12 April 2011
The Devolution of Society in Lord of the Flies
The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding is all about a civilized society that takes a tragic turn towards savagery. At the beginning of the novel, the boys make an honest attempt to create rules and order. The conch is used to call assemblies and to let people express their opinions by speaking one at a time. Furthermore, all the boys are assigned specific tasks and chores that they are in charge of. There are also rules about where to eat, where to go to the bathroom and about how the signal fire must be always burning. Unfortunately, it does not take long before these rules start being disobeyed. When the boys start breaking the rules, their whole society begins to fall apart. The boys’ society changes for the worst in the novel Lord of the Flies (THESIS). This unfortunate change can be better understood by discussing three important events from the novel: when the hunters first let the signal fire out (SUPPORTING IDEA #1), when the hunters begin to wear face paint (SUPPORTING IDEA #2), and when Simon is killed (SUPPORTING IDEA #3).
The first event that proves that the boys’ society is changing for the worst is when the hunters let the signal fire burn out. When Jack decides that he needs all his hunters’ help in catching the pig, no one is left to watch the fire. This is very significant because during this time, a ship passes the island. First of all, the fire represents the connection that the boys have with civilization; as long as the fire is burning, there is hope for rescue. Therefore, the hope for rescue and the connection to civilization are both lost when the fire dies. With both of these things gone, the society that the boys first strive for begins to slowly slip away. Secondly, when the hunters fail to do their job of keeping the fire going, this makes Ralph very upset. Ralph knows how important the fire is in terms of getting rescued and he yells at Jack, “There...