The Proof of Savagery
When we first open our eyes to this vast world, we are simultaneously introduced to a civilized society. We are taught in school to do the right things and avoid wrong behavior: respect and consideration is crucial, harassment and bullying is unacceptable. But, what if we are placed on a deserted island, where there are no pre-established rules or norms for us to follow and stick to? Does our human nature reveal itself then? Do we start to believe in survival of the fittest, thus lose all sense of reason and pity? Do we forget all the rules of society civilization? In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a group of boys are forced to learn to live harmoniously after a plane crash, which lands them in a foreign island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the process, some manage to remain rational and in control, as their leader Ralph, whereas others gradually transform into savages and intimidators, as the aggressive hunter, Jack. Golding introduces the stark contrast between civilization and savagery and how human nature is exposed at critical moments through many symbols that echoes throughout the book. The interactions between the older and younger boys, the ‘beastie’ and death are three of the many symbolisms that show the different actions and thoughts of people placed in a difficult, or even impossible situation. The saying “Survival for the fittest” is often seen in the wild, where stronger animals hunt down the weaker ones. A civilized society educates people not to scornfully despise or put down others. The group of boys on the island consists of both older and younger kids. The interactions between them show how human nature can retain its purity and goodness, as well as reveal its selfish and merciless side, exemplifying the conflict between civilization and savagery. Jack, Ralph and Piggy were three of the older boys. Jack, compelling and authoritative, often ignores the littluns and doesn’t really care about their...
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