Lord of the Flies Essay

Topics: Instinct, Civilization, Novel Pages: 4 (1415 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Lord Of The Flies clearly shows that civilisation is only skin-deep. Discuss.

One of the key themes of the novel Lord Of The Flies is that beneath a veil of rules and propriety, humans hide a savage nature and instinct. The novel tells the story of a group of young boys dropped on an uninhabited island, and their struggle to replicate the society that they grew up in.

The society that we live in today is much like the society the boys grew up in. It is built upon rules and regulations enforced by punishments. Our society has taken many centuries to build up and has been tried and tested over time. It is a complex way of life with restrictions, hierarchy, police, lawyers, technicalities, ethics, religions, popularity, and much more. Furthermore, our society is constructed using an intricate web of laws that guide our behaviour in the way deemed acceptable for the times.

The children in the novel begin trying to emulate a democracy with rules and equality, but are unable to continue to follow these rules, because of the lack of a clear authority, punishments, maturity and sophistication. They try to replicate a form of civilisation that their environment and their population does not support. The eldest boys are 12 years of age, and are not mature enough, nor have the authority to create the system they are used to. In school or at home there would be people who are obviously higher or lower in ranking than them and they adjust their behaviours dependent on these rankings. However on the island the boys have no way of determining who outranks whom, because they are all so alike. They elect a leader, Ralph, in an attempt to create a clear authority, but because of their similarities and immaturity, the group do not respect his authority. Rebellion and refusal to comply with punishment is so easy and reflects playground struggles. In page 217 Jack cries “got to? Who says?” this is a clear example of this lack of maturity and inability to form a...
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