The Reveal of Society in 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding
What is Golding telling us about society in Lord of the Flies?
William Golding is trying to show savagery through the children in
this novel. He is telling us that anybody could have a savage side to
themselves and it is how you control the savagery in yourself.
In the first few chapters, the first point made is that there is a
sense of normality and civility in the beginning that is occurring.
Firstly the boys make one of the first rules which is to call
assemblies with the conch and whoever is holding the conch can speak
without interruption, ‘We can use this to call the others. Have a
meeting. They’ll come when they hear us’. This shows that Piggy’s
thinking will lead to rules they will be setting and it shows a sense
of order, early on in this novel.
With the conch in the hands of Ralph, he calls an assembly, and a
leader is chosen which is Ralph. This again shows order and civility.
This shows that the boys can organise themselves and they are capable
Later on in the novel they decide they have to get a fire going in
order to be seen so they could be rescued. This is organisation as
this shows:- ‘His specs – use them as burning glasses’. This soon
turns into tragedy as they lose a boy in the fire, ‘The boys looked at
each other fearfully, unbelieving. - where is he now?’
In chapter four, things start to go wrong, firstly little things.
Roger was throwing sand, kicking sand, and throwing stones at Henry
were examples of this.
In chapter five, the civility is slowly decreasing as no one is
letting the person holding the conch speak. The rules set were being
broken. The little ones were crying and the boys let the fire out.
Ralph says, ‘We decide thing but they never get done’. This shows that
they are not sticking to their rules and keep breaking them. Towards
the end of chapter five, Ralph has had enough and he can’t take much
more of what is going on. He says, ‘If only they could get a message
to us, if only they could send us something grown–up… a sign or
something’. Earlier on in this chapter, the boys start to think there
is some kind of beast that is haunting them and they are frightened of
it, especially the little ones. This shows that the civility is slowly
fading away and savagery is taking its place.
In the sixth chapter, Ralphs prayers of having someone grown–up is
answered but the grown–up is dead and is parachuted down to the
island. The boys think it is the beast. Samneric see the parachutist
and say, ‘We saw the beast’, but the boys soon realise the, ‘ beast’
was a parachutist and starts to think it is something else.
In the seventh chapter, there is more savagery than civility as the
boys try to imitate them killing a pig using Robert as the pig and