Lola Dement Myers Mr. Cooke April 26, 2013 English honors 9 Human Nature in Lord of the Flies
“During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man, against every man” (Hobbes, Leviathan).
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is a realistic fiction book placed in the 1940’s. The book is about a group of British schoolboys who are forced to cope on a deserted island. When they are first stranded on the island they act civil toward each other, but as the book progresses they become more and more savage. Throughout Lord of the Flies the boys change drastically, both mentally and physically, which causes the breakdown of order on the island. In the beginning, the school boys start out trying to find order within their newly found community. Two of the main characters, Jack and Ralph, are both “natural born” leaders. In the beginning of the book, Golding describes them as being civil school boys. They show that they have civilizing instinct on page 20 when Ralph calls a meeting by blowing the conch: “We are having a meeting. Come and join in”. Also, the way Jack and his choir present themselves: “...a party of boys, marching approximately in step in two parallel lines and dressed in strangely eccentric clothing” (19). The appearance of the choir shows that they had a sense of propriety. At this point in the book you can tell that the boys were still influenced by their past society. One example is when Jack hesitates and then fails to kill a pig “because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh; because of the unbearable blood” (31). The reader gets a sense that Jack along with the other boys are not yet “savages.” They all still have this moral feeling that it
would be wrong to kill a pig. They then go on by taking down names and selecting a leader. This shows their subconscious need for order. The conch that Ralph blows is a...
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