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Lord of the Flies Civilization vs Savagery

  • Date Submitted: 09/04/2010 11:59 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60 
  • Words: 1508
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Symbols and the savagery of human nature in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
Why did he chose children?

Civilization today has become almost completely reliant on technology. Almost the entire planet is connected by phone lines, roads, air travel, or the internet. People converse with others thousands of miles away through modern connections, watch live broadcasts of news in foreign lands or talk on wireless phones by use of satellites. We are governed by laws designed to protect us. We live in heated homes with fresh water and electricity. We commute to work by car or mass transit. We live by rules, values, and ideals that keep the peace. Our world is organized, convenient and technologically advanced. What would happen if suddenly our civilization disappeared, leaving us with only the things we were wearing, the ideals we were raised with, the things we could find in nature and our instincts? This is exactly what happened to the boys in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Ralph, Piggy, Jack and the other stranded students find themselves on a deserted island.

Golding's motives for choosing the island setting for the novel, Lord of the Flies was to have the characters isolated, where the laws of their governments could not reach them. The boys on the island represented a microcosm of world society. Golding chose children because they have not yet been fully conditioned by society to understand right from wrong and thus are guided by their instinct and what is inherent within them. Golding uses a great deal of symbolism throughout the novel. Different characters provide different symbols. Jack is a symbol of savagery and anarchy. Golding relates the inherent evil with Jack to the evil and cruelty of the larger world, which we all share. The conch shell becomes a powerful symbol of civilization and order, Piggy’s glasses represent the power of science and intellectual endeavor in society, Roger represents brutality and bloodlust at their most extreme,...

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