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The Challenge Between Civilization And Savagery In Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

1501 words - 6 pages

In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, symbolism and allegories were used to show how the children who are stranded on an island have a huge struggle with civilization and savagery. Ralph, Piggy, Jack, and Simon are the ones in the novel that struggle with this the most.
Golding wrote this story because he was horrified of Stalinism in Russia. His experience in World War II effected his view on humanity and evils that are capable of occurring. Ralph, Piggy, and Simon are manifested with the "civilizing instinct", while Jack, Roger, and the other hunters have the savage instinct. Golding also dealt with human nature. Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that man is good, but Golding controverts his philosophy. Golding believes that man is naturally evil.
In the story, a group of boys are stranded on an island after their plane crashes in the middle of the ocean. All through out the book, the boys struggle with their morality and their human nature. The boys show Golding's concept of violent human nature in people that can become present when there is no civilization. At the beginning, everyone is more civil but as time goes on, savagery becomes more and more present in the boys. Civilization can provide a enchanting cloak to the evil nature of man.
The first child to be introduced is Ralph. Ralph is an example of a good hearted person. He also can represent order, leadership, and civilization. Ralph is charismatic and attractive. Ralph choose the meeting place, when to use fire, and to build huts. He was a true leader with the help of one person, Piggy. Throughout the book, the boys realize they need a leader , so they elect Ralph. The only reason Ralph was elected is because he had the conch, which he found on the beach. It symbolizes civilization and order, just like Ralph represents order and civilization.
Through out the book, Ralph struggles with his civilization and savagery. An example is when he joins Jack and his tribe of what they thought was the "Beast". Over a period of time, Ralph beings to lose the way that he thinks. You can see signs of this when he has a hard time developing an agenda for his meetings with the boys. He also beings to lose his morals and self control. Ralph becomes savage after everyone has joined Jacks new tribe. He has always been savage because everyone has savagery in them. He truly shows his savage side when he murdered Simon. It was a night on the beach while everyone is around a fire. The boys start to chant for the beast to come out. Everyone is in the moment and something from the woods comes out onto the beach. "A thing was crawling out of the forest"(Golding152). They start attacking what they think is the "beast". Once they stop Ralph then realizes that they have killed Simon. The next morning, Ralph is the only person to acknowledge that they murdered someone the night before. This is the only time that Ralph becomes savage. He knows what he has just done was...

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