Lord of the Flies by Golding
In "Lord of the Flies", Golding suggests that once man is freed from
social conditioning and obligation, the intrinsic sense of evil will
be revealed in him. He destroys the optimistic view of human nature by
showing how even the most innocent of all - children can deteriorate
into primitive savages once freed from the trappings of society.
This view, that man is capable of gross wickedness, is central to the
whole novel. It is revealed through Simon's conversation with the
imaginary Lord of the Flies when he realises that the real beast is
one that exists in all the boys. However, Golding also shows that if
man is willing to recognise the evil potential in his nature, he will
able to curb his own evil instincts.
It is important to note how much the boys manage to achieve before
their inner fears destroy their sense of responsibility and reason,
that is, before the boys finally succumb to savagery and violence.
They discover fire, they build shelters (albeit prone to collapsing!),
they explore the island, they go on hunting trips, and they delegate
social responsibilities. Initially, one would be inclined to think
that Jack's leadership is a poor one as he relies on brute strength.
However, Jack is shrewd enough to know that the boys' survival is as
important as rescue. Food has to be hunted; emotional needs (which
Ralph tries to deny) have to be satisfied.
Also, Piggy, Ralph and Simon serve as reminders in the novel that
there remains much to be admired in mankind. Each of them displays
positive qualities of wisdom and goodness in their own way.
For all his physical weaknesses like asthma, myopia and fatness, Piggy
is no doubt an intelligent, practical and a sensible thinker. He is
the mouthpiece of science and reason on the island, and is a good
planner who can think logically and prioritise things.
For instance, Piggy's realism and sense of perception are revealed at
the beginning where in contrast to Ralph's naively optimistic belief
that his father will rescue them, Piggy reminds him that in view of
their circumstances, that would be unlikely. Piggy is also the one who
prompts Ralph to "find the others" and "call a meeting". He often
comes up with the solutions to the boys' problems. His "intellectual
daring" is revealed when he suggests moving the fire from the
mountain. Throughout his life on the island, Piggy remains focused on
the most important thing for them to do: to keep the fire going in
order for the boys to be rescued.
Piggy has a very sharp sense of perception and can provide insight
into the boys' relationships. For example, he understands perfectly
well why Jack hates Ralph - because the latter "got him over the
Piggy's adult outlook is reflected in his belief in scientific logic.
Life to him is purely...