idea as a nightmare. Later on, when the young boys are searching for wood, they encounter a snake-pit. It is then when Piggy recognizes that the small kid with the mark on his face is gone. “That little’un that had a mark on his face– where is– he now? I tell you I do not see him– where is he now?
” (p. 46-47) Piggy reprimands the other boys for not listening him and taking a head count. Rather of confessing his mistake, Ralph shamefully mumbles a reason: “Possibly he went back to the, the–” (p. 47). Ralph and Jack also blame the event on Piggy who was put in charge of the “names.” Nevertheless, it is not Piggy’s fault because there was no other way that he could achieve this job without the cooperation of the other young boys, which was not readily available to him. The absence of the little one is ignored and is never spoken of again.
This is an example of how people are reluctant to admit their mistakes and would rather blame things on others. When Simon realizes that the beastie is not real, but is rather the dead parachuter, he feels obligated to inform the other boys of his discovery. However, Simon barges in on them during one of their feast celebrations. The boys at the feast are dancing and are caught up in the excitement of the night. Not fully aware of the situation, when Simon made his unannounced entrance, he was mistaken for being the beast.
In the excitement of the night, nobody realized the mistake and as a consequence, Simon was brutally murdered. After the incident, nobody believed that they actually committed the murder, and instead they all try to find excuses for their actions: “‘Don’t you understand, Piggy? The things we did–‘ ‘He may still be–‘ ‘No. ‘ ‘P’raps he was only pretending–‘” (p. 157). “It was an accident, that’s what it was… coming in the dark. He was batty. He asked for it. It was an accident…. It was an accident, and that’s that. ” (p. 157).
Ralph and Piggy are not comfortable with what they had done when they woke up the next morning. Ralph realizes what happened, but Piggy persistently attempts to find an excuse for their actions, as can be seen in the quotes above. He denies all involvement in the murder and struggles to prove to himself, as well as to Ralph, that they both were not connected to the killing in any way. Sam and Eric [or Samneric] feel the same way about the situation as do Ralph and Piggy. The twins act as if they were not present when the murder took place, even though it is obvious they were.
They justify this excuse by pretending that they left the feast early because they were “tired. ” Piggy and Ralph go along with this explanation and actually use it for themselves as well: “‘We left early,’ said Piggy quickly, ‘because we were tired. ‘ ‘So did we–‘” (p. 158). All four of the boys are pretending that they do not know of what is going on and are shaken by the “dance they had not attended” (p. 158). Throughout “The Lord of the Flies”, William Golding identifies many “defects of human nature.
” One of the themes of the novel is an “attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature” (p. 204). The flaws in human nature must be taken into consideration in order to build a successful political structure. In this novel, the young children do now have this knowledge and therefore their society breaks down. It is in human nature for one to be unwilling to admit one’s mistakes, and throughout the Lord of the Flies, Golding has exemplified this flaw in a variety of different ways.
Piggy in "Lord of the Flies"
Throughout Lord of the Flies, Piggy is an important character, because he tries to do what’s best for the boys, but he has no authority because the boys don’t respect him. The boys all together became uncivilized. Piggy, stayed the same strict rules obsessed, serious boy. The difficulty is that Piggy couldn’t understand the savagery in others, because Piggy was also rational and had an understanding of life. ‘Aren’t there any grownups at all?’ Piggy noticed that he’s the only one who was obsessed about grownups and that he was the closest to one.
Piggy’s parents both had died and I think this is why Piggy wanted to act like such an adult. During the novel, we could see Piggy becoming a better person. Piggy tried to make Ralph feel better about their situation of being stranded on an island and we can see Piggy’s loyalty and intelligence throughout the book. Golding is trying to say that there was good in everyone and that humans were tempted into evil because when humans don’t have any consequences to their actions they tend to do bad things.
Piggy was an overweight, asthmatic boy who was more mature than the other boys. When they first arrived on the island, Piggy suggested that they make a list of all the boy’s names and hold some kind of meeting. He wanted to maintain some order, and he clearly wanted the boys to have the same kinds of structures as the kids would have known at home. Piggy liked to think about what grown-ups would have done in there situation. “No. We are having a meeting. Come join” (20) Piggy said this to a boy who was asking what was going on. Piggy just called a meeting for all the boys on the island, so Ralph and he can learn all the boy’s names. This shows Piggy was mature. He was thinking ahead on learning the names of the boys and how many there are just in case something bad happens. Also, he wanted to get to know them and make sure they are all okay.
In chapter 2, Piggy started a fire since his glasses were used to light all the flames. When Piggy’s glasses are broken, it symbolically leads to the breaking of civilized society. When his glasses were stolen by the savages, he becomes completely blind and helpless. ‘Give me my specs!’ (41) Piggy begs the boys to return his glasses in chapter two during the fire at the top of the mountain. It foreshadows the importance of Piggy’s glasses to the group’s need for fire.
In the first few pages of the book, the boys run on the beach and swim in the ocean. Near the end, they are less like civilized people and more like savages, with multiple deaths. What brings about the idea of evil on the tropical island is the mention and the following fear of “the Beast”. In the minds of the boys, this “Beast” is actually the savage monster trapped inside of them. ‘We may stay here till we die.’ (14) This quote brings fear to the island. Golding is showing how the boy’s imaginations are creating a dangerous and evil environment.
Piggy is important in Lord of the Flies because his purpose is directly related to the main theme of the story: civilization and savagery. Although he wasn’t able to make the concept of civilization permanent, Piggy spends the whole novel reminding the others who they were and how they were expected to behave.
Symbolism in Lord of The Flies
What message does Golding attempt to convey through symbolism in Lord of The Flies?
In the book ‘Lord of the Flies’ (LOTF) William Golding tries to convey strong messages through a story of mankind in its purest form. He uses symbols to show
* the disintegration of order, leadership and civilisation
* the primary disregard for intelligence and childish innocence
* the raw presence of savagery, power-hunger and the self gratification in mankind
Due to the above themes being those of a very philosophical nature Golding uses simple symbols to represent these actions and relationships which make it easier to understand the basic points he is trying to get at.
In LOTF Golding uses a mixture of people and objects to represent these various concepts. In essence this novel represents the struggle between good and evil, civilisation and savagery etc. I will now discuss the various symbols Golding uses and what concepts they represent.
Piggy and his Glasses
Piggy is the stands for intelligence, “Piggy for all his ludicrous body, had brains”, and the fact that intelligence, logic and rational play an important part in society.
The island I think that the island is in constant change along with the boys. at first the island represents a fun paradise as many of the boys had associated with such as Coral Island. They had read the books and in many ways had tried to recreate these stories in their time on the island. The island is often described as a living thing and then becomes the unknown to the fact that it may not be adequate protection from the Beast. The island then becomes a place in which anything goes the savage tendencies are allowed there and the boys can forget their values. Often times the island is used as an excuse for this savagery as but for this circumstance the boys would not have to resort to this behaviour.
The conch is the symbol of democracy and is first used to call everyone together for a meeting, another example of civilisation. The conch gives the holder the right of free speech and the holder can have his point heard in relative freedom. As the island sways towards savagery the conch starts to lose its power and influence over the boys and Ralph fears that if he blows it that it will not evoke the slightest of responses. This prophecy becomes reality as the other boys ignore Ralph and throw stones at him when he attempts to blow the conch in Jack’s camp. In fact, Jack says that “the conch doesn’t matter on [his] side of the island.” This shows Jacks blatant disregard for democracy an open agenda for a dictatorship with himself at the head.
The murder of Piggy also crushes the conch shell, showing the end of civilization and democracy on the island. There is a link between the Conch and Piggy. Earlier in the book he claimed “It’s ever so valuable” but due to his medical restrictions he is unable to use it. His intelligence and knowledge give Ralph the power of the conch. If Piggy had not had these restrictions perhaps the story could have been completely different. Although payed little attention to on the island this is another example of intelligence being key to any society. This being said Golding throughout this novel tries to show us that a mixture of useful skills is needed in any one civilisation. In this instance in spite of Ralph’s leadership ability, charm and good looks without Piggy’s he may not have even got a look in.
