Lord of the Flies Theme

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When a group of children become stranded on a deserted island, the rules of society no longer apply to them. Without the supervision of their parents or of the law, the primitive nature of the boys surfaces. Consequently, the boys live without luxury that could have been obtained had they maintained a society on the island. Instead, these young boys take advantage of their freedom, and life as they knew it deteriorates. Lord of the Flies is influenced by the author's life and experiences. Golding's outlook on life changes, due to his heavy involvement in W.W.II, to his current philosophy that "The shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual, and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable" (Baker, 1965).

The major theme that Golding develops in Lord of the Flies is the deterioration of rules and order in a lawless environment. Deterioration is the reduction of value and quality that may result in chaos. In this novel, the rules that are made are quickly broken or forgotten. Through the course of the novel, this statement becomes evident with the neglecting of the shelters, when Jack allows the fire to burn out, and the change in character of Roger. Each of these examples show Golding's pessimistic attitude that all humans are potentially evil, and also his views on the future of mankind.

An example of deterioration of rules occurs when the building of the huts is neglected. All of the boys have agreed that the need for shelters is important. A rule is made that the boys will work as a group to build the huts for protection from weather and to act as a home for the littl'uns. The boys ignore the task and become preoccupied with hunting, swimming and eating, leaving the huts unfinished and rank. Therefore, the neglecting of the shelters is an example of the deterioration of rules in the novel.

Deterioration is also shown when Jack alters the use of fire. The rule that Ralph, the leader,...
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