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The Effect Of Minor Characters On Main Developing Themes

1059 words - 5 pages

Would anyone remember Nelson Mandela had had no one to lead into a better future?  Would anyone remember Charles Dickens if no one read his books; who Shakespeare is if no one attended his plays? Without those whose names are undocumented no one, including Mandela, Dickens and Shakespeare would ever have metamorphosed into what they are commemorated for. The minor characters of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, similar to the undocumented names that brought others their recognition, manufacture major characters into who they are, bringing about changes in mood, atmosphere and developing main themes by inciting fear and increasing panic, following the commands set by either leader and the power that leaders have over others creates conflict between the leaders, and while Jack is accepting his new-found nature hunting pigs and tormenting Piggy, Roger is having his own outbursts of similar nature testing his boundaries.
The fear being incited by minor characters like the boy with the mulberry birthmark that speaks of “the beastie, A snake like thing. Ever so big” (34) that could hurt them and poses threats to their survival, strikes fear in their hearts, though it has not been seen in detail. The fear felt by each individual is increasing by the fear surrounding them. The little ’uns who nudge the other boy forwards are already afraid and their fear escalates from the threat. Fear is generated not just from the hypothetical beast but from the distraction where they can start off having a constructive, rational assembly on what has to change and can alter into a vote on whether or not ghosts exist. Ralph begins this assembly with a “Not for fun” (84) atmosphere and everything is fine until “people started getting frightened” (88) of what and where the beast could be, there is then a “vote on them; on ghosts” (99) to determine if they exist or not which has nothing to do with what the assembly is originally for. The instantaneous and uncomplicated distraction delivers more fears than there originally are. The whispers and inventiveness of minor characters that are not fighting for control like major characters are is what commences to put everyone on edge. Perhaps if Ralph, Jack, Piggy and Simon had been the only survivors the fear and by result true humanity that brings about the deaths of Piggy and Simon and the attempted murder of Ralph may not happen. The instigation of fear from minor characters is one factor that brings about the demise of humanity and life in remaining characters.
Another factor is the constant struggle for power between Jack and Ralph that would be pointless if there were no followers to control the actions of. Jack is insistent during their assemblies that “[Ralph] isn’t a proper chief” (138) and he should no longer be in charge. Jack tries to get the other boys to agree with him and vote for him to be chief by demanding them: “Who thinks Ralph oughtn’t to be chief?” (139). Jack wants to be in charge of all of the boys on...

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