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Lord Of The Flies By William Golding: Are Humans Savages?

1250 words - 5 pages

Imagine what it would be like to grow up in an orderly society with rules and manners, and then to suddenly be stranded in a deserted and dangerous island, with no idea how to survive or escape. In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of young boys are lost on a mysterious island and forced to find a way to survive, becoming hopelessly barbaric along the way. As their journey progress, the bare essence of human nature is revealed. Some of us may believe that human nature is essentially good, loving, and compassionate at heart, while others perceive it to be evil, selfish, and corrupt. Golding’s novel proves that we are civilized when part of a society, but quickly become savages upon being isolated from it .
When the characters stay within the boundaries of a society with rules, they remain civilized in their nature. Throughout the story, the conch shell symbolizes authority. When Ralph first blows the conch shell, it unites everybody who is stranded on the island. They establish the rule that no one may speak in an assembly unless they are holding the conch shell. This brings order to their meetings and prevents them from becoming disruptive or chaotic.Ralph is one of the most civilised characters, but we see through the progress of the novel that even he succumbs to the beast in all of us. As a chief, he takes on his duty responsibly, acting in ways which benefit the whole of the group. In the assemblies, Ralph tries to address the concerns and cares of everybody. He tries to convince everybody that in order to survive, they must all work together. Piggy represents another aspect of civilization, reason. Piggy’s great intellect allows him to figure out clever solutions to their problems. For example, it was Piggy who gave Ralph the idea to blow the conch shell. Piggy believes that the beastie isn’t real and that life is scientific. Piggy is the closest thing that the boys have to a grown up on the island, his rationality helping the group to survive and maintain order. Throughout the novel, Piggy points out the flaws in the boys’ behavior and urges them to act responsibly. But unfortunately, nobody listens to him. Piggy also has glasses, which soon come to further portray innovation, science, and civilization. Without the glasses, the boys would not have been able to build the signal fire that keeps their civilization alive. Even though some of the characters eventually become savages, they are not a threat to anybody as long as they remain within a society. Jack says "We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages.We're English, and the English are best at everything." In the very beginning when he is still civilized, he hesitates to kill a pig. When he first hunted, it was simply to bring food to help the people in society. When Roger was throwing the stones at a littlun, he makes sure not to actually hit him because he still has a conscience and fears that some form of authority will punish him.
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