The Beast/The Parachute Man
It is first important to note that there is no beast. The ‘Beast’ is simply just a figure of the boy’s imagination, a nightmare. However, as Simon point out, when he says “What I mean…Maybe it’s only us.” The Beast is each boy’s individual fear. It encapsulates the fears of the boys concerned including the fact that they are stranded on a desert island with no real hope of getting rescues except for an inefficient fire which they can’t even control. As the novel goes on the need to attach this fear to physical object becomes greater. Singling all this fear into one place makes it easier to ignore, live with and the leaders on the island find it easier to control this fear.
The do this by making sacrifices to the beast, pretending it’s not even there and even ‘killing’ it. If as some of the boys suspect and various titles suggest the Beast is unpreventable e.g. from air or water then the boys would probably die of worry. I also notice that Golding seems to make the importance of the Beast greater the more savage-like the boys become. The Parachute man is simply a physical object to attach the fear to. However Golding writes the story so that the fear of the parachute man is foolish because he is already dead.
The function of the fire is to alert passing ships of the boy’s existence and it is key to their chances of rescue. However as the boys become more savage-like the fires main function becomes that of a cooking fire. When boys act as civilised people they have a greater desire to join the world from which they came they do their best to keep the fire going. But when the boys become contented with fun times and feasts the rescue fire becomes a secondary issue. The fire not only has the power to rescue but also to destroy as the boys find out when they set the island alight.
The face point represents two things. Firstly the uniformity of a savage life under the rule of Jack and secondly a ‘mask’ to hide behind. Due to the change in atmosphere to that of savagery and uncivilisation the boys hide from the values they know they should keep by putting on the masks. It would seem that when the boys put on the masks they become different people. For example Jack “He [Jack] began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.” Here we see the different Jack we also see that when Jack becomes the Chief and wears he is able to make decisions such as torture seemingly without remorse.
The nature of evil in "Lord of the Flies"?
What does William Golding have to state about the nature of evil in
” Lord of the Flies”?
William Golding was born and brought up in the early 1900’s in England, where he lead a well informed youth under the assistance of his scientific and reasonable moms and dads. However his moms and dad’s influence was frequently in vain, as the darkness and unidentified created a barrier of unreasonable ideas.
He then went on to serve the Royal Navy during the Second World War (1939-1945), where he experienced for himself the scaries committed by the Nazis, the dropping of the first atom bomb and the cruelty and cruelty of fight.
These memories had actually certainly touched Golding, who revealed this modification by his pessimistic view that “anyone who moved through those years without understanding that male produces evil as a bee produces honey, need to have been blind or wrong in the head.”
After the war, Golding resumed his normal profession of teaching at a young boy’s school in Salisbury, after which he composed and published his very first book in 1954- “Lord of the Flies”.
This was based on the plot of R.M. Ballantyne’s text “The Coral Island”. The same plot is used by Golding, in which 3 kids have been shipwrecked on an island and like real “British gentlemen” work as a group in order to survive. They eventually leave death from vicious cannibals, the outside wicked existing on the island, since of their miraculous conversion in Christians.
“Lord of the Flies” dramatizes an essential human struggle; the conflict in between the desire to follow rules, behave morally, and act legally and the desire to seek brute power over others, act selfishly, act in such a way that will gratify one’s own desires, reject ethical guidelines, and delight in violence. The very first set of impulses might be believed of as the “civilizing instinct,” which encourages people to work together towards common goals and behave quietly. The 2nd set of impulses might be thought of as the “barbarizing impulse,” or the instinct towards savagery, which urges people to rebel versus civilization and rather seek anarchy, turmoil, despotism, and violence.
But Golding wanted to express to the world how real boys would act in these circumstances, thus he wrote this novel, in which he expresses his thoughts that “evil doesn’t come from outside; it is inside all of us.” This narrative is an adventure story about a group of boys who are unfortunately marooned on a deserted island on one level, but can be seen as an allegorical fable at another level, displaying the philosophical explorations of life created by Hobbs and Rousseau and even using representational characters, locations, objects and events to explore each of theirs and Golding’s view of evil.
On one hand, Hobbs believed that mankind would deteriorate into the “leviathan”, unless it were under the influence of rules and punishment, while on the other hand, Rousseau believed that mankind was “the noble savage” and would always act democratically.
The reader is immediately introduced to this un-named island in the beginning of chapter one, and immediately damage is caused as we can see a “long scar” and “broken trunks scattered around this part of the island. This is because the marooned students were attacked and therefore crashed into the island. In reference to the cultural context, they may have been attacked by an enemy aircraft because this was a cautious period of time after the Second World War. The boys slowly unite to the call of a conch, discovered by the chubby, nagging yet insightful Piggy. The conch shell represents law, order, and political legitimacy, as it grants its holder the right to speak and summons the boys to democratic assemblies.
Jack and his troop of choirboys are next introduced. Wearing black capes and caps, they march on to the beach in military style. Aggressively and demandingly, Jack immediately asserts his authority and takes his place beside Ralph. The protagonist and antagonist are, thus, brought together in the opening pages of the book and depicted as opposites in nature. Jack represents the world of hunting, tactics, and skill; Ralph represents common sense and sensitivity to the natural world. The reader senses an immediate rivalry between them.
His negative nature is justified as he cruelly as he reacts to the passing out of the one of the members of his choir and says that “He’s (Simon) always throwing a faint.” This then follows a public mocking of Piggy as he immediately draws the rest towards him creating “a closed circuit of sympathy with Piggy outside.” Piggy feels embarrassed because he is ostracised, and ashamedly walks away.
After the election of Ralph as the chief, he tells the others to wait on the beach while he, Jack, and the shy Simon go off to explore the island and search for inhabitants. It is obvious that the three boys, at this point as they play games in the jungle and climb the mountain, they seem to bond with the beauty of the island and one another.
Another precursor is put forward by Golding to display how the boys might deteriorate, as they come across a huge boulder which catches the attention of them. They together heave the great rock resulting in its noisy fall, disturbing the nature around and giving the boys a sense of pride and victory. They excitedly describe the crash as if it were “like a bomb”, which clearly mirrors the conflict in World War two and highlights just how evil can influence even the most youngest and innocent children.
The trio’s first encounter with a pig will significantly contrast to later scenes of the hunters living for “the kill”. When Jack spies the piglet caught in the undergrowth, he brings out his knife in readiness, but something stops him from killing the pig. He is obviously still held back by the laws of the civilized world he has left behind and, as a youth, has no natural instinct for the hunt and its brutality and bloodiness.
The beginning of chapter two marks the first rules created by Ralph, to which Jack, uncharacteristically, agrees readily. But it was the punishment part that of more interest to him, again displaying his violent nature yet again. For the first time in the text, a little child, significant due to his “mulberry birth-mark”, raises the topic of the “beastie”. This beastie turns out to be an allegory for irrational fear, as it even catches on to one of the most sensible members- Ralph. This displays that fear is contagious, and despite age and knowledge, humans are always vulnerable to it. But he childishly explains that such monsters could be found only in big countries such as “Africa”.
Jack’s action justify my identification of his character, as he arouses excitement amongst the assembly by assuring the group there wasn’t any “snake-thing”, and even if it did exist, they would “hunt it and kill it.” His violent proclamation and use of propaganda clearly creates a link between him and a famous dictator who also used the same methods to captivate his inhabitants- Adolf Hitler. But the conflict continues, and just as Jack seemed to increase his popularity, Ralph puts down the claims and repeats, “there isn’t a beast”
But the first real evidence of the boys’ gradual savage deterioration is when Jack leads the very first hunt into the jungle, accompanied by his hunters. They return bearing a corpse of a hunted pig. This, in itself is a very brutal act for boys of such youth to be carrying out, and this act is supported by the savage chant, which is repeated to the pleasure of the dehumanising group-
”Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood” .
