Regression In Lord Of The Flies

Words: 1003
Pages: 5

In 1954, a man named William Golding wrote a book called Lord of the Flies. While not popular at first, the story grew to have a huge impact, eventually causing people to question human nature itself. The novel raises the question of whether survival behavior and civilized behavior could coexist, and from the perspective of the author, the answer seems to be no. In Lord of the Flies, Golding uses symbols and behavioral and fitness patterns to show that as the boys regress in societal aspects, they evolve to better survive on the island.
Before examining the correlation between regression and evolution, one thing must first be made clear. In the novel, there is a very definite transition from civilization to savagery. In fact, this change can
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In Golding’s eyes, there seems to be a positive correlation between loss of civilization and ease of survival. This can be seen through what could quite possibly be the turning point of the entire novel. In chapter four, a trade off is made: fire for meat, or hope of rescue for survival (55-57). Ralph and the boys who cling to society see the signal fire as a necessity, but when the hunters let it go out, they put their hunt as a higher priority. The upkeep of the fire, a symbol of civilization, is sacrificed for a successful hunt, which is a symbol of savagery. This event marks the beginning of the end for civilized behavior on the island, but it also marks the beginning of becoming successful on the island. Once the hunters let go of society and give in to their savage desires, they are immediately successful in their hunt. It is through this scene that Golding seems to suggest that it is either one or the other, and sometimes for something to be gained something much greater must be let go of. However, this does not apply exclusively to the boys on the island. Golding’s island society is a “microcosm of the civilized world”, and simply by making a statement about the boys, he makes a statement about all of humanity (Macdonald).
In Lord of the Flies, Golding uses different elements such as symbols and events to show that civilization eventually gives way to savagery. In his novel, one thing is clear: evolution of man and regression of behavior go hand in hand, and survival may require the sacrifice of