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Various Essays on Golding's "lord of the Flies"

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1. Given that Piggy represents society and its rules, he must have found his situation on the island disturbing at the least. At first, there is no organized social structure of any kind; no position of leadership existed. There was an absence of rules. This must have been very disturbing to Piggy. Then, as the story progresses, a sort of chain of leadership emerges with Ralph being voted as "chief." "Ralph raised his hand for silence. 'All right. Who wants Jack for chief?' With dreary obedience the choir raised their hands. 'Who wants me?' Every hand outside the choir except Piggy's was raised immediately. Then, Piggy too, raised his hand grudgingly into the air. Ralph counted. 'I'm chief then.'"(LoF p21). Then, a little bit later, Ralph brings up the idea of rules: "Jack was on his feet. 'We'll have rules!' he cried excitedly. Lots of rules! Then when anyone breaks them-'"(LoF p33). When the "hunters" kill their first pig is when we start to see signs of a more primal society, or lack thereof. They repeat the chant, "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood." Piggy obviously if fed up with Jack and his hunters, asking, "What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages? What's grownups going to think?'"(LoF p.91). And then, Ralph's authority is challenged by Jack. Jack first disregards the rule of letting the person with conch speak without interruption. Then he directly challenges Ralph, saying, "And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there, telling people what to do. You can't hunt, you can't sing-'"(LoF p91). From this confrontation is goes downhill on the island. On pg. 114, a "game" gets a little out of hand, when Robert pretends to be the pig, and the others pretend to hunt him, but then they become more serious and actually hurt him. He is not killed, however. Eventually, Jack and some of the other boys split apart from Ralph and his "group." Jack and his hunting band kill another pig savagely, reveling in its agony. The "peak of their decline" was when they killed Simon, calling him a beast, during the storm. Then Piggy is killed, and the conch is shattered, and that is when I consider them to be at the absolute lowest in society: nothing more than savages.

2. In the novel, Sam and Eric are introduced early as two separate people, beings, that resemble one entity. "Even while he blew, Ralph noticed the last pair of bodies that reached the platform above a fluttering patch of black. The two boys, bullet-headed, with hair like tow, flung themselves down and lay grinning and panting at Ralph like dogs. They were twins, and the eye was shocked and incredulous at such cheery duplication. They breathed together, they grinned together, they were chunky and vital" (LoF p19). After a while, the twins are treated almost as one being. An example of this can be found when Jack says, "Samneric. Get me a coconut. An empty one"(LoF p63). They become inseparable, and wherever one is, the other is always close by. It seems almost impossible for each to do something independently; they do everything together, as one. "They were the twins, on duty at the fire. In theory one should have been asleep and one on watch. But they could never manage to do things sensibly if that meant acting independently, and since staying awake all night was impossible, they had both gone to sleep" (LoF p96). The twins even finish each others' sentences. When speaking, a person must have the conch, and no one else is supposed to speak. But when one of the twins has the conch, both are allowed to speak. "He handed the conch to Eric, the nearest of the twins. 'We've seen the beast with our own eyes. No--we weren't asleep--' Sam took up the story. By custom now one conch did for both twins, for their substantial unity was recognized"(LoF p100). The purpose of the twins in the novel is not so easily stated, but I think that at least part of it is to show the instinct of self-preservation, and how that combats with the will to help others. When Sam and Eric are forced to join Jack's "tribe", they leave Ralph on his own. Later, Ralph shows up and they warn him, give him some meat, but refuse to go with him, even though, according to Ralph, "three have a chance." They fear for themselves more than for Ralph, and they help him, but not so much that it would endanger them. The theme of Lord of the Flies seems to be an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature. In this, it seems that Sam and Eric, each being a prefect replica of the other, show the human nature that is self-preservation, and the fall of society can be attributed to the caring of man for himself over others. Until man can truly care about others over himself, society can never truly be complete, because each person, no matter what, will always strive for personal survival and success.

3. In Lord of the Flies, Jack is a character obsessed with power and an almost animal-like hunger for killing and blood. Roger is described as, "a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy"(LoF p22). Throughout the novel, the character of Roger is not described in-depth, and he is not mentioned as frequently as others. Despite this, he comes across as a sort of vice-leader to Jack, especially later in the book. The statement, "There is no Jack without a Roger" means two things to me. My first thought is that it is very general term, using two characters from the novel to illustrate its point. That point would be that for every person like Jack, every power-hungry leader, there is another person willing to assist them in exchange for his own, though less, share of power. My second though is that the statement refers to Jack as the leader, the person willing to take charge, wanting to control, and Roger represents the "common man", for lack of a better term. For all of the Rogers in the world, there are only a few Jacks, to lead them, to control them. And so if you take away the Roger, the Jack has no one to lead, no one to control. What would Jack do if he had no tribe of which to be chief? It's like having a President, but no country. Also, in the book, Roger is somewhat of a natural sadist, and become the official torturer and executioner for the tribe. So the statement could also mean for every Jack who leads, there must be a person, a Roger, willing to enforce Jack's decisions, a kind of police, or maybe gestapo.

4. In Lord of the Flies, politics are an integral part of the



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