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Comparison: Lord Of The Flies And I Only Came To Use The Phone

1577 words - 6 pages

Oscar Wilde once said, “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” What a twisted, convoluted idea to wrap one’s mind around but nevertheless an idea worth entertaining. As humans the pursuit of the truth is one of the journeys that each individual must undertake. Humankind is obsessed with the truth. Humans have fought wars, killed rulers, and established nations in the name of the truth. Why is mankind so thirsty for the truth? The truth leads to enlightenment and ultimately inner peace. So what Oscar Wilde is saying seems on its head. If men are so infatuated with the truth, why does he lie when talking in his own person? It seems so counterintuitive that some have dismissed this quote as the ravings of a madman. But this idea is one worth engaging. Man lies because he’s afraid of what society might impose upon him if he is truly himself. Both “I Only Came to Use the Phone” and “Lord of the Flies” isolate the main characters from the evils of society. Isolating characters from society in both stories is a way to elicit behaviors that normally would have been suppressed by society which induces the idea that society subdues ones true identity and therefore blocks the path to enlightenment.
First, one of the most obvious signs in “Lord of the Flies” that the main character (Ralph) is not seeing reality as it is, is that Ralph is constantly standing on his head. When he first gets to the island, “He patted the palm trunk softly, and, forced to at last believe in the reality of the island, laughed delightedly again and stood on his head”(10). When Ralph stands on his head it symbolizes him literally seeing the world upside down. He is misguided and thinks the island will be fun. It is not until later on in the book that Ralph begins to understand the truth and severity of their situation, and he starts stops standing on his head. Then just five chapters into the book Ralph begins having huge doubts about the island. The huts were a disaster, and all Jack wants to do is hunt. In the beginning of chapter five Ralph is walking on the beach when he realizes this, “He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one’s waking life was spent watching one’s feet”(76). Not after Ralph has experienced death, dissention, and disobedience from the boys does he finally begin to realize the truth. The reason Ralph came to understand the truth is because he is been isolated from society. Society is the thing that masks people’s true identities. Once the boys are removed from it, Jack’s thirst for power comes to surface, Rogers’s brutality is shown, and the truth comes out. How else does one explain the boy’s behaviors? The behaviors have always been there but they just are finally are shown because of the boys isolation from society. Ralph only came to this realization because he saw it for...

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