Lord of the Flies: Civilization vs. Savagery

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Lord of the Flies: Civilization vs. Savagery

By | September 2013
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Civilization vs. Savagery
William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies is a novel that displays the power and importance of the rules of civilization and its role in preventing humans from following their natural inclination toward savagery. This novel displays how the rules of civilization are overcome by savagery when rules and authority get displaced, and savagery starts to become inevitable.  When the boys were first ‘placed’ on the island it was the boy’s original instinct to be civil and just. The boys voted on a leader, Ralph, and established rules and jobs for the boys to do and follow. This civility between the boys can be seen deteriorating throughout the course of the six hunts. Jack, who was obsessed with hunting pigs to prove himself as a hunter, is the leader of this deterioration. This deterioration started first when the three of the boys were on an expedition to search the island for any signs of other people. The three boys came across a piglet stuck in the brush but Jack froze “because the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood” (Lord of the Flies, page 29). Jack was scared of the idea of killing and spilling blood of a living animal.  This action shows that Jack was still held back by the rules of civilization. This close call is what started to fuel Jacks obsession to hunt to kill. After Jack killed his first pig, and realized that he can kill without any negative consequences, he brutally killed a mother sow with piglets. He then cut the head off and placed it on a stick that was sharpened at both ends as a sacrifice to the beast. This shows Jacks savage obsession to kill pigs was beginning to take over, and his fear of blood was no more. This brutal kill was savage and reckless. Jack became so confident that he can kill anything, that it lead him to want to hurt a human. Jack ended up becoming so savage that he hunted Ralph. This was when almost all of the rules that held Jack...

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