Reading Log #4
Lord of the Flies by William Golding shows an attempt to create a utopia that quickly turns into a violent uprising due to the conflict between everyone’s opposing impulses. The plot focuses on a group of young boys who are stranded on an island during what seems to be a world war. They establish a hierarchy for their society without adults, but these boys become collectively and individually violent very fast.
Conflicts then arise when the current tribe leader Ralph disagrees with Jack, a very violent hunter who want to become the leader. The theme of violence in this book leads to social dissent and protesting in the established society and is used by the characters solely to modify the established government, showing that the author believes that people are naturally savages without a stable society.
Violence is an element of unrest throughout the novel and is the main contribution to the quick development of social dissent and protest throughout the society. We first see these innocent boys develop into violent savages when they begin the chant, “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood” (75). This instance was one of many that were used to show the progression of the boys going from being civilized to becoming savage creatures. Social dissent and protest come when these innocent boys become collectively and individually violent very quickly by being unnecessarily cruel and sadistic. Eventually the civilized boy named Piggy asks, “Which is better—to be a
pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?” (214). It is clear that violence has split the tribe into those who are savages and those who are civilized.
This separation is what causes social dissent and protests because the savages want nothing to do with the civilized boys and vice versa. This dissent gives many characters the opportunity to take advantage of the situation and change society for what they want. Overall, violence is the main element of unrest that contributes to social dissent and protest within this society.
Characters use this social dissent and protesting to change the newly formed government. Many characters in the book want power, and they hope to use this social dissent and protesting to their advantage. An example is when a hunter named Jack addresses the tribe and says, “Who thinks Ralph oughtn’t to be chief?” (148) to protest how the society is and change it so it is how he wants it to be. Jack is more violent and wants to overthrow the current tribe leader name Ralph who tries to keep the society balanced and with rules throughout the entire book. Ralph’s attempts to remain civilized fail because violence is prominent in so many of the characters that many become savages and try to change to society to fit their needs. Eventually Jack persuades a majority of the tribe to join his side by saying, “I gave you food and my hunters will protect you from the beast. Who will join my tribe?” (177). He succeeds in changing the society because the tribe members realize they would rather embrace their violent side than try to remain civilized. Many of these young boys may have only had moral behavior in the first place because civilization forced it upon them. Social dissent
created by elements of unrest allow many of the violent characters to successfully