Savagery in the Lord of the Flies

Topics: English-language films, Barbarian, Savage Pages: 6 (2498 words) Published: June 8, 2013
“At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt onto the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore” (139). This brawl takes place when the boys’ believe Simon is “the beast”, so they attack and kill him. The author of this novel, Golding, is very wise about his word choice during this whole novel; he wants the boys’ to be shown in a way that portrays them as having instincts towards savagery. One way he achieves this is by using specific words to describe how the boys’ have become unkempt, unpolished and messy during their stay at the Island. Obviously, since the boys’ have been trapped on this Island for quite some time, readers would imagine that they would figure out how to take bath’s and wash up, but of course they do not. In addition, Golding uses his diction to make the boys’ seem violent, which is a characteristic of a savage. Throughout this book, the boys’ repeatedly fight, and cause harm to one another and the author emphasizes these actions by his word choice. Furthermore, the boys’ are perceived as enraged by the reader because of the authors’ diction, and this reveals the boys’ instincts towards savagery. According to, savage is defined as being, “uncivilized and barbarous”. Golding, the author of “Lord of the Flies”, displays the boys’ instincts towards savagery by displaying careful diction throughout the chapters that make the boys’ out to be barbaric.

Throughout the course of the novel, Golding uses thoughtful diction to develop the boys’ instinct towards savagery by presenting them as unpolished which is a factor of being barbaric. “He would like to have a bath, a proper wallow with soap” (99). When the author stated this, the boys had been on the island for quite a while. Obviously, the boys had no access to soap while on the island, so they became dirty from everyday activities such as gathering wood, building shelter, and hunting pigs. Because the boys did not have access to soap, there is no plausible way they would get thoroughly washed. Since the boys became filthy over the course of their time on the island and could not get entirely clean, this causes them to become unpolished. “Unpolished” means to be dirty, untrimmed or unsophisticated. By Goldings’ use of the word “bath”, and “soap”, this immediately creates a picture of someone taking a cleansing bath. This causes the reader to infer that the boys’ are in fact savage because they are the opposite of clean; they are dirty. The boys present themselves as being dirty by showering without soap; thus making them improperly cleaned. Also, the boys demonstrate instinct towards savagery by being unpolished by growing out their hair. Being unpolished is part of being a savage or being barbaric, (they are synonyms), because savages’ do not comb their hair and make an effort to stay clean; they just stay dirty. Also, the boys’ demonstrate being unpolished by growing out their hair. “Diffidently, Simon allowed his pace to slacken until he was walking side by side with Ralph and looking up at him through the course black hair that now fell to his eyes” (94). In this phrase, the author is implying that Simon’s hair use to be short and has grown. When Golding chooses the diction “now”, this implies that Simon’s hair was once short and is “now” long. But if Golding discarded the word “now” in that phrase, then the reader would infer that Simon had long hair to begin with. So it is important that Golding includes the word “now” so that the reader can pick up that the boys’ hair has grown longer. At this point in the book, the boys have been stuck on the island for a little while and have clearly decided not to cut their hair. But theoretically speaking they could not cut their hair because they have no access to scissors. As a result of not having scissors to cut their hair, they become unpolished. When their hair grows this makes them look unpolished because their hair is untrimmed, in their eyes, and messy. By the boys’ not...
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