Lord of the Flies-Regression to an Animal

Topics: William Golding, Lord of the Flies, English-language films Pages: 3 (1054 words) Published: March 4, 2009
Barbaric Boy

Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding. It was written "to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature." William Golding does so through symbolism beginning with the airplane crash, representing the decomposition of the outside world. He then follows through with an attempt at rebuilding a society on a deserted island where its only inhabitants are a group of boys. Some of the most important characters in the novel are Ralph who acts impulsively toward several decisions that in due course end in failure, Jack who is the head choir boy at the school he attends and lives to follow rules, Piggy an intelligent boy who thinks things through before doing them, Simon the most mature boy on the island, and Roger who is a quiet and violent boy. Sir William Golding uses the boys’ submission to evil when not governed by rules, the regressive behaviors of man, and the loss of identity to show that man is an animal.

Lord of the Flies begins without violence and concludes with violence as a way of life for the boys. "Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering" (Golding 114,115). In this quote, Ralph, one of the stranded boys, is engulfed with aggression and is taking the reenactment of killing the pig to a much more frightening height, releasing aggression—not because he wants to, but because he is regressing back to that evolutionary period. A similar experience occurs when the boys beat Simon to death. Simon is the only character who seems to know that they are the beast, and in attempting to prove it, he is killed. “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leaped on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws” (Golding 153). Simon has now become “it” and though they realize it is Simon, they are overcome with such a powerful urge to hurt...
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