Lord of the Flies Allegory: Civilization vs. Savagery

Topics: Civilization, Lord of the Flies, Instinct Pages: 3 (899 words) Published: November 11, 2010
Lord of the Flies Allegory: Civilization vs. Savagery

Every human has a primal instinct lying within them. It is not a question of how close to the actual surface it dwells, but rather how well an individual controls and copes with it. In a state of prolonged anguish and panic, what is one truly capable of? Can one remain sophisticated or will the temptation of their dark subconscious take over, bringing out the barbarianism which exists in us all? William Golding’s Lord of the Flies explores this inquiry through an allegory represented by a group of boys who have been marooned on a deserted island, with no surviving adults. Lord of the Flies has been interpreted and analyzed in several different manners; scholars have derived that the allegory of Civilization vs. Savagery is among the strongest interpretations based on considerable supporting evidence. Ralph represents reason and leadership while Jack is savagery and the hunger for power. Lastly the conch represents authority and order.

In the Civilization vs. Savagery allegory Ralph is part of civilization. He represents reason and leadership. While on the island it was Ralph who first gathered everyone on the beach. It was there that he was elected chief and he established their society. He runs a democracy where everyone votes on issues and he is willing to take everyone’s opinion into consideration. He believes that as long as they stay civilized they can easily survive, live in harmony, and eventually be rescued. “We’ve got to have rules and obey them,” (Golding, 42). Ralph insists on having rules on the island and at first Jack agrees with him although his jealousy for Ralph’s power drives him to constantly undermine and disobey Ralph and his requests. By blowing the conch Ralph can call a meeting whenever he likes, to discuss issues and give orders. “Ralph sat on a fallen tree trunk, his left side to the sun. On his right were most of the choir; on his left the larger boys who had not known each...
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