After all, we’re not savages.”
- Jack Merridew, (CHAP 2. PG 42.)
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies follows the tale of a group of boys stranded on an isolated desert island, after their plane crashed. It takes place during an unspecified nuclear war; which was a major threat post WWII. Throughout the book Golding explores how a difficult situation can transform middle class English boys into having a much more savage nature, as well as splitting the ‘good’, from the ‘bad’.
By the end of chapter 1, Ralph and Piggy have already formed some sort of order, and by the time Jack and his choir are introduced, Ralph is already being looked up to by the other boys; especially the younger ones, or “littluns”. Jack appears, and instantly attempts to take over Ralph’s role and enforce his power by ordering his choir about as though he should be chief. The choir at first appears orderly and immaculately dressed, soon after this they are addressed as ‘hunters’, and due to the heat strip down their uniform, which causes them to look much less civilised. This also happens with the other boys in their school uniforms. The transformation of the choir marks a significant loss of order from the boys former lives. This could also symbolise the first step in a slow change towards savagery on the island and influence the behaviour of others.
Soon after the arrival on the island a clear hierarchy is visible with leaders such as Ralph and Jack on top closely followed by Simon and the other “bigguns” with “littluns” and Piggy being at the bottom; having to accept insults and jeers from the other children, especially Jack, who seems to house a special hatred for piggy from chapter one.
Near the beginning of the book Ralph and Piggy find a Conch horn near the platform where they have their meetings. The “conch” as it is then refered to, is a major aspect in the rest of the book as it brings all the kids together, (“we can use it to...