Such an act send’s shivers down the innocent Piggy, who snivels’ at the sight of this mutilated pig. Simon sensibly consoles him, displaying his inner strength to hold his nerve in such an extreme situation but also begins to see for imself how Jack has become fearless and unconscious of rules, and that sooner or later, they would be vulnerable to his savagery as well. But Jack still hasn’t totally lost his mind, as he shudders at the sight of his bloody hands – ‘He noticed blood on his hands and grimaced distastefully’.
They set out on another hunt, and this time they really show their orgy savagery by separating a sow from its family, and then sticking a spear up its anus in jubilation. This rape of nature is juxtaposed with the beautiful location where it takes place, which incidentally is Simon’s special place and he is a silent witness to yet another evidence of the boys decline in sanity. The boys place the sow’s head on a stick and leave it on that spot, as a sacrifice to the beast so that it wouldn’t attack them, showing that their carrying out of this savage ritual was proving that they really had got carried away amongst the excitement and hunting.
This scene would not be so shocking if it were adults instead of such innocent children, but the fact that it is children and that they ‘hurl themselves at her’ is a certainly a shocking thing. Another thing that is worrying is the fact that Jack Merridew no longer cares about the blood on his hands- ‘Jack begun to clean his bloody hands on a rock…Then he started work on
the sow and paunched her, lugging out the hot bags of coloured guts.’
The sudden ignorance of civilization begin to further represent the group’s dehumanisation, as they begin to roam around without clothes, filthy with long, dirty nails. Jack has now put a “mask” in front of his face, “behind which he hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness.” This mask seems to allow Jack to do things that would have been frowned upon by adults if there were any around the island. It gives him a new identity as a warrior that is allowed to hunt and kill without the fear of laws and being disciplined by anyone superior to him.
At first it is just the painted face but gradually he removes all of his clothes and is no longer Jack Merridew but just a savage. Eventually all of his followers stop being called ‘hunters’ and are called ‘savages’ instead. This loss of identity gradually increases with the level of savagery.
‘Stark naked save for some paint and a belt.’
Simon sits down to rest near the decapitated sow’s head which had flies swarming around its blood and filthy- but Simon restrained this and still sat down despite the fact that they were attacking him as well. He begins to communicate with the sow’s head, which designates itself as “The Lord of the Flies”. The voice mocks Simon that he ought to go back to the rest because they might feel that he was “batty”. But Simon still doesn’t fear the head, as it speaks on and continues to taunt him, causing his head to throb and ache. He threatens Simon that if he attempted to inform the rest that the beast didn’t exist, he too would be killed as the beast could be found even “down there”.
Here Golding uses the authorial voice to explain his opinion that evil was in everyone, and wasn’t created by outer forces such as the beast in this text. Simon eventually is terrified’ and troubled by the apparition, and he collapses into a faint. This meeting again is similar to the confrontation between Jesus and the Devil in which Satan, who is in the wilderness, tempts Jesus. This biblical allusion is representational of a battle between good and evil. Simon recovers from unconsciousness though and as considerate as he has been throughout this text, he returns to inform the rest that the so-called “beast” wasn’t harmful.
Suddenly out of the forest, a crooked figure crawled out, and the boys presuming it were the beast amongst their savage and tribal dance, made a ring around the painful Simon, who tried to pass the message on about the corpse on the hill. But his talk couldn’t be heard by anyone as their dehumanised ritual had now began to become a real one, as the “tearing of teeth and claws could be heard” viciously amongst the desperate cries of Simon.
Then the clouds gave way, releasing all the water which it held and let it down the mountain like a waterfall, making the “struggling heap” stagger away from its original landing point, while Simon was now assassinated in the sand, blood stains slowly being created around him. A great wind moved the corpse from the mountain down to the beast, making littleuns shriek with fear on its arrival, but it then slowly set out to sea, and left them.
As night beckoned, Simon’s death was imminent now, as the flies surrounded him this time, and he turned gently in the water and moved slowly out to sea. He was an innocent martyr, who died for a animalistic and religious belief of Jack, amongst which all of their sanity had been demolished and they crazily dug deep into Simon’s body and ripped him. But his silvered cheek and the shape of his shoulder turning into sculptured marble, just highlights how he is made beautiful even after this wretched death, which seems to be like a Halo.
Piggy’s extremely violent death is followed shortly, as Roger shoves a massive rock down the mountain slope. Piggy hears it thundering toward him, but he cannot see it. The rock explodes into many pieces, and the conch shell shatters. Piggy plunges onto a red rock forty feet below and dies, taking with him the only hope and traces of democracy and sanity with him. Jack even bullies Ralph’s only companions, Samneric, leaving the leader isolated.
At the very end of the novel, the savages try to hunt down and kill Ralph and in doing so, burn down the forest. This final descent into outright savagery is an exclamation mark to everything that had lead up to this. But he is rescued when he bumps into a naval officer, who thinks that this was “all fun and games”. But when he heard of the two deaths, he too was shocked and surprised, and couldn’t put into words the amount of disbelief that had arose in his head.
Thinking back to this, and recalling all that had happened with the murders and breakdown of the society he had tried so hard to maintain until their rescue, Ralph begins to cry; the others all join him and the sobs rise up, overwhelming the officer who turns his back to glance at the naval cruiser out in the water.
No longer savages, the arrival of a grown-up and “civilization” turns them from savages back to what they were in the beginning-a group of lost boys. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.” Piggy’s name, the voice of reason, is invoked here one last time, counterbalanced by the mention of “the darkness of man’s heart.” Everything returns to what it was and, at last, the boys are rescued by naval officers who came across their ruined island in a British ship of war.
"Lord of the Flies" William Golding Scenes
In an essay about his novel “Lord of the Flies”, William Golding wrote: “The boys try to construct a civilisation on the island; but it breaks down in blood and terror because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human”. Discuss your own response to the novel in light of this statement.
When the boys all arrive on the island, due to their plane crashing while on the way to be evacuated, they find themselves in beautiful surroundings, a place which appears to be completely uninhabited with only them, no girls or adults.
While on the island they attempt to establish a society among themselves. Quite early on in the novel the reader is introduced to the three main characters of Golding’s novel, Ralph, Jack and Piggy, and immediately we are struck with their contrasting personalities, which shape the way things turn out on the island from the very beginning.
As soon as they’re on the island Piggy and Ralph discover the conch, a shell that becomes both the boys’ only symbol of hope and democracy.
When they first discover it in the sea, and finally retrieve it, it is Piggy, who first suggests the idea of using it to call a meeting,
“We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting.”
This is the first attempt to organise things on the island. Once a meeting is called we see straight away the contrast in the two boys of which contention for leadership will hang. Jack Merridew appears to be stronger, more outspoken, determined and his strict ruling is seen when ruling over his choir, as head chorister. Demonstrating his authority to the rest of the group as if presenting them with a warning, showing them that people will obey him, even it was unenthusiastic, monotonous obedience, and that he has that power over this small group of choir boys. His society of which we later see, is not one of democracy, unlike Ralph’s, but a dictatorship, held together by fear. Demonstrating Ralph’s nature and ideas,
“Seems we ought to have a chief to decide things”
He continues to pursue his original ideas of getting some kind of order within the group, but immediately, after hearing the mention of chief, Jack Merridew takes it upon himself to assume that he should be chief. This complete arrogance and assumption displayed by Jack creates the first tension between Jack and Ralph, although Jack seems to have forgotten they are no longer in a normal, civilised environment of home, but stranded on a desert island, in the need to be rescued. In order to make a fair decision, it is a vote which decides who will be chief on the island, although Jack seems the obvious leader, it is Ralph’s authoritative silence and the fact that he has the conch, which seems to win him the title of chief. Despite Jacks obvious embarrassment of being declined the right to be chief,
“Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of mortification.”
Ralph through his kind-heartedness and generosity feels it necessary to offer Jack something,
“The choir belongs to you of course.”
This perhaps in a peace offering, or rather to prevent later disruption of peace due to Jacks obvious annoyance at not being chief. Jack decides that his responsibility of the choir will become hunters. We see that later this is one of the greatest weapons that Jack uses in order gain more people into his society or “tribe”, by the fact that he has that power to determine whether they get meat or not.
