Lord of the Flies: Establishing A Social Order

Essay add: 30-09-2015, 14:07   /   Views: 742
In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, he shows how a group of young schoolboys on an uninhabited island establish social order in the absence of adults. Golding also shows how when the boys stop abiding by the rules, that they destroy their society and that their savage side appears.

The main character, Ralph, is selected as the leader by the others voting. The only reason Ralph is elected leader is because of the conch, which he used to assemble everyone. It is shown that Ralph is the leader because of the conch because one boy said, “Let’s vote- … Him with the shell. Ralph! Ralph! Let him be chief with the trumpet-thing (22).”

Jack wanted to be chief. He even said, “I ought to be chief, because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp (22).” After not being picked to be chief, Ralph wanted to offer something to Jack. Ralph let Jack decide that since he was the leader of the choir, that he would make his choir boys hunters, and he would lead it.

Another little group that Ralph formed was some kind of a group of explorers. They were to go and see if they really were on an island. The formation of this group is seen when Ralph said, “So we’ve got to decide if this is an island. Three of us… will go on an expedition and find out. I’ll go, and Jack, and, and… and Simon (24).” The only reason Ralph decided on who would go and that they needed to find out if they were on an island, because he was chief.

Later in the book Jack decided to break off from Ralph’s society and make his own tribe. When Jack first breaks away from the others he said, “I’m not going to be a part of Ralph’s lot- I’m going off by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too (127).” So Jack leaves and tries to recruit people to join him. In the end everyone is a part of Jack’s tribe except Ralph and Piggy. Actually Jack’s tribe becomes savage.

The death of the mulberry-marked boy is the first of the several events that ultimately leads to the destruction of society is the novel. He is the first boy to introduce the beast and is also the first to die. His death results from irresponsible actions by the other boys and foreshadows evil later to come. The boy’s untimely end serves as a reminder of the guilt for Ralph, who does not even notice that the kid is missing until Piggy notifies everyone by saying, “That little’un – him with the mark on his face, I don’t see him. Where is he now? Him that talked about the snakes. He was down there - … That little’un that had the mark on his face – where is – he now? I tell you I don’t see him (46).” The mulberry – marked boy’s demise signifies a weakening of the newly formed social structure on the island.

Simon was the only boy who recognized the decline that increasingly occurred in the social structure of the island. Simon is one of the few on the island with the capability to understand the danger. Since Simon understood the danger that is why evil, or Jack and the other boys who turned savage, killed him. Since he was really the only one who could really see it in them.

Piggy’s death illustrates the complete collapse of humane society on the island. He is a scholar, secretly responsible for everyone’s survival the island and he counsels Ralph in all matters. One time Piggy counseled Ralph was when he said “We got no fire on the mountain. But what’s wrong with a fire down here? A fire could be built on them rocks. On the sand even. We’d make smoke just the same (129).” Since Piggy suggested that to Ralph, Ralph agreed and Ralph had them build a fire on the beach. When the boys kill Piggy, they basically destroy their only hope for extended survival on the island. His death further shows the destruction of social order and the increasing influence of evil. Roger kills Piggy purely for entertainment, once again illustrating wickedness in humanity.

The attempted murder of Ralph, a direct result of the complete collapse in their social structure on the island, shows the loss of reasoning and rational thinking by the boys. The fact that the boys hunt him with the intention to kill him and place his head on a stake that was made by Roger like they did when they killed the sow, is the final picture of the evil that had overcome the island.

William Golding further shows his theme by portraying death and the failing structure of civilization on the island. The comparison between evil and complete social collapse is evident in the symbolic and actual uses of death and evil in the boys’ isolated community: indeed, each of the deaths in the novel are important in the author’s view of inborn evil and shows the chain of events that result in the complete destruction of society on the island.

In conclusion Golding shows that man must have rules and social order to control his savage side. In the beginning when everyone was following the rules assemblies were called, the conch was used, and Ralph was the chief. But then later in the story Jack causes some controversy. Without rules there will be chaos, but Jack feels that they do not need the rules. In the end Jack realizes that he was wrong about not needing rules, because Ralph’s rule about always needing to keep the fire going saved them like Ralph said it would.

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