Civilization vs. Savagery

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  • Topic: Human, Ontology, William Golding
  • Pages : 4 (1207 words )
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  • Published : November 7, 2010
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Civilization vs. Savagery.
Civilization today has become almost completely reliant on technology. Almostthe entire planet is connected by phone lines, roads, air travel, or the internet. Peopleconverse with others thousands of miles away through modern connections, watch livebroadcasts of news in foreign lands or talk on wireless phones by use of satellites. We aregoverned by laws designed to protect us. We live in heated homes with fresh water andelectricity. We commute to work by car or mass transit. We live by rules, values, andideals that keep the peace. Our world is organized, convenient and technologicallyadvanced. What would happen if suddenly our civilization disappeared, leaving us withonly the things we were wearing, the ideals we were raised with, the things we could findin nature and our instincts? This is exactly what happened to the boys in Lord of the Fliesby William Golding. Ralph, Piggy, Jack and the other stranded students find themselveson a deserted island. Golding's motives for choosing the island setting for the novel, Lord of the Flieswas to have the characters isolated, where the laws of their governments could not reachthem.The boys on the island represented a microcosm of world society. Golding chosechildren because they have not yet been fully conditioned by society to understand rightfrom wrong and thus are guided by their instinct and what is inherent within them.Golding uses a great deal of symbolism throughout the novel.Different charactersprovide different symbols.Jack is a symbol of savagery and anarchy.Golding relates theinherent evil with Jack to the evil and cruelty of the larger world, which we all share. Theconch shell becomes a powerful symbol of civilization and order, Piggy’s glassesrepresent the power of science and intellectual endeavor in society, Roger representsbrutality and bloodlust at their most extreme, the beast stands for the primal instinct ofsavagery that exists within all human beings, The Lord of the Flies...
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