Ralph begins to think what needs to be done on the island, and starts to set tasks and rules. Now apparent to the reader that Ralph the new chief of the group has begin to set up some sort of society, one which is fair, orderly and democratic – a civilisation, an attempt to mimic the society which he, and the rest of the group were brought up in and so used to.
“We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English…”
This is a good indication of Ralph’s society, the one he wants to try and create as well as the one he came from. In order to form this society they are in need of more rules and lots of organisation. Ralph decides that the most important thing on the island would be the fire which they should keep burning at all time, in order for them to have any chance of being rescued, because naturally a rescue is of paramount importance, for all of them,
“We’ve got to have special people for looking after the fire. Any day there may be a ship…”
The idea of having a fire burning constantly, is of course a very good idea, but as a lot of the ideas which follow this one, everyone is eager to help initially, but after the excitement and ‘glamour’ wear off, so does interest in the task at hand and the number of people contributing to helping dwindle down to almost nothing,
“When the meeting was over they’d work for five minutes then wander off or go hunting.”
This is a prime example of how things deteriorate within society due to the lack of interest and commitment, but we as human beings, are of course the first to complain to others when something is not done. This is demonstrated through the boys, and in the end its Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric who are left to complete the jobs. The failure to keep the fire going is another example,
“You let the fire out”
This lost them the chance they had of an early rescue, because Jack thought it more necessary to kill a pig over being rescued. One could say that they were so caught up in the moment, at the prospect of having a relatively decent meal, or at least an alternative to fruit, that they did not notice the ship, and forgot to keep the fire going or that they were drawn into partaking in the ritual of killing the pig. Ralph obviously furious at this diminishment of responsibility, a task that is not hard, yet of such great importance was neglected. One could say that the remainder of the rules Ralph sets up in a desperate attempt to create a society of which he leads as a result of democratic voting, slowing diminishes from here onwards, even if it is in the simplest of tasks. Quite obviously if all members of the group worked together, things would happen much more quickly and efficiently because on the island some things can not be done single-handedly,
“How could I, all by myself?”
This is another good example of how people sometimes cannot do everything by themselves and require help from others, but as Piggy said, he was unable to gather all the names of the younger children all by himself, so yet again what started off as a sensible idea, failed because of lack of help. I think that this is a good representation of how society needs to work all together in order to achieve things, and that people are unable to achieve this, when they are left to do it by themselves, but because of our natural instinct as human beings, we lose interest in what we are meant to be doing, and more often than not to our own detriment. I think that this is one of the things that Golding is trying to demonstrate to us. But because the two strongest boys on the island – Jack and Ralph, failed to work together and reach an agreement, it lead to a break up involving blood and terror, and eventually a split into two different civilisations.
There are further rules that are made on the island in order to create some sort of civilisation on the grounds of basic cleanliness and hygiene, one of which was that the boys would go to the toilet on the rocks, another was that fresh water would be stored in coconut shells, so it was always available. Both these rules seem to disintegrate over a short period of time, however I think one of the most significant signs that their society is breaking down, due to natural human instinct and behaviour, is the building of the shelters.
I think the whole process in which this happens, alone represents what is going on throughout the island. When the idea is first suggested everyone joins in with enthusiasm, but slowly the building of the shelters breaks down and there seems to be more important things to do on the island as the boys lose interest, therefore the number of people who are building decreases and with it the level of work and standard of the shelters.
“We all built the first one, four of us the second one, and me ‘n’ Simon built the last one over there”
Although at the end of the day, there were only a couple of the boys helping to build the shelters, it is clear that every one of the boys needed to have the shelters, not physically but emotionally, they need somewhere to call ‘home’, to provide them as human beings, that natural desire to feel secure and safe.
“So we need shelters as a sort of – ” ” Home”
This need for security stems from their self – created fear of this beast, that supposedly inhabits the island, and their need to protect themselves from it.
As if stepping onto a slippery slope this outlines their rapid downfall, this is seen when Jack evidently forms a ‘tribe’ like group of hunters. This escalates into dancing, singing ritual like songs, and the killing of pigs on the island. Perhaps the most gruesome of the killing of the pigs is when the boys ruthlessly attack a mothering sow and her piglets. A picture of complete innocence, vulnerability and maternal bliss that is unnecessarily disrupted.
“the great bladder of her belly was fringed with a row of piglets that slept or burrowed or squeaked”
The reader is presented with such a horrific and violent picture of the blood and terror, that we forget that we are dealing with little boys, the sheer terror displayed by this susceptible and undeserving mother with her offspring, make it very clear how things begin to break up in such a manner,
“the terrified squealing became a high – pitched scream”
We question what the motives were to do this, but even as Ralph said shortly after, he himself took part in the role – playing game, by which Robert pretended to be a pig. This activity passes over the boundaries of a game, and Robert is in visible pain, but still the boy’s stab at him with spears.
“The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering”
This simple quote could explain why both these terribly abnormal and shocking things take place. It is because human beings are drawn into the sheer excitement of the ‘moment’ and seem to be pulled along with what everyone else is doing; much like what occurs in gang attacks in today’s society. There is a lot of doubt surrounding whether people in the gang would have attacked their same victim if they had been alone. This also applies to the boys.
Even the nicest of the group – Ralph is pulled in and feels the need to join in with the game, despite his original hesitant attitude. This displays to us human beings’ natural instinct to explore and also the weakness within us and our lack of ability to ‘stand alone’, and that every one of us have this desire to search and explore as well as lack of mental strength but alone the desire to hurt, and how we would pursue this desire, if given the opportunity. We see the boys’ thrill in killing the sow, in the blood on their hands, and the total exhilaration,
“He giggled and flinked them, while the boys laughed at his reeking palms”
This is a disturbing image of the boys taking complete joy in killing her, and even certain sexual connotations which could be linked to their actions,
“wedded to her in lust”
This is not how human beings are meant to act but Golding tries to show us the disturbing truth. Golding is showing us the results of this terrible disease that we all suffer from, which is being human. He is trying to demonstrate to us what terrible things human beings do and are capable of. We see it displayed in every day life, in a psychopathic killer for example, whose actions often have sexual links to what he or she does. Even though we see this in everyday life, people are made to see it in this microcosm on the island more clearly, and a question is asked on the island, one that society does not often ask, perhaps because we are too afraid of what the answer might be,
“What makes things break up like they do?”
Piggy does ask this question, because he starts to realise things on the island are beginning to deteriorate. Through this microcosm we are reminded of what is going on in the outside world and that there is a war going on outside, it is clear that when the Naval officer comes to rescue them, that human beings are so blind to what is happening around us, we don’t recognise what we are doing,
“I should have thought that a pack of British boys… – would have been able to put up a better show than that…”
The Naval officer says this as well as ignorantly, jokingly asks whether people have died, unaware that people have actually died. So the horror starts to emerge. It is ironic that the officer says this, as he does not recognise that he himself, as a British adult is in the same position as these boys and that he too is fighting a war.
That the ship that he has come to rescue them in is a battle ship and the reason that these boys were stranded on this island is because their plane was shot down and the maimed remains of their pilot lie on top of the hill, because of the war that he is partaking in. This is why this novel is seen as a fable, because Golding is trying to illustrate to the reader how we don’t see what we are doing to fellow human beings, as well as the world that we live in, and this is because we are human, and sadly we cannot help it.
When Simon, the quieter member of the group, goes off by himself, almost as a type of mediation and a search for peace, as an escape from the chaos, which surrounds him. When alone Simon hallucinates, and in this trance, during an imaginary conversation with ‘Lord of the Flies’, demonstrates how close to the truth he comes. He begins to see what’s going on; on the island and that it is only themselves they have to fear. All the terror, which haunts every one of them on the island, is of their own making. It shows there is no beast, the only evil there is, is in humans and the only threat to a beautiful world is humans.
“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.”
By writing this, Golding is trying to show the reader that, because we’re human, it is only ourselves we have to fear, because of our natural instinct as human beings, we create what we fear; we alone destroy the world in which we live. All human beings naturally have the power to destruct, and we are the only ones who can stop it.
