Lord Of The Flies: Regression of Humanity
To go backwards in life means to regress; This is shown excessively throughout the novel Lord Of The Flies by William Golding. It is about young boys who strive to stay civilized but ultimately regress back into a savage phase, where their primal needs for food and shelter dominate. The breaking of the conch shell and the use of face paint and spears demonstrate the regression of the boys which is caused by a lack of law and order, and therefore ends in total destruction of the island.
The conch shell’s original purpose was to create rules in the boys’ lives, however it ends up being destroyed. During an argument between Jack, chief of the hunters, and Ralph, chief of the boys, they say;
“The rules!’ shouted Ralph. ’You’re breaking the rules.’
Because the rules are the only thing we’ve got!’
‘Bollocks to the rules!”(91).
This proves that the shell is losing its power and authority to some, mainly Jack. Another example of the boys regressing is the breaking of the conch shell. When Piggy, an intelligent, but social outcast due to his weight, tries to stand up to Jack, the narrator explains how Roger, one of Jack’s many hunters, pushes a boulder on top of Piggy and Walker
shatters the shell; “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist”(181). This shows how the boys are willing to demolish whatever or whoever comes in their way because there is no law and order to stop them. The breaking of the conch is a sever sign of regression however, this problem is also caused by the use of face paint.
The use of face paint to the boys is to hide their problems and create a new identity for themselves, however Jack chooses to use it in a different way. He explains to Roger what he chooses to use this mask for; “For hunting. Like the war. You know - dazzle paint”(63). This proves that Jack has given up on trying to stay...
Cited: Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York, NY: The Putnam Publishing Group,
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