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Lord Of The Flies By William Golding: Civilized To Savage

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“What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?” (Page 3). William Golding believes that human nature is inherently evil. Considering what Golding went through in World War Two, Golding has developed ideas about how cruel human nature is and how insensitive humankind can be. He expressed his ideas through characters that have easily gone from civilized to savage in the island. You’d assume that if a plane of English schoolboys shot down, they would create their own English civilization on the island, but not according to Golding.

As you read further into the book, you witness sweet, innocent little schoolboys turn into savages that have no respect to the order or rules of society. He showed how fast humans could change their morals or what they’ve been taught. They gradually evolve into catastrophic children with awful behavior that is justified by their actions. Chapter one of “Lord of the Flies” was a biblical reference to Adam and Eve that compares the Island to the Garden of Eden. When Ralph and Piggy both go swimming uncovered, they are compared to when Adam and Eve went swimming uncovered in their lifetime. It symbolizes innocence since they were both young and have not yet committed a sin or have done anything wrong. It could also symbolize baptism or purity. They were pure from all the evil that has not yet been established on the island and all the revolting things they’re about to experience. You can also tell at in the beginning they had expectations set out that obviously didn’t work out. “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” (Page 42).

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In the beginning, Jack didn’t kill the pig because he didn’t have the heart to do it. Afterwards, Jack and the hunters killed a pig for the first time. This, in my opinion, was the foundation of the fall of civilization on the Island. Jack prioritizes killing the pig over being rescued. When Jack and the hunters killed their first pig, they chant, “Kill the pig, Cut her throat, Spill her blood”(Page 186), which is not only an odd thing for a group of 12-year-old boys to do, but also extremely disturbing. They also role-play the pigs’ death, another repulsive thing they do. From this point, onwards, they progress into painting their faces and imitating Native Americans’ style of clothing, neglecting the civilized world they used to live in. Killing the pig eventually lead jack and the hunters to “accidentally” kill Simon, thinking he was the beast. Jack claims that Simon was the beast and that the beast can disguise itself. Everyone on the island was responsible for Simon’s death, including Ralph and Piggy who stood there not trying to stop them nor doing anything. In the civilized world, the rules of society would not give you the authority to do that.

After killing Simon, there was a tremendous growth of savagery on the Island. Then, Roger releases a rock that hits Piggy and knocks him off Castle Rock down onto the rocks below, killing him and destroying the conch, which represents the rules of society. The conch being shattered indicates that the rules of the society and civilization have officially been destroyed and the Island is left with nothing but evil. In conclusion, the boys didn’t start out so bad. At some point in the story, they were pure from all the sins they’re about to commit. “You see, freedom has a way of destroying things” (Westerfeld). The boys were on an island away from adult supervision, free from the rules of society, which lead them to destruction. In my opinion, instead of turning into savages they should have found the humanity in them in order to apply the rules of society on the Island. They should have created unity in a desperate time like this. Unity is established by changing their thoughts of fear and mistrust into confidence and trust in themselves and others to solve problems.

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