I think that this is what he is trying to say, and has shown it through the boys, through the way that their own civilisation breaks up in blood and terror. In this blood and terror, a war begins to develop between the two societies, which divide the boys. The one is the original democratic society of which Ralph still tries desperately to remain loyal to. The other, which has now developed, is that of Jacks society, which is ruled by fear and threat. He uses his hunting power against them by bribing them with the fact that he is the one that provides them with meat but, as well as providing it, he also has the power, to deny them of it,
“Jack meant to refuse meat as an assertion of power…”
Jack unfairly teases the boys with the power he has over them, but eventually he always seems to give it to them. By doing this, the boys respect him, but he also expects them to remain forever grateful for his offering. Bribing them to become a member of his society,
“Who’ll join my tribe and have fun?”
Jack is offering fun and excitement, while Ralph is still trying to remind them of and grasp at their old democratic society. Sadly the rest of the boys do not possess enough courage to stand up for their rights and for what they believe in, they cowardly decided to leave Ralph’s group, again possibly due to the weakness of human nature, to go and ‘work’ for Jack. I use the word ‘work’ because in a way this is what the boys find themselves doing- working for this god like figure, which Jack and created for himself.
“the chief has spoken”
He is almost worshipped by the boys, and now there is even some sort of taboo surrounding the word ‘Jack’. This unbelievable, yet real, worshipping of Jack is hard to grasp, yet it is because he is the giver of meat. Once again displaying how weak we as human beings are. Even though Ralph doesn’t join Jacks tribe, he does find himself eating the meat. He is embarrassed by this fact, although he is only exercising his human nature,
“He meant to refuse meat but his past diet of fruit and nuts…gave him too little resistance.”
He loses his will-power when meat is involved because of his hunger, his ideals and morals, seem to fall by the way side for a short amount of time- much like any other human being would do, and he is embarrassed by the fact that he has eaten the meat.
This need for food could have been one of the reasons that Piggy and Ralph were involved in killing Simon. But I think the main reason was their natural need for security and safety within a group, after they were left alone, following the departure of the rest of the boys, to follow Jack, they were alone, away from home, overtaken with fear. This fear led them to Jacks part of the island, because they wanted company, they didn’t want to be alone,
“Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society”
Being human beings they craved refuge and protection even if it was in a mad frenzy of a society. Once there, they found themselves being drawn in and evidently taking part in the killing of one of the kindest boys on the island. This is ironic because this was the boy who was going to save them, to tell them everything was going to be all right and that there was no beast,
“It was crying out against the abominable noise something about a body on the hill.”
Golding links the killing of Simon to the crucifixion of Jesus because he too was killed by the very people he was trying to help. But the boys never find out what Simon was going to tell them, because they killed him. This is an example of how even the nicest people can be drawn in, and lead to do unlawful things when under different circumstances, or faced with fear and I think this is what Golding is trying to say. Ralph and Piggy, are quite obviously kind people, but were lead to partake in the killing of Simon, because being in the group nourished their need for security, and as human beings they needed to have this. Another prime example of how cruel human beings can be, and how every person possess this ability to be cruel to other human beings, is when Ralph even though he the kind, generous one tells the rest of the group Piggy’s nickname,
“He’s not fatty – his real names Piggy”
Ralph betrays Piggy by telling the rest of the group what his nickname is, after he specifically asked him not to tell anyone. This accentuates how their civilisation has broken up in blood and terror and I think this is why Piggy and Ralph go into a period of denial because they start to see what is happening, but they don’t want to face the truth. Piggy struggles to face reality, making excuses for what happened, and trying to rationalise the situation,
“We was scared! Anything might have happened.”
He’s trying to pretend they weren’t part of it that it never happened. This is so like what happens in today’s society, through denial, as a symptom of this disease of being human they try to eradicate what they have done, in the hope that if they ignore it will not affect them. But unfortunately it does, and Ralph faces the horrible realisation of what’s happened and consequently fear reigns.
This fear that Ralph starts to fear increases and subsequently turns into complete terror, after his friend Piggy is killed, being the last remaining member of his society, is reduced to an animal.
“they’re going to hunt you tomorrow”
Ralph is warned by Sam and Eric in secret, and hears how Jack and is tribe are planning to kill him in the same manner they did the sow,
“Roger sharpened a stick at both ends.”
Ralph is terrified, but struggles to understand what they are actually going to do it him, would they really do it? This complete terror is a result of his own people – human beings. He has lost everything that gave him structure and security, including Piggy and now all his can do is concentrate on hiding.
“he wondered if a pig would agree”
Ironically in order to survive he is forced to think like a pig, cornered in a desperate attempt to hide as he is hunted down by savages. It is hard to believe that human beings could cause such terror and inflict it on other human beings. This demonstrates to us, how, when things deteriorate, people lose control and when this happens they do have the ability to do such horrific things. This accentuates to the reader just how drastic the break up in their civilisation is and that how the severity of evil rapidly increases over a relatively short period of time.
This drastic deterioration is seen just previously to when Ralph himself is hunted, when the boys with whom he co-habits viciously kill Piggy. With Piggy’s death comes the complete and utter destruction of the conch, the last symbol of hope, democracy and rules
“the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.”
This devastation of the conch symbolises the breaking of the comfortable link with any kind of civilisation they might have had and, home. After Piggy’s death Ralph comes to the same realisation that Simon had come to, that it is only themselves they have to fear, that this false creature which put the fear into all of them, does not exist and that humans create their own terror – this is because they are suffering from that terrible disease which seems to possess everyone of us, no matter how old that person is, these boys are only young children who still grasp at old memories of home,
“When you went to bed there was a bowl of cornflakes with sugar and cream.”
This is a simple reminder that how ever savage these boys appear to be, they are still children and I think this is why the Naval officer finds it so hard to come to terms with what has happened among them, on the island. The feelings of the officer are also echoed by the reader, as we are all human beings it is hard to accept these t terrible things occur as a result of our human instincts.
I think that Golding is trying to tell people and to show them, to make them see what human beings really are. This is why it is a fable because William Golding is trying to demonstrate to the world through this microcosm on the island what is happening after seeing it first hand, fighting in the war himself he saw the blood and terror, the killing and devastation human beings are capable of and because of this it has left him with very significant feelings and exclamations towards the end of his novel;
“Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of mans heart and the fall through the air of the true wise friend called Piggy.”
Illustrating how everyone suffers merely as a result of themselves, we only have ourselves to blame and that there is evil, which possesses every human being. It’s a terrible disease, which has hold of every single one of us.
Lord of the Flies
“There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs,” proclaims George R.R Martin. The human nature is controllable if there are rules and an inducement to follow them but as soon as these rules begin to disappear, humanity tends to fade away and we begin to gravitate towards savagery. In the story “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, the human nature is thoroughly explored with the conflict of the two main characters: Ralph who represents the half of civilization and Jack who represented the other half of savagery.
The book displays the importance of all rules created to run civilization and the result of what happens once these rules cease to exist. It shows that once the civil ways of society are forgotten, the only possible outcome becomes complete madness and savagery. It presents the reader with a few children stranded on an island, whose natural inclination was to stay civil and fair as they were taught to be.
