Civilization

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Civilization is destroyed when Piggy’s specs are stolen, and when Jack splits away from Ralph and begins to lead a new tribe. It is Jack’s fear that makes him do this. He is afraid of Ralph being more powerful than him, and he doesn’t like to be reprimanded by the younger boy. To feel more powerful than Ralph, Jack defies him and leaves during a meeting, taking his new tribe with him. Golding also demonstrates the crumbling of civilization through symbols like Piggy’s glasses, the conch and the war paint. The glasses represent clear sightedness on the island. Half of the glasses broke when Jack steals them momentarily from Piggy after he and his hunters let the fire go out for the first time (71). The other half of the specs are not broken, but stolen permanently by Jack and his tribe after they break away from Ralph and need something to build a fire with (168). The conch represents order, but that order is demolished with the conch. In the beginning of the boys’ stay on the island, a boy is not allowed to talk during the meetings without the conch. However, meetings progress to shouting out of turn, and disregard for the authority of the conch. The symbol of war paint near the end of the novel demonstrates the actual fear that the boys still have for authority. Jack’s tribe uses the paint to hide themselves from the world’s punishments, and as an excuse to act without thinking. They feel as though they do not have to take responsibility for their actions. Golding shows civilization on the island being demolished through symbols and the splitting of the tribes.
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