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The Morality Of Lord Of The Flies

879 words - 4 pages

William Golding wrote of his novel "Lord of the Flies" that the theme was an attempt to explore how the defects society are based largely on human nature rather than the structure of civilization. Golding used "Lord of the Flies" to allegorically explain that the architecture of a society depends on the morality of the individual rather than a social or political construction, regardless of its inherent merit or esteem.

Golding very carefully and cleverly used children as characters portraying the human race. Traditionally, children are seen as immature and dismissible; they are commonly seen as almost less than human because of their underdeveloped physique and mental capacity. While traditionalists may see it as a poor example, Golding counters that children are fundamentally more representative of human nature. Rather than being oversaturated with societal norms and tendencies like adults, children are fundamental in their desires and thought processes. The children find themselves stranded on an island, isolated from society and civilization. It is an island sufficient for their survival; there is an abundance of fruit and nuts for their consumption, and they are free from predation. And it is in this absence of fear for survival that their Freudian "Id" responses of desire begin to manifest themselves; the children begin wanting to hunt, wanting to exclude the weak, and wanting power.

Golding first dramatizes the children's Id response in the first election. When faced with choosing a leader from amongst themselves, the children choose the strongest, tallest, and most beautiful: Ralph. They impulsively do what humans do everyday; they wanted to pick the most beautiful and powerful as a means to strengthen themselves. Once a leader of the collective group, Ralph sought to bring the idealistic aspirations of civilization to the island. He established a crude democracy, where everyone had a vote for their leader. This election by majority ensured that more than fifty percent of the boys would grant governance to Ralph, and they were willing to concede some of their freedom for the sake of the group. Like in most democracies, with a majority also comes a minority; minorities are necessary to keep the majority in check by a natural form of competition. Most were content with Ralph's leadership, but Jack despised him for it. As a concession, Ralph appointed Jack chief hunter, affirming a leader not representative of the majority but rather of his own desire, hunting. By letting Jack succumb to his Id tendencies, Ralph is creating a precedent that would eventually lead to the island's demise.

Ralph unknowingly allows Jack's...

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