Classics and Composition I
25 February 2013
Savagery vs. Civilization
In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the boys on the island start off as a group of refined British boys, however as time goes by, their humane ways are put to rest and readers witness the savagery and violence that these once-civil boys possess.
In the beginning of the book, all the boys portray a civilized attitude about them—some more than others. Piggy for instance, throughout the story is the character that is at many times the most proper and sensible. Piggy being the superego of the story line, loved having order and following rules and traditions. For example, Piggy is the one who thought it wise to keep track of all the boys by inquiring about their names. “I expect we’ll want to know all their names,’ said the fat boy, ‘and make a list” (Golding 11). For Piggy, it was important to obtain structure and have a system while on the island, and thus the conch was highly worshipped by him. Because of Piggy’s physical disadvantages, the only way for him to have a chance to be heard is to have the conch. “I got the conch,’ said Piggy indignantly. ‘You let me speak” (Golding 42).
Ralph also has somewhat of a need for civilization and structure though not as much as Piggy. Ralph’s motives are driven by being rescued, where Piggy is more concerned about maintaining the “properness” the boys were raised on. Ralph thought it a good idea to keep a fire constantly going in hope that a ship would spot the smoke. “If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. We must make a fire” (Golding 38). Other civilized ideas that Jack possessed was using a specific designation as a bathroom, filling shells with water, and building better shelters. All these things are attempts on having a unity and agreement amongst the boys. Despite both Piggy and Ralph’s attempts on preserving civilization, unfortunately in the end,...
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