They decide to pick a leader and vote on one of the elder boys; Ralph, who then lays out rules and duties for the rest of the children, but once the authority given to Jack is misused, and the rules are forgotten, the ways of civilization are neglected, and the rules are overcome by insanity. The first step towards savagery began with Jack’s increasing bloodlust and demand for food, he transformed into a complete savage and began to forget all the rules set in place by society, misleading the group of followers he had. The second reason for the increased savagery would be Ralph’s loss of authority and the increasing insignificance of the conch used to keep the boys in control. The conch and the usual meetings they would have to discuss their situations was the one thing they kept from their old world, with the loss of the conch, it represented a loss of structure, society, and civility. The final reason for the inevitable savagery would be the changes in the behavior of the children caused by the increasing fear in their minds. These were children who had never left a guardian’s care, they had no idea how to make their own decisions, let alone live life independently, as the fear increased, the children began to take desperate actions which they deemed important for survival.The increasing bloodlust found within Jack was one of the most important events in this book. Jack was introduced as “the boy who controlled [the choir, later known as the hunters],” a young man competing for the position of power with Ralph, who was elected the chief, as a result of a vote by the boys (William Golding 15). Jack had a few stages to his beastly transformation, he began with his introduction to his prey, when he wasn’t willing to kill, as a part of him was still civilized, “They knew very well why he hadn’t [killed the pig]: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood,” (Golding, 29). After experiencing this embarrassment, he later felt an urge to kill, “[Jack] tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up. I went on. I thought, by myself— The madness came into his eyes again. I thought I might kill,” (51). The first hunt reflected a form of troubling savagery since Jack was only able to successfully complete it because he made “the mask (), behind which [he] hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness,” and finally “cut the pig’s throat,” while the re-enactment that included dancing and chanting “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood,” showed that their hunting and their sentiment on this matter go beyond what is necessary to provide for their diet (Golding 66, 73, 72). After Jack publicly denounces the leadership and the rules, “Bullocks to the rules! We’re strong ” we hunt!” and goes onto “stabbing [a mother sow] downwards with his knife,” he felt confident enough to hurt a human as he realized there were no rules applicable to him (Golding, 149). He turned to his primitive nature and began hunting Ralph and his previous friends, his savage nature was so contagious that it got the best of most children present on this island and with the lack of something such as the conch holding them together, the children were all wild such as animals. The conch was an irreplaceable item in the novel, Lord of the Flies. It represented democracy, structure but also the wish to stay civil. It was found by Piggy and Ralph with the idea of using it to “call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us” (Golding, 22). This showed that the conch had the power to bring everyone together for a meeting representing the symbol of authority and order relating to the civilization among the boys. Soon after the meeting, Ralph decided that “[he’ll] give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking. () And he won’t be interrupted. Except by me,” (Golding 31). This proves that they still believe in the old civilized ways as this is a representation of a classroom and children politely putting their hands up, in order to speak. The conch, however, continues to lose its value over time as the children begin to follow Jack more, as he offers more food. Hence, they give into desire and begin to ignore and depreciate the rules created for them as he decides that “the conch doesn’t count at this end of the island,” eventually leading to the conch to becoming a useless item in this society. With the death of Piggy and “[explosion of the conch] into a thousand white fragments and [it] ceased to exist,” it marked the end of authority among the boys and led to Jack being one with savagery (Golding, 200). Nonetheless, the only reason Jack was able to exploit the minds of children around the island would be the fear of the beast, this made their minds weak and frail while allowing them to give into any decisions without a critical approach. The final example which showed the ignorance of rules around the boys leading to inevitable savagery and madness would be the fear of the beast. Since very early in the novel, the beast has caused great fear within the boys. The fear began with the imagination from the littluns, “Tell us about the snake-thing. Now he says it was a beastie. Beastie? A snake-thing. Ever so big. He saw it,” and became too real when Samneric proclaimed having seen a beast, “It was furry. There was something moving behind its head ” wings. The beast moved too ” That was awful. It kind of sat up ” () There were eyes ” Teeth ” Claws–, we ran as fast as we could,” (Golding 34, 108-109). The fear kept the boys from lighting a fire on the side of the mountain and scared many littluns at night acting as a very harmful factor to their health. Soon enough, the fear caused Jack to separate “[The pig’s] head for the beast. It’s a gift,” as they believed an offering would please it. The boys in Jack’s group believed that the beast really did leave them alone because of this act and for further safety decide to “[sharpen] a stick at both ends,” (211). This meant for Ralph that they were willing to kill him to impale his head and offer it to the beast. The savagery from the fear alone is what caused the final conflict between Ralph and Jack, while Ralph held onto the only civility on this island, his own. In conclusion, once the civil ways of society are neglected and forgotten, the only future for a human is absolute savagery. In this book, the rules were abandoned because of three things: Jack’s increasing bloodthirst and obsession with hunting, the increasing insignificance of the conch leading to failed leadership from Ralph and oppressive actions caused by fear inside of the boys. Lord of the flies is a document of civilization giving way to
savagery within the primitive nature of a human as the boys stranded on the island become guided only by their natural instincts to hunt, negligence of any rules and fear.
The Lord of Savagery
“There are too many people, and too few human beings.” (Robert Zend). Despite having a lot of people existing on this planet, just a few are ordained and civilized. The corruption that lay innately within humans has taken the best of them.
In the book Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of boys are stranded on an island far away, with no connections to the adult world. These children, having no rules or civilization, have had their true brutal nature exposed, thus released.
The savagery depicted in Lord of the Flies symbolizes the boys’ ferocity due to their quest for ascendancy, their loss of identity, and the evil that lies inherently within the heart of a man.
The main way in which the abandoned boys seek authority and respect is by appearing strong and powerful. In order to appear strong and powerful, the boys give in to the savage instincts to ignore, pick on, mock, or even physically abuse boys who are weaker than them.
Jack represents this power-thirsty dictator who strives recognition as a powerful leader. “Jack, painted and garlanded, sat there like an idol.” (Golding 164). In Christian theology, worshipping idols is considered sacrilegious for turning away from the authentic deity. By idolizing Jack, the boys now worship the brutality within themselves. One of Jack’s tactics for luring in the boys into following him is by instilling fear in them.
“‘No! How could we–kill–it?’” (Golding 177).
Jack refuses to admit to the murder of Simon that he helped commit alongside Piggy and Samneric. He enjoys implanting the constant fear within the boys to ensure his authority and power on the island. He has become the epitome of a bloodthirsty, in-human villain. The boys’ starvation for dominance, specifically Jack, has taken them into a never-ending frenzy that resulted in horrific, remorseless consequences.
The novel portrays a world of rampage and moral bleakness which is accompanied by the main characters’ loss of identity. The boys go through gradual degradation into the abyss of bestial behaviour. For instance, Jack’s mask conceals him from the conducts of a civilization: “The forest near them burst into uproar.
Demoniac figures with faces of white and red and green rushed out howling…stark naked save for the paint and a belt was Jack” (Golding 154). Jack’s mask is used to delineate the unleashing malevolent nature that an ethical society would keep constrained. The mask encourages the barbaric behaviour of the boys and provides them with the new identity of shameless killers.
Moreover, Simon’s death had great symbolism in various aspects, but mainly the boys’ uncontained barbarity, “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.” (Golding 168). Simon has always embodied the goodness on the island.
As evil has possessed the other boys, the goodness has been abolished from the island. Simon’s death highlights the violent savagery and the boys’ loss of identity during the dance. In abbreviation, the boys go through transmogrifications as they progressively embark on a new ferocious life free from social confinements and ramifications.
Lord of the flies
In Lord of the Flies, one of the main characters, Piggy is such an iridescent person. Throughout this famous novel by William Golding, Piggy is the multitudinous with poor eyesight, a weight issues, and asthma. He is the weakest when it comes to physical activity when it comes to all the boys, even though he is very intelligent. Piggy represents the thoughtful world. Specifically, Golding uses Piggy’s actions, appearance, and speech to reveal the character’s most general flaws throughout the novel.
To begin, Golding uses Piggy’s appearance throughout the novel to reveal his changing attitude. At this point in the novel, Golding is describing the appearance of Piggy and teaching us about the characters who are stranded on the island. It started out with a fair and fat boy, which was Ralph and Piggy. The novel states, The naked crooks of his knees were plump, caught and scratched by thorns. He bent down, removed the thorns carefully, and turned around.
