Lord of the Flies - Changes of Freedom

This essay has a total of 2305 words and 8 pages.

Lord of the Flies - Changes of Freedom


William Golding the author of the book Lord of the Flies used a group of boys on an
isolated tropical island to illustrate problems in the nature of mankind. The group of
British school boys that become stranded on the island had to deal with changes that all
the boys underwent as they gradually adapted to the isolated freedom from society as they
knew it. Three of the boys that had to adapt to the island were Ralph, Piggy, and Jack and
each of the boys had different effects on themselves under those circumstances. Piggy was
a very educated boy who was mature than the other boys because of his academic childhood.
He grew up as an outcast and all the things that happened to him, as a child made him more
aware of the cruelty people possessed in the world. As chief of the savage tribe Jack was
very arrogant and self-righteous. The freedom of the island made him develop the darker
side of his personality even more than it already was. The last boy was Ralph who was very
dependent on Piggy’s wisdom. Towards the end of the book Ralph is rejected from the
society of the boys on the island and had to fend for himself. The events on the island
made the boys more aware of the evils inside themselves and others even though the
experience differed from boy to boy.


Piggy was the educated boy who was rejected by the other boys because he was overweight.
His academic background and his isolation from the savage boys made him able to remain
mostly unchanged from his primitive experiences on the island. His unattractive attributes
separated him from the other boys on the island. Piggy was not welcomed by the other boys
on the island, on their first exploratory trip of the island. “We don’t want you,”(Golding
24) Jack said to Piggy before the boys left on the trip to explore the island. Learning
from the actions of others Piggy was like the observer on the island. His status in their
society allowed him to look at the boys from an outsider’s perspective. He learned of the
hatred being brought out of the boys without having to experience the thirst for blood
that Ralph was directly exposed to. The other boys did not easily intimidate Piggy,
especially not Jack. He also did not lack the self-confidence to protest or speck out
against the indignity from the boys as the shy choir member Simon did. The self-confidence
of Piggy’s differed from that of Ralph’s as it did not come from acceptance by their peers
nor did it come from the authority and power Jack had grown accustomed to. It came from
the pride in having accumulated wisdom that obviously was greater than most of the other
boys his age. Piggy knew the rules, as did all the other boys did, but he also had the
patience to at least wonder why the rules existed. This intuition of Piggy’s made him more
aware of why the rules were imposed thereby ensuring that he would abide by them even when
they were not enforced. When the boys flocked to the mountaintop to build their fire at
the beginning of the book, Piggy watched the boys in disgust and said “Acting like a crowd
of kids!” (Golding 38). Piggy was a very reliable person who could look ahead and plan
carefully what needed to happen in the future. He thought the boys were very immature and
recklessness and he said, “That first thing we ought to have made was shelters done there
by the beach…Then when you get here you build a bonfire that isn’t no use. Now you been
and set the whole island on fire”(Golding 45). Like Ralph, Piggy’s sense of responsibility
set him apart from the other boys. William Golding the author of the book Lord of the
Flies used the image of Piggy not having long hair to illustrate his civilized behavior.
“He was the only boy on the island whose hair never seemed to grow”(Golding 64). The
author’s description of his baldness also showed an image of old age that made Piggy seem
to lack the strength of youth. The increasing injustice Piggy endured towards the end of
the book was far greater than any that he had encountered previously in his life. After
his glasses were broke by Jack in a fit of anger, Piggy cried out, “I don’t ask for my
glasses back, not as a favor. I don’t ask you to be a sport, I’ll say, not because you’re
strong, but because what’s right’s right”(Golding 171). The fit of anger brought tears out
of him, as the suffering became intolerable. For a brief moment, Piggy’s anger at the
unfairness and his helplessness took away his usual logical reasoning, which returned when
he was confronted with his fear of the savages. Piggy was an intelligent boy with a good
understanding of their situation on the isolated island. He was able to think clearly and
plan ahead with caution so that even in the freedom the boys had in their unregulated
world, his wisdom and his isolation from the savage boys kept him from giving into the
evil that was so easily consumed by Jack and his followers. The result of the cruelty Jack
inflicted upon his taught Piggy showed how much evil there was in the world.


Jack was first decried with being very cruel, which made him naturally unlikable. As the
leader of the choir and one of the tallest boys on the island, Jack’s physical features
and authority matched his arrogant personality. His desire to be chief was clearly evident
in his first gathering of the boys on the island. When the idea of having a chief was
mentioned Jack spoke out immediately. “I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple
arrogance, “because I’m chapter chorister and head boy”(Golding 22). He led his choir by
administering much discipline resulting in forced obedience from the boys. His ill nature
was well expressed through his impoliteness saying, “Shut up, Fatty”(Golding 22) to Piggy.
However, despite his unpleasant personality, his lack of courage and his conscience
prevented him from killing the first pig they encountered: “They knew very well why he
hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh,
because of the unbearable blood”(Golding 31). Even at the meetings, Jack was able to
contain himself under the leadership of Ralph. He had even suggested the implementation of
rules to regulate themselves. This was the Jack who was proud to be British, and who was
shaped and still bound by the laws of a civilized society. But the freedom offered to Jack
on by the island allowed him to express the darker sides of his personality that was
repressed by the ideals of his past environment. Without adults as a superior and
responsible authority, Jack began to lose his fear of being punished for improper actions
and behavior. This freedom along with his malicious and arrogant personality made it
possible for him to quickly degenerate into a savage. He put paint on his face to
camouflage himself from the pigs. But he also discovered that the paint allowed him to
hide the forbidden thoughts in his mind that his facial expressions would otherwise show:
“The mask was a thing on its own behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and
self-consciousness”(Golding 64). Through hunting, Jack lost his fear of blood and of
killing living animals. He reached a point where he actually enjoyed the sensation of
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