Civilisation and Savagery in Characters in Lord of the Flies by Wialliam Golding

Topics: Civilization, English-language films, Barbarian Pages: 1 (380 words) Published: October 31, 2010
‘Which is better - to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill’ This essay will use three characters to show how William Golding explores the concept of civilization and savagery in his novel, Lord of the Flies. The first character that is explored is Ralph. He represents civilization, ‘a face that proclaimed no devil’. Ralph is the elected leader and represents a democracy. He gives everyone a chance to speak provided that it is done in a fair and ordered manner. He is community minded. Ralph’s ultimate goal is to keep the fire going so that they can be rescued and return to the civilized world. He says, “Without the smoke signal, we’ll die here”. Ralph makes decisions based on what is best for everyone. Ralph misses the civilized world, ‘He would like to have a bath, a proper wallow of soap’. Roger is the next character that will be discussed. Roger is malicious, cruel and disrespectful. This is illustrated when he walks straight through the littluns’ sandcastles. Later, he throws stones at them but deliberately misses because he feels guilt as he knows it is unethical. Roger enjoys being a bully, “some source of power began to pulse in Roger’s body”. He shows his savage nature when he sharpens the stick at both ends and beats Sam and Eric. The twins describe Roger as ‘a terror’. Jack is the final and most savage character that is discussed. He is an autocratic leader who does not have compassion for others. Jack does not care about being rescued; at one moment, he had to think before he could remember what rescue was. He paints his body as camouflage when hunting but this has a more sinister effect, he can hide behind the mask, assuming personality or role. He resorts to the primitive life and is mesmerized by the ‘lashing of blood’ and the amount of blood spilt by the pigs. While Jack hunts, his movements become animal-like. When Roger suggests that they need a real pig for the chanting ritual, because ‘you’ve got to kill him’, Jack suggests that they use...
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