Lord of the Flies (Savagery vs. Civilisation)

Topics: Allegory, Lord of the Flies, William Golding Pages: 2 (778 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Lord Of The Flies. Written By William Golding.
Savagery Vs. Civilisation

In the allegorical novel, Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding at the end of WWII, the writer communicates the main issue warning that given the right set of circumstances, human beings care capable of savagery. This issue in the novel is developed by the tracking of a struggle between the forces of good and evil or of civilisation versus savagery by using the symbols of the conch, the signal fire and the two characters Ralph and Jack. Becoming marooned on a deserted island with no adult supervision, a group of young boys decide to form their own civilisation with rules and regulations. Things start off well, but the longer the boys stay on the island the children’s innocence starts to give way to the savagery that lurks in them.

Firstly, by using the symbol of the conch, Golding communicates the main issue of civilisation versus savagery by creating the conch with a sense of democratic power. When Ralph and Piggy discover the conch shell they use it to summon the other boys. When the boys gather they then use it for civilisation and order by letting he who holds it speak, just as the man with the megaphone did. But as the story progresses, the conch loses its power as the island’s civilised manner is lost because the boys descend into savagery. “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” With the conch being destroyed we know that the civilisation that was left has also been destroyed, this is one of the most memorable parts of the novel. As the boys rampage through the island, I believe that the author is implying that humans have the natural tendency to descend into/revert to savagery and cruelty once all civilisation is lost.

Secondly, the symbol of the signal fire was used to represent the connection to civilisation that the boys had. We see in the beginning of the novel that...
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