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About William Golding's Novel "The Lord Of The Flies"

1348 words - 5 pages

William Golding's novel 'The Lord of The flies' presents us with a group of English boys who are isolated on a desert island, left to try and retain a civilised society. In this novel Golding manages to display the boys slow descent into savagery as democracy on the island diminishes.At the opening of the novel, Ralph and Jack get on extremely well. We are informed Jack, "shared his burden," and there was an, "invisible light of friendship," between the two boys. Jack changes considerably throughout this novel. At first he tells us, "I agree with Ralph we've got to have rules and obey them," This shows us that at the beginning of the novel, just like Ralph, he wants to uphold a civilised society. We are also notified, "Most powerfully there was the conch." As the conch represents democracy we can see that at the beginning of the novel the boys sustain a powerful democratic society.This democratic society does not last very long as the children (especially Jack) have a lack of respect for the conch and the rules. We can see this when Jack decides, "We don't need the conch anymore, we know who should say things." As the conch represents democracy we can see that civilisation on the island is braking up and savagery is starting to take over. We can also see a brake up in society when Jack says, "Bollocks to the rules!" Here we can see that Jack contradicts himself while managing to diminish the assembly and the power of the conch. Golding has made the two boys' act similar at the beginning of the novel to show us how 'normal' they are. This demonstrates Golding's view that absolutely anyone can be over ruled by power and become savage (like Jack) when civilisation collapses.After this incident we can see continual conflict between Ralph and Jack. We can see this when Jack proclaims that Ralph, "Isn't a proper chief." Golding is trying to show us that this conflict is very similar to the conflict between humanities inner barbarism and the living influence of reason. We can see other evidence of this conflict within ourselves, with the masks that Jack and his hunters put on. We are informed that Jack, " rubbed the charcoal stick between the patches of red and white on his face" The mask represents the dark line (charcoal) between good (white) and evil (red) within ourselves. These masks also let the boys hide from their conscience we can see this when we are informed, "The mask was a thing on it's own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness." We can see that the mask releases Jack from rational behaviour, which helps him, assert power. These camouflage masks are used in warfare, which clearly links his new identity as a shameless killer just like the adults fighting at war.Golding shows this two-sided struggle between good and evil with the fire. On one hand the fire is the only source of warmth, light and hope of rescue. While on the other hand it brings death and destruction to the island. Golding is trying to show us...

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