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Lord of the Flies by William Golding - Savagery, Power and Fear

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Many characters in the story help prove how man must have rules in order to control his savage side. Ralph is the chief and he represents civilization and its parliaments. Piggy is Ralph's brain trust and an intellectual. Both Ralph and Piggy represent the struggle for order and democracy. Jack is the spark of wildness that burns hot and close to the surface, which later conflicts with Ralph. From the very beginning, Jack seems to harbor emotions of anger and savagery. Simon has them most positive outlook out of all of the characters and is a "Christ figure." He is good and pure and insists that they will be rescued. Roger represents pure evil and wrongness. He gets pleasure in torturing pigs and was the first one to intentionally kill another boy when he smashed Piggy with a boulder. Sam and Eric are the twins that do everything together. They represent unity and reliance. Later in the story, they reveal Ralph's hiding place to Jack because the loss of civilization led them to lose any real sense of loyalty to others. These characters assist in showing how the theme is brought out.

There are also many symbols in the novel. The conch represents rules, civilization, democracy and order. Piggy's glasses represent clear-sightedness and intelligence. The state of the glasses represents the status of social order. When they break, it marks the progressive decay of rational influence. The island represents the world. The "scar" represents man's destruction. The Lord of the Flies represents the Devil and the great danger or evil. The killing of the sow and the hunting of pigs are accomplished in terms of sexual intercourse. The beast that the "littleuns" are afraid of being created by the emotions that all of the boys on the island are experiencing. The beast represents the evil residing within everyone and the dark side of human nature. All of the boys on the island have experienced murders; death, sexual love, fears and terrors. These feelings release forces of death and the devil on the island, which create the beast. The most symbolic event in the book was the interview of Simon. The head was saying, "Everything was a bad business." The mouth that Simon imagined he looked into represents ravenous, unreasoning, and eternally greedy nature. These are most of the main symbols of the novel that help to bring out the theme.

Man must have rules in order to control his savage side. In the beginning of the book everyone follows the rules. Assemblies are called, the conch is used, and Ralph is the chief. But then later in the story Jack causes some controversy. Without rules, there will be chaos. Jack feels that they do not need the rules. Throughout the book you can see some foreshadowing of his savageness. While Jack's first attempt to kill the pig failed, his quote "next time..." foreshadowed his future of savage hunting. The primal dance performed by the hunters shows their change into savagery. Piggy and others are against the idea, but Jack is starting to become more and more savage and overpowering. Earlier Jack said, "Bullocks to the rules! Were strong! We hunt! If there's a beast, we'll hunt it down! We'll close in and beat and beat and beat-!" The assembly soon falls apart and the hunters begin to chant and dance. Jack remarked, "We don't need the conch anymore. We know who ought to say things. What good did Simon do speaking, or Bill, or Walter? It's time some people know they've got to keep quiet and let the deciding things to the rest of us." Ralph, on the other hand, showed his uncertainness in blocking his innate savagery when he joined in on the pig hunt and dance.



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