Lack of Society's Authority Figures

Topics: William Golding, Novel, Authority Pages: 4 (1494 words) Published: October 12, 2011
Lack of Society’s Authority Figures

Throughout the world, society’s authority figures control what citizens do from day to day life. These people create laws, consequences, maintain what happens within a city/province/country, and provide punishment to those who commit a crime and betray the laws set by the governments. Now, what exactly happens when these figures are no longer in the presence of society, and people have to fend for themselves, making their own rules and laws? Everything eventually tends to break down and turn into chaos. Therefore, without the constant supervision of society’s authority figures, there tends to be a power struggle between two groups of people, consequences for their actions, and violent displays. You are able to see these supporting features comparing in two different novels, “The Outsiders” by S.E.Hinton and “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding.

Whether you are comparing a country’s election between two different political parties or the space race between American and Russia, there is an obvious power struggle between the two groups. You will be able to see this in the novel “Lord of the Flies”. Right from the beginning of the novel, the two main characters, Jack and Ralph, instantly put up a fight in order to gain power of the children so that there is a leader and rules. Ralph narrates the story of the novel, and states “Shut up...seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things”. (Golding 22)

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and Jack reply’s with arrogance “I ought to be chief, because I’m chapter and head boy. I can sing C Sharp”. (Golding 22) The boys impose standards of society upon themselves, and we see how absurd it is to base any merit on the skills of their old lives. The two boys are fighting to be the leader, fighting to have power over the children. A similar power struggle can be seen in the novel “The Outsiders”. In this novel, there are two rival gangs, The Greasers and The Socs. They generally fight to show and...

Cited: Golding, William. Lord of the flies . New York: Coward-McCann, 1962. Print.
Hinton, S. E.. The outsiders, . New York: Viking Press, 1967. Print.
Golding, Sir William. "ipl2 Literary Criticism." ipl2: Information You Can Trust. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2011. .
"How is the island a microcosm of adult society." The Q&A wiki. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Aug. 2011.
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