A Struggle for Power (Lord of the Flies)

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A Struggle for Power
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies presents a story of a group of boys who become stranded on an island together, and in their struggle to survive; some begin to fight for power. Having power makes them feel in control of their situation; however, this power struggle quickly begins to consume them. Golding uses the power struggle between Ralph and Jack, the two main characters, to illustrate the power struggle between good and evil.

Ralph and Jack both have very different opinions about the conch. By showing these opinions, they illustrate the struggle between good and evil. From the very beginning, a conch is used to summon the boys and it quickly becomes clear that the conch symbolizes the constraints of society. Throughout the book, Ralph clings to the conch as if it is all he has, while Jack acts as if the thing is useless. “Ralph found his cheek touching the conch” showing how he uses it for actual comfort. Jack, on the other hand, ignores the fact that the conch gives someone the power to speak by ignoring whoever is holding it and speaking anyways. Closer to the end, once Jack breaks off from the main group and starts his own tribe, he dethrones the conch of its rule and deems it insignificant. Ralph tries to converse with him and is interrupted. He then says, “I’ve got the conch,” to which Jack tells him, “the conch doesn’t count at this end of the island.” This is Golding’s way of showing readers that Jack has no desire for order, and in society rules and order are considered good. Anything without rules and order is looked upon as bad. The opposite natures of the two boys represent the opposite natures of good and evil.

One very widely accepted fact is that killing is bad. Sadly enough, the children in Lord of the Flies are pressured to let go of this important rule and give in to the cruel ways of evil. One character who never seems to be affected by this unpleasant act is Jack. When they receive duties to carry out on...
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