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.
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