He was shorter than the fair boy and very fat (Golding 7). At this moment, Golding describes the appearance of Piggy. This suggests that he is quite chubby and fat compared to the other boy. It also states that he was short. The quote shows how other people see him and how he is different than the other kids. This reveals that he probably gets bullied, which makes him hold back and be less confident. Another quote is, That’s right. Can’t catch my breath. I was the only boy in our school who had asthma, said the fat boy with a touch of pride. And I’ve been wearing specs since I was three. He took off his glasses and held them out to Ralph, blinking and smiling, and then started to wipe them against his grubby windbreaker (Golding 9). This quote includes other things Piggy has which includes spectacles and asthma. Even though he is much different than the other boys, he is very incredulous. The quotation states that he was smiling and showing signs of pride, unlike the other quote. This shows that he is getting more self-confident and he isn’t afraid to be himself. He is embracing his unique differences rather than being insecure and holding back as much as he used to.
Next, Golding reveals Piggy’s altering attitude through his actions. Prior to the first quotation, Jack lets the fire go out which causes Piggy to get aggravated. Piggy calls him out and they begin arguing. Both pieces of evidence that reveal Piggy’s attitude, are from altercations with other characters. Piggy sat down with a grunt. Jack stood over him. His voice was vicious with humiliation. You would, would you? Fatty! Ralph made a step forward and Jack smacked Piggy’s head. Piggy’s glasses flew off and tinkled on the rocks. Piggy cried out in terror: My specs! He went crouching and feeling over the rocks but Simon, who got there first, found them for him. Passions beat about Simon on the mountaintop with awful wings. One side’s broken. Piggy grabbed and put on the glasses. He looked malevolently at Jack. I got to have the specs. Now I only got one eye. Just you wait Jack made a move toward Piggy, who scrambled away till a great rock lay between them (Golding 71-72). n this piece of evidence, his actions reveal his attitude. This suggests that Piggy is weak and has trouble sticking up for himself against some people. The novel states, Mind my specs,’said Piggy. If I get water on the glass I got to get out and clean ’em. Ralph squirted again and missed. He laughed at Piggy, expecting him to retire meekly as usual and in pained silence. Instead, Piggy beat the water with his hands. Stop it! he shouted. D’you hear? Furiously he drove the water into Ralph’s face (Golding 147). His actions of pushing the water in Ralph’s face and beating the water with his hands show his confident and fearless attitude. Overall, he is acknowledging his self-worth and learning to stick up for himself. As time passes, he continues to gain positivity and confidence.
Lastly, Golding uses Piggy’s speech to reveal his confident attitude. His attitude has been getting much more confident and true as time passes. Each situation he encounters, he handles it better and better. Piggy finally learns to stick up for himself against the others. First, the novel states You stop it! said Piggy, shrilly. What good are you doing talking like that? He jumped to his feet over Ralph. It was dark. There was that-that bloody dance. There was lightning and thunder and rain. We were scared! I wasn’t scared, said Ralph slowly, I was-I don’t know what I was. We were scared! said Piggy excitedly (Golding 156). It shows that Piggy isn’t afraid to be true to himself and he is very assertive. Ralph is trying to cover up the fact that they are scared but Piggy shows his feelings and is honest and true to himself and Ralph. He isn’t afraid to express his thoughts, even if they show weakness. Nobody knows where we are, said Piggy. He was paler than before and breathless. Perhaps they knew where we were going to; and perhaps not. But they don’t know where we are ‘cos we never got there. He gaped at them for a moment, then swayed and sat down. Ralph took the conch from his hands. That’s what I was going to say, he went on, when you all, all… He gazed at their intent faces. The plane was shot down in flames. Nobody knows where we are. We may be here for a long time (Golding 32). At this moment, Piggy is talking about the reality of the fact they are stranded and how they got there. It shows how he is able, to be honest with himself and everyone else. This reveals that he is trustworthy because they now know he is good at coming to reality, even in difficult situations.
In conclusion, Golding uses characterization to convey the apprehension, exasperation, and honesty in Piggy’s attitude. From his actions, speech, and appearance, readers learn that Piggy has a very different personality than any other character in this novel. Through Piggy, Golding realistically reveals the difficult, intellectual, and physically vulnerable life of a poor boy who is representing the thoughtful world. The overall message that Golding is trying to portray is that people value the wrong things in life when they should put important values first.
The Quintessence of Evil: Jack Merridew in Lord of the Flies
The Quintessence of Evil: Jack Merridew in Lord of the Flies
Overtaken leadership is fueled by power, which makes a leader focus on a single priority which results in the collapse of a society. Poverty in leadership can provoke a sense of despotism and savageness in society. Jack’s ambiguous undertaking of responsibilities and the rituals of his carelessness for others resulted in disastrous nuisances. In Lord of the Flies, separation from a structural society causes chaos; leading to exposure of deceptive actions in society.
Through Jack’s misleading behavior, William Golding demonstrates the management of society wrapped up by barbarism and atrocities, ultimately leading to destruction of the community.
Jack’s barbaric nature led him to commit atrocious deeds and establish a non- modernized society. His immoral and corrupt principles did not make him a strong decisive leader. He misused his power, and the trail of horrors directly related to him is lengthy and deep. Additionally, he acted as a vicious and uncivilized leader, who chanted, Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill the blood, and carried on with animalistic behavior.
Furthermore, Jack’s callous nature shaped his attitude and behavior to the point where his laughter is described as ‘bloodthirsty snarling,’ turning him into a villainous person (Golding 65). Catastrophic Jack started abolishing all the morals on the island and neglected simple rules like keeping the fire on top of the mountain along with the creation of shelters; however, he soon starts challenging Ralph’s authority by breaking all the rules and leading the group away from order and into savagery.
Jack continues to hunt and ultimately, the amount of his bloodthirstiness had reached its maximum point. The atmosphere is always filled with boisterous and rambunctious noises such as the ‘screaming of Robert’ Jack brandishing his knife’ fighting to get near a handful vulnerable meat. Blindness of severity dispersed all around the community. Jack began to influence others by turning towards sadism. He stated, ‘You should have seen the blood!’ gravitating others to submerge in his truculency. Jack has filled in his mind with ferociousness and is convincing others to descend into the same savagery. Jack’s obsession with hunting and poverty in leadership led to the death of creatures. Jack’s excitement over the pigs is credible, and he took the blood and ‘flicked them while he grabbed Maurice and rubbed over his cheeks.’ His intentions were to disguise himself and become more savage-like. Finally, Jack had spread his savagery among all of the community.
Jack’s priorities thrills the boys and they put their souls in his hands. The exploitation of Jack’s potential led to the division among the communities. Wickedness and depravity also resulted in bountiful casualties. His nature of ruthlessness and merciless led Jack to take control over others. Blinded by anger, Jack battled over authority and directorship, even though he was valueless, egotistical and self-indulgent. Immorality in leadership can be a repercussion of greed and bloodlust within ones community.
Samneric – Sam and Eric
Sam and Eric are identical twins that can’t be separated from each other. They resemble civilization as they remain loyal to Ralph throughout most of the novel. Regardless, they are powerless without a leading figure, Ralph, and are easily manipulated as the savages slowly rise up. They are intimidated by Jack and even join the hunters for their survival, which shows how the twins put their benefits before society. This can be seen near the end when Jack steals Piggy’s spectacles, and the civilized group decides to reason with the savages.
The twins prefer to paint their faces since the hunters would be more friendly if their faces are “All the same-” (Golding, 172). Ralph disapproves of the idea since putting on face paint indicates the decline of civilization and becomes the same as the savages. Even so, Samneric’s fear of death changes their mind of being with Ralph since they could be hunted, which also foreshadows that they would join the hunters.
During the meeting, Jack kidnaps the twins and ignores the idea of fire. When Jack orders the savages to tie up Samneric, they “protested out of the heart of civilization” (178), but choose to abandon Ralph to avoid severe punishment for their welfare. The twins act on the side of civilization but in reality, they betray Ralph and become savages. Shortly after the twins join the hunters, Jack orders the group to eliminate Ralph. The twins find Ralph and report the situation. Despite the friendly warning, they eventually give away Ralph’s hiding spot in exchange for their own safety, “The twin moaned faintly and then squealed again. “He meant he’d hide in there?’Yes-yes-oh-!’” (192). The followers, Samneric, are unable to withstand the power of the evil and the only way to guarantee survival is by spitting out the information. Samneric do not as possess the ability to reason and think as Piggy or as adamant as Ralph about keeping the fire going, which ultimately causes them to fall into the hands of evil.
