English Essay LotF

Submitted By jasonsunjiang
Words: 1463
Pages: 6

Jason Jiang
Mrs. Widman
English 10 Honors
10 October 2014
From Order to Chaos “Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.” Stated by Werner Herzog, demonstrates the conflict between Ralph and Jack and the decline of civilization in Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. In the novel, a group of British boys are stranded on an island after their plane crashes. Ralph, the boy who blows the conch, is elected leader and starts a democracy. Ralph attempts to keep order and the boys civilized by allocating a designated toilet area, building shelters, and the no speaking rule with the conch. Jack, who is obsessed with hunting, becomes hungry for power, and begins to use the boy’s belief of the beast to his advantage by manipulating them. As Jack continues to hunt for food, he drags the boys away from the conch and it loses its influence among them, forcing the boys listen their natural, primal instinct rather than abiding to the rules of civilization. Golding uses the conch, the hair of the boys, and adults to demonstrate the inevitable decline of civilization. Firstly, the conch, the epitome of order on the island, has its power weakened from right from the beginning. In the early stages of civilization, the conch is a powerful object of order, law, and civilization, but in the end the conch is destroyed, symbolizing the end of civilization on the island. When Piggy first finds the conch, Ralph takes the initiative and blows it, calling all displaced boys for an assembly. As he is elected as leader, Ralph establishes that whoever holds the conch has the right to speak, “[Ralph] will give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking… and he won’t be interrupted” (Golding 33). As Ralph created this rule for the holder of the conch, the conch now wields an aura of power. This new law for the conch symbolizes Ralph’s first actions towards civilization and order, where everyone is allowed to speak without getting interrupted, governing each assembly they have. In comparison to Ralph’s orderly way, Jack strays off and becomes more savage and hungry for power by hunting for food and attempting to gain power from Ralph. With the tension between Ralph and Jack finally snapping, Jack leaves and creates his own band of boys to hunt. He leads his group of boys off into the jungle. He tells them, “‘But now I’m going to get more of the biguns away from the conch and all that’” (Golding 133). The conch, previously a powerful symbol of order, is now weakened because of Ralph and Jack splitting up. Also, Jack’s objective of trying to get more “biguns” away from the conch weakens its power, as well as Ralph’s control of the boys, even more by drawing the boys away from it. After that, Piggy and Ralph visit Jack’s tribe at Castle Rock where they reside. They bring the conch with them, holding the last bit of authority on the island. Piggy holds up the conch and begins his speech. While Jack’s group is annoyed and restless, Roger pushes a boulder which knocks Piggy over the cliff along with the conch, “The conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (Golding 181). When the conch is destroyed, it demonstrates the death of civilization on the island. Right after that, “Suddenly Jack bounded out from the tribe and began screaming wildly, ‘See? See?...There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone’” (Golding 181). Because the conch is shattered, the prime object of civilization and order is destroyed and the island falls into chaos. As a result, Jack breaks free from the civilization that once jailed him in, throwing a spear at Ralph to drive him out, ultimately drowning out civilization. As the group of boys are stranded on the island, the only authority figure died in the plane crash. Because of this, there are no grownups to chastise the boys for their wrongdoings. When Ralph first calls an assembly, he explains to the boys what…