The presence of fear in Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies is a relatively short book, but within its small amount of text William Golding is able to do much more than tell an exciting story. He digs deep into human nature and the natural corruption in people's souls. He specifically explores the impact that fear has on people and how it makes them act. In Golding's eyes, humans are doomed just as the children on the island are, and that is because of fear. He believes that just the presence of terror causes people to overreact and lose common sense, tearing away at the bonds that hold society together. In an attempt to calm or soothe their worries, people end up separating, singling out others and letting their inner savage take over, leaving themselves in an even worse situation. In Lord of the Flies, fear slowly drives all common sense and civility out of the boys and brings them back to a state of savagery. The boys are scared from the beginning of the novel. At first, they are too excited about having an island to themselves to dwell upon their insecurities, but nonetheless they are there. The fear is not openly shown or discussed, but the boys are already subconsciously trying to cover it up. The boys do such things such as singling out Piggy in an attempt to make themselves feel more powerful and in control. Then, Jack pulls a knife on the piglet to try to show power and also to try to show immunity to fear, however, when he did so his "face was white under the freckles."(31). Jack is already trying to act tough but at this point this cover that he puts on to hide from the fear has not reached nearly the point of savagery that it does later in the story. It is not until the first fire that the boys begin to openly show fear and even then they quickly change the subject. The cause of this realization of reality is that one of the "little'uns" disappears. The idea of making a rescue fire is so exciting that they let it get out of control. When the fire...
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