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Savagery Prevails- Lord of the Flies

  • Date Submitted: 12/06/2011 07:00 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.7 
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ENG 3U1
2011-05-11
Savagery Prevails
“Which is better- to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?” (Golding W. 200) These are the intelligent words uttered by Piggy in William Golding’s classic novel, Lord of the Flies.   The plot revolves around a group of British schoolboys who are stranded on an uninhabited island following an unfortunate plane crash. They are faced with the challenge of survival, and savagery results from their efforts to govern themselves. The overreaching theme is that savagery comes more naturally than civilization. This idea is proven through three main examples: the altered appearance of the boys, the ignored deaths and the way in which hunting prevails over rescue. Lord of the Flies clearly demonstrates the idea that when people are left to their own devices, especially in the face of death, they resort with mercilessness, savagery and animalistic behaviour. (Lord of the Flies - Themes, Motifs & Symbols. 2009, July 11)
The boys’ appearances changed dramatically resulting in a barbaric fashion. Jack and his hunters created for themselves a barbaric appearance by painting their faces with the blood of a pig they had killed.   This mask of blood allowed the boys to act in any way they wished, without having to face the consequences of their actions. The boys felt as though their actions would not be connected to them and they would not be punished. The mask almost justified their savageness because the boys were able to pretend they were different people, “...the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from the shame and self consciousness.”(Golding W. 66) Jack sensed freedom from a human sensibility that would normally not enable him to act without restraint or second thought.   This new mask created power and allowed for acts of evil to break out on the island. This is clearly portrayed when the boys themselves would act like animals while hunting their prey; they were hunched over, crawling on the ground and...

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