Lord of the Flies: Civilization vs. Savagery Imagine being on an island; no parental figure, no rules, and no stress. Every human has a primal instinct lying within them. In a state where one needs to survive, what is one truly capable of? Can one remain civilized or will the temptation of their dark subconscious take over? In the story line of Lord of the Flies, William Golding explores the theme of civilization versus savagery trough a group of boys who have been learning to survive on a deserted island with no present adults. We as humans have the capability to be shaped by nurture; the environment and past experiences. Throughout the novel, William Golding portrays the message that when left without the bounds of civilization, individuals tend to show their true colors, acting only for their personal gain. There are many factors that determine how people behave in their daily lives. From the day we are born we are governed by a set of laws that influence the way we live. As children we are taught how to behave by parents and guardians, and as humans the structures of society keep people civilized with laws and order; Ralph represents reason and leadership while Jack represents savagery and the hunger for power. Lastly the conch represents authority and order. Ralph was elected chief due to his natural ability to be a leader as he established their society. He runs a democracy where everyone votes on issues and he is willing to take everyone’s opinion into consideration. Ralph believes that as long as they stay civilized they can survive, live in agreement, and eventually be rescued; “We’ve got to have rules and obey them,” (Golding, 42). Ralph pushes the idea about having rules on the island. Jack agrees with him at first, although his jealousy for Ralph’s power motivates him to constantly undermine and disobey Ralph and his requests. This begins Jacks decline into true savagery. As the boys stay on the island, one of Ralph’s orders is to find food on the island to feed everyone, “His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink” (Golding -). This explores Jack’s mental state after killing his first pig, a milestone in the boys’ decline into savage behavior. Jack triumphs in the kill and is unable to think about anything else because his mind is “crowded with memories” of the hunt. Jack’s excitement stems not from pride at having found food to help the group but from having outsmarted another creature. Earlier in the novel Jack claims that hunting is important to provide nourishment for the group. Now, it becomes clear that Jack’s obsession with hunting is due to the satisfaction it provides his primal instincts and has nothing to do with contributing to the group. When set into an environment where your natural instinct is to survive, your surroundings can influence the way you behave. Lord of the Flies shows how children would act if placed in an environment without any rules or guidance. It conveys that everyone needs guidance and help in their lives. Without them society would crumble and would end up like the disaster in the novel. “Nurture involves one’s environmental surroundings and the influence it makes on them” (McLeod). This refers back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, starting with physical needs such as food and water, moving your way up to safety, belongingness, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic and self-fulfillment. You cannot move up the pyramid until each level is fulfilled (Sproule 71). Ralph and Piggy attempt to follow the hierarchy of needs, but are pushed down as their surroundings start to take over. As the boys go to kill a pig, they celebrated by chanting "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" (Golding 152), the children are clearly blood thirsty at this point in the novel. They got
The boys from “Lord Of the Flies” were stuck on an island and had to help themselves and each other, as there was no adult with them to lay down rules. By being by themselves someone had to set rules but these rules helped at the start when they were co-operating as it progresses the boys become wild and do whatever they want.
At the start Piggy found the conch and this helped them to keep their assembly’s, also whoever had hold of the conch had the power to talk. These boys had lots of discipline…
A running theme in Lord of the Flies is that man is savage at heart, always ultimately reverting back to an evil and primitive nature. The cycle of man's rise to power, or righteousness, and his inevitable fall from grace is an important point that book proves again and again, often comparing man with characters from the Bible to give a more vivid picture of his descent. Lord Of The Flies symbolizes this fall in different manners, ranging from the illustration of the mentality of actual primitive…
Lord of the Flies
Ralph- Ralph is the protagonist of the novel. He is the leader of the group.
Responsible- Ralph is responsible for the failures of the group since he is chosen to be the leader. He tries his best on everything that could be done in order to get rescued from the island.
Brave- Ralph is brave because he is willing to go on to the mountaintop even though he is scared. He also helps Piggy to get back his glasses and fight gainst the hunters by himself.
Jack- Jack is Ralph's…
There are those who believe that people are
essentially evil. In William Golding's novel Lord Of The
Flies, he explores the idea that, even if given a
beautiful, untouched island paradise, a group of
innocent children would destroy both themselves and
their environment. By examining how a group of
young, innocent boys are placed on an island paradise
but are gradually reduced to savagery, the reader can
witness Golding’s view of man. Golding’s novel
teaches that, if given the opportunity , people…
November 6th 2014
Knowing one’s evil: William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies”
Since human conscience began, civilization has been built on law and figures of power. Structured society relies on rules with humans naturally conditioned by their own restrictions, contrasting an unsuccessful barbaric, savage or primitive way of life. With the loss of restraint, there would be no stopping humans descent into madness—with a lack of punishment and order, there is a lack of justice…
How does Golding portray his ideas in the Lord of the flies?
Golding portrays the disagreement between the two boys from the start of the book, during the time when they dispute between who should become the leader, which creates a small anecdote of the smaller world that we have today in society.
The beginning of chapter 3 starts with Golding hinting to us that the boys are starting to become less civilised, and becoming more savage, as for Jack, “eyes in this frustration seemed bolting and nearly…
Lord of the Flies
In Lord of the Flies the boys are stripped of the boundaries that civilization and society bring and savagery takes over while the evil inside each boy is unleashed. Through the deaths of Piggy and Simon, it becomes obvious that there is no more intellect and morality on the island, and savagery has become more prominent and stronger than civilization. In Simon’s death we see that the boys were so focused on hunting, and killing is second nature to them as they murder Simon thinking…
Lord of The Flies Essay
Crash! Suddenly the peaceful field trip you were having with your school has become a scramble for survival when the plane you were in has to make an emergency crash landing in a remote area. The Pilot and chaperones at the front of the plane are dead leaving only you and a large hand full of other students that you don't know alive. The boys in the book Lord of The Flies face a similar situation when the plane they were on to…
books for thousands of years. Many topics and ideas have already been written about, so some authors write a new story that restates a book or idea. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is an allegory to the story of the Garden of Eden from the Bible and restates many of the topics and ideas from that story.
In Lord of the Flies, the basic setting and characters parallel the Garden of Eden. In the story, a group of boys crash land in a beautiful and peaceful island paradise that directly resembles…
Unit 2 – Novel Ideas
Activity 3 – Sharing Information
Essay-Style Questions for Lord of the Flies
Section A – Novel
a) Compare and contrast two characters from the novel.
Lord of the flies is a novel centered more upon the actions of Jack and Ralph. In the novel, by William Golding, Jack and Ralph are two of the older boys, and they quickly become the two leaders of the island; One by election and one by force. Both of them come from the same civilization, and know how to follow rules, though…