Descending into Savagery
“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!” (Golding 152). This is what a dozen of stranded, adolescent boys are chanting as they slowly lose their touch with reality in William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies. The boys are being led from England at the dawn of the third world war when their plane is shot down. The boys land on a utopia-like island with no adults and no rules, they think it will all be fun and games, but their opinions change very soon. The boys lose their touch with reality and slowly slip into a deep state of savagery, which is hard to escape from. Golding symbolizes the decent into savagery with the island, the painted faces, and the Lord of the Flies.
Golding uses the island as one example to show how the boys lose their civility. When the boys first crash on the island, all they can notice is how perfect their temporary home is. “The shore was flagged with palm trees. These stood or leaned or reclined against the light and their green feathers were a hundred feet up in the air” (Golding 9). The boys enjoy life with no parents or rules, and figure out the island has a lot to offer to help with keeping them alive. After the group meets at assemblies, the boys know where to bathe, where to go to the bathroom, and where the signal fire shall be placed. Later on in the book, as the boys try to preserve the shriveling amount of civility that they have, Ralph calls a meeting to re-discuss rules. Ralph blows the conch and all the bigguns and littluns gather for this serious meeting. Ralph refuses to have the littluns goof off and he begins bantering off about how the island has turned dirty and nobody is doing his job anymore. Ralph express, ”‘We’ve all got to use the rocks again. This place is getting dirty”’ (Golding 80). It is clear that Ralph is not approving of the living conditions and is craving for there to be order and civility on the island. The once utopia-like...
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