Decay of civilization in Lord of the Flies.
“Maybe’ he said hesitantly ‘Maybe there is a beast”…“Maybe there is only us” (5.89). When Simon said this; he was trying to explain that maybe the beast was in their minds and not in the island. He was right; the only beast in the island was in the kids: in their nature. With out rules and a society to tell them how to behave this kids create their own society, turn in to savages, and forget the moral and values that civilization has teached them. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies there is an evident decay of order and civilization. The decay shown by the author is present in many ways, including physical, verbal and with actions. In early chapters the author describes the kids, and says that they are dirty and that their hair is long and tangled; this shows how they are turning more and more in to savages. An other example of physical decay of civilization is when Jack covers his face with white clay, “For hunting. Like in the war. You know- dazzle paint. Like things trying to look like something else”(5.63). This initiates a change in Jack’s interests and attitude. He goes from worrying about been rescued, and about others, to loosing his identity. He is not the same Jack any more, he could be any one! And as part of his nature, he turns violent and more animal like. The author shows verbal decay in many dialogues between the kids. The way they express verbally changes. Jack talks with more authority and violence towards the end of the book. The next quote is from the first chapter of the book; “ We’ve got to decide about being rescued”(1.22). When he said this, he was thinking about all of the kids; been unselfish and trying to make a decision all together. Towards the end of the book his violent and destructive attitude increases. “ See? See? That’s what you well get! I mean that! There isn’t a tribe for you any more! The conch is gone-”… “I’m chief”(11.181).He claims the power with violence, he wants to be the chief of his new society. He wants power and hi is welling to do anything to get it. Killing, raping, torturing, abusing power, controlling others; it is all part of our nature. With out a society to declare the limits of morality and ethic, humans have a tendency to be destructive. These tendencies can lead to terrible consequences for ourselves and for the people who surround us. By creating a civilization with rules and consequences we are “forced” to follow the moral patterns that our society has imposed as an attempt to keep us away from our violent and evil nature. In the book Piggy was the only child who knew or had a pretty good idea of how important a society is. In the last chapter Ralph remembers his friend Piggy. “And in the middle of them, with ﬁlthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy”(12.202). He represented what is right, what is good, what is decent, justice, honor, common sense and morality. This shows how in the wildness human nature will always ignore, attack, and lastly kill morality.