Brutality in Lord of the Flies

Topics: KILL, William Golding, Lord of the Flies Pages: 2 (680 words) Published: November 29, 2009
Humans are known for being brutal and vicious. Even as a kid when you take great pleasure in smashing and killing the bugs in your back yard, to when you turn 18 and join the army to be trained to kill. These kinds of things happen every day but rarely do you see them portrayed to the extent of what is really happening, in writing. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Golding uses characters like Jack Merridew and events like the pig kills to perpetuate the concept of fear and show the more brutal side of human nature.

Although Jack takes charge of awkward situations, Jack uses fear to gain power and control people weaker than him. There are many times when Jack threatens the other boys physically because he has done something regretful or embarrassing. On one of these occasions Jack, Ralph, and Simon are exploring the mountain and find a pig caught in the creepers. Jack immediately draws his knife to kill but is unable to take its life. When Ralph tries to question Jack about this Jack, “snatched his knife…and slammed it into a tree trunk…daring [Ralph and Simon] to contradict” which shows that to hide his embarrassment he must intimidate the boys(31). Even more he puts the boys in a position where challenging him wouldn’t be a smart option or choice. In the novel Jack degrades and take advantage of the smaller boys or littluns many times. At some point Jack becomes mad and decides to take it out on a littlun so he makes the boys “tie Wilfred up” and “beat Wilfred “ which shows he has quite a big capacity for brutality (159). This also connects to the thematic idea that “a society can often be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens” because the tribe has become brutal and savage and now hurt the littluns who cant even protect themselves. From each of these events Jack uses his power and control over others to put the boys in horrible or difficult situations proving how Jack perpetuates the concept of fear....
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