Roger plays an important role in the novel and is an example of Golding’s ideology, that man is inherently evil. Introduced as a quiet, older boy, he becomes crueler as the novel progresses. Unlike Jack, who only wants to hunt, Roger’s desire is to torture others. The deterioration begins in chapter four. Roger intends to destroy the littlun’s sandcastle and throw rocks at them, which he decides to miss purposely, “Roger led the way straight through the castles, kicking the, over, burying flowers, scattering the chose stones” (60). Maurice, on the other hand, is ashamed, but Roger does not feel the unease of what he has done to the littluns. This informs us that Roger likes to terrorize minorities and also foreshadows that he will be doing something similar to other characters on a bigger scale. It also demonstrates that Roger is still limited by civilization and other moral values taught by society. Even so, the ferocious side of Roger begins to reveal itself. After Jack declares himself as the chief, the hunters celebrate and kill a sow. During the hunting trip, Roger ends the life of the pig unusually, “Roger found a lodgment… The spear moved forward inch by inch and the terrified squealing became a high-pitched scream” (135). The violent scene further explains that Roger is no longer hunting for survival, but his want for blood. From this quote, we can see that he feels no sympathy and enjoys the suffering of the pig, which fully manifests his sadistic nature. As Jack gains power, Roger realizes that he could manipulate power and make himself a powerful figure. By obtaining more power, Roger gets to perform more severe punishments. Eventually, Roger moves to the final state of his brutal personality by destroying the last wall that holds him from his desire, “High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever” (180). “Delirious abandonment” shows that Roger is pushing down the boulder with excitement. In other words, he has transformed from an innocent boy to a hungry, bloodthirsty monster. The word choice also reveals that Roger does not regret his actions. Once Piggy dies, all virtues are gone, which is what limits the beast inside of Roger. Throughout the novel, Roger has transformed from a quiet boy to a savage murderer, which is what Golding uses to illustrate his belief in human nature.
The facepaint serves as a tool to free Jack and his hunters from self-consciousness and releases the evil side of man. Since all the morals are gone, the hideous side of humans begins to take control of the hunters. For instance, Jack’s first mask camouflages himself, which allows him to be “liberated from shame and self-consciousness” (64). As soon as Jack puts on the mask, he becomes unaware of his actions, which then smothers the ability to think as a human being. By wearing this face paint, Jack is seen as a stranger and the desire for blood has sold out his identity. Additionally, the facepaint somehow wields a significant amount of power that forces the twins to join Jack’s hunting trip, as “The mask compelled them” (64). Samneric are “compelled” by the mask through the fear it shows. The mask brings out the inner beast of Jack since it silences his ethics as he hides behind the item. Due to the protection of the mask, Jack gets to do whatever he wants without feeling embarrassed. The outcome of leaving the fire results in the boys not getting rescued by the ship, which also implies that the mask lures the boys away from civilization. Furthermore, by stealing the fire at Ralph’s base, hunters need to crush their morality by doing to avoid the sense of shame by wearing a mask. “We’ll raid them and take fire. There must be four of you; Henry and you, Robert and Maurice. We’ll put on paint and sneak up” (136). Golding now mentions that the hunters start to deteriorate into savages. The “raid” explains how the savages no longer feel any regret for being shameless.
In Lord of the Flies, the conch symbolizes order and freedom of speech. Initially, Ralph uses it to call assemblies to discuss ways of getting rescued and create rules, which no one follows. However, good needs to perish as evil rises. In other words, the conch wouldn’t be in the novel if the defects of human nature were not present, which are represented by the color of the conch. At the beginning of Lord of the Flies, the color of the conch is pink, which is the positive side of red, “In color the shell was deep cream, touched here that there with fading pink” (16). The delicate color represents unity and pureness since the island is peaceful and the boys work together as a team. The evil side of pink foreshadows how the group will eventually split into two as major conflicts between the two leaders break out. The change in color can be seen in chapter five when Ralph calls an assembly for not capable of keeping the fire. Due to this careless error, they miss a chance of getting rescued. The color of the conch is now yellow and pink when Ralph gathers everyone, “Exposure to the air had bleached the yellow and pink to near-white, and transparency” (78). The pink color foreshadows the separation between Jack and Ralph since they split up shortly after the fire incident. The color yellow implies the jealousy that dwells inside Jack ever since the first conflict. The jealousy then leads to hate, which frees the beast and the releases dark side of man. Finally, the color of the conch starts to turn white. The hunters completely lose their mankind and show the true nature of men. The conch becomes dirty and is smashed to pieces followed by Piggy’s death, “the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (181). The explosion signifies the end of innocence and the inception of savagery. Jack immediately orders his tribe to hunt down Ralph in order to wipe out the last hope of maintaining humanity.
Lord of the Flies illustrates how chaos creates an opportunity for good to turn evil. In the beginning, Ralph blows the conch, which brings the scattered boys together and discusses the situation. The order and rules still apply to the innocent stranded boys, meaning that the boys still remain civilized. However, Golding tells us that the boys set up a “small fire” that ends up burning a littlun to death(44), which signifies the beginning of chaos on the island. The boys have an idea of getting rescued by starting a fire but the situation becomes more serious as the littluns add more firewood into the fire without knowing the consequences. Additionally, the barbaric and bloody hunting of the sow intensifies the chaos, “Here, struck down by the heat, the sow fell and the hunters hurled themselves at her… the air was full of sweat and noise and blood and terror” (135). Chaos provides courage to those who don’t feel comfortable performing inhumane tasks. The chaos relates to mob mentality, which is what causes the hunters to stay as savages. Moreover, the scene when Simon dies is described as a dark, chaotic night, “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws” (153). From this quote, we can see that the mob mentality shows the defects in human nature. As long as one person starts to act impulsively, the other will eventually follow and no one inserts the idea of justice. This reflects Golding’s ideology since it explains the moment when humans return to barbarism when left alone.
Sigmund Feud’s psychology of the human mind separates into three parts, superego, ego, and id. William Golding uses Freudian’s idea to illustrate his ideology through the three main characters.
Simon, the character that debunks the idea of the beast is described as the superego in Lord of the Flies. He has never participated in any violent hunting trips and continues to contribute to society. For instance, Simon hands out the food to the littluns that are not able to reach the fruit on the trees. Another example is that he discovers the beast, and attempts to tell the information to the boys,
Jack, who is the id in the novel devotes most of his time going after his pleasures. He is shown to dislike the idea of civilization. Jack controls the hunters to overcome Ralph’s group and causes the deaths of Simon and Piggy, the two characters that must be destroyed for evil to survive. After the failed attempt at hunting the pig, Jack is overwhelmed by hunting and couldn’t care less about getting rescued, “Jack rushed toward the twins… “Come on! I’ll creep up and stab-” (71). He persuades the twins to join their hunting despite the twins’ duty of fire. We can see the irrational thoughts in the id’s mind and acts unconsciously. To further explain, the id chases after its desire and often uses any method to reach his thirst. For example, someone interrupts the meeting and asks for food despite the important discussion about an issue. Sometimes, the inner voice reminds not to ask for food but frequently, humans ignore the warning. The result of ignoring the voice creates a repercussion that affects society. Jack shows that he will not stop until he attains his desire, which reflects the idea of id.
While Simon and Jack are the exact opposite, Ralph stands in the middle. As the initial chief elected by the stranded boys, Ralph balances the superego and id. The superego is too concerned with personal moral values and would not tolerate any unethical behaviors. The id needs someone to supervise over its impulsiveness to lock the savage beast inside. In the beginning, Ralph keeps Jack under his control and criticizes him for not sustaining the fire.
However, it is easy to get off track and follow desire. On the way back from Castle Rock, Ralph and the hunters try to hunt down a boar but failed. Instead, they play a brutal “game” with Robert, which Ralph enjoys a lot, “Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering” (115). The game not only illustrates the defects in the id, but it also implies that ego will eventually allow the id to act on its own when exposed under certain conditions.