Lord of the Flies Essay

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Lord of the Flies Essay

A famous man once said “It is not what society can do for man, but it is what man can do for society.” This means that what we can do can affect our society for the better or for the worst. In his essay, Epstein stated that the theme of The Lord of the Flies was an attempt to trace the defects of human nature back to the defects of society. Golding was specifically stating that these defects were traits that negatively affect our society as a whole. Traits such as the lack of self-control, and pride lead to the main cause for the society we live in; aggression.

Self-control keeps order in a society. Without it, our community would have no rules and turn into chaos. In The Lord of the Flies, the boys had found a way to maintain peace and control among them: “A conch he called it. He used it to blow it and his mother would come… (p.14)” With the discovery of the conch, the boys had found a temporary symbol that united them and kept them all under control. This did not last long. The aggression between the boys had slowly begun to tear at the peace they had established. By the end of the book, aggression had completely taken over: “… The conch exploded into a thousand pieces and ceased to exist. (p.181)” Without the conch, their symbol of law and order, the boys quickly fell into savagery and slowly began to lose their civilization.

Normally pride is a good thing for society. It keeps a healthy challenge between the people within the community. But too much pride can lead to tension and aggression. In The Lord of the Flies, Jack falls into this same situation. In the beginning of the book, Jack was nothing more than an innocent child who was uncomfortable in the situation he was in: “They knew why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood. (p.31)” Because he couldn’t kill the pig, Jack had thought that he had failed his friends and himself, and as a...
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