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Factors, Which Caused The Process Of Degradation In "The Lord Of Flies"

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Within the novel innocence is progressively lost through the boys. The boys were placed in a situation where they had no other choice but to grow up, and grow up fast. These boys were put in a very traumatic situation and they had to learn on their own and from each other how to survive and almost create a thriving society all on their own. Slowly they learn that their needs to be a leader, but there are no adults to precede the role of authority. Therefore the children resume power and take the role of authority. All these things make the boys lose their innocence and become very violent. No one is completely innocent and everyone has the ability to turn violent, this is demonstrated in this novel.

In the Lord of the Flies, the boys started off by adopting civil rules and creating civility amongst themselves. In Lord of the Flies, the boys’ descent to savagery was a gradual process, which was influenced by many different factors

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Below list the following factors:

Laziness

Later on in the book, the younger boys start to become lazy, and not do their work. This is mainly influenced by Jacks lazy attitude. “I agree with Ralph. We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are best at everything. So we’ve got to do the right things. “We’ll let the fire burn out now. Who would see smoke at night-time, anyway? And we can start the fire again whenever we like. Altos, you can keep the fire going this week, and trebles the next–” Jack From this quote, you can see that Jack is suggesting letting the fire out because he thinks they can light it later. This shows that Jack doesn’t value the fire, and the hard work it takes to keep it going. The rest of the boys copy Jack’s apathetic attitude, and as a result, the shelters don’t get made.

Lack of Faith

As the days go by without any sign of a rescue ship, the boys start to doubt if they will ever get rescued. This discourages them from working to keep the signal fire going.”I’ve been watching the sea. There hasn’t been the trace of a ship. Perhaps we’ll never be rescued. As a result of this. The boys stop guarding the fire and the fire goes out, they struggle to make fire and Piggy’s glasses break

War paint

Jack uses wet red and white clay and makes black marks with a stick of charcoal. His purpose is to replicate the effect of “dazzle paint” which was used in the two World Wars to break up the outline of ships. He wishes to camouflage himself so that the pigs won’t spot him in the jungle foliage and patches of light. Once he applies the paint however Jack also becomes aware that “behind the mask” of his painted face he is free from all restraints and responsibilities, he can in effect do what he pleases.”For hunting. Like in the war. You know–dazzle paint. Like things trying to look like something else”-“–Like moths on a tree trunk. ” When the boys follow Jack and apply paint to themselves they almost instantly change. The war paint starts to reveal the hunters’ inner savagery and it conceals their true identities so they can do whatever they want with no consequences … Even murder.“The others nodded. They understood only too well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought.”

Lack of Democracy

When the younger boys started following Jack, Things got out of hand. Jack influenced the boys’ and made them follow his rebellious ways. Later on in the book, he leads them to killing the sow and putting its head on a stake, which is perhaps the most brutal display of savagery. He leads them into believing that there is a beast, and evokes fear upon them. Ralph is trying to tell the boys that there is no beast and that it is all in their heads. This fear of the beast eventually leads to the death of Simon, the most civilized of them all. “The thing is–fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream. There aren’t any beasts to be afraid of on this island.” “Serve you right if something did get you, you useless lot of cry-babies! But there is no animal”- —Jack

Loss of Innocence

After the boys’ most riveting display of brutality and savagery (the slaughtering of the sow), the boys’ sense of morality and civility is completely gone. Their innocence goes along with it. They are no longer little church boys-but brutal savages being completely misguided by an even more brutal fascist-like leader. “Jack held up the head and jammed the soft throat down on the pointed end of the stick which pierced through into the mouth. He stood back and the head hung there, a little blood dribbling down the stick”

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