Lord of the Flies Analized

Research Paper

When away from civilization, man’s facade of civilized behavior falls away. This thought is express greatly in William Golding, Lord of the Flies. Goldings uses characters and events to prove this belief. He uses the protagonist, Ralph, as the example of how no matter how you try the instinctual savagery of humans will surface. The antagonist, Jack, is the example of the change. His metamorphosis from a civilized, optimistic British boy to a bloodthirsty savage leader is one that Golding tracks conscientiously. Then a proof of the true savagery of human instinct, he illustrates the doings of Jacks tribe. Using “William Golding”, by Samuel Hynes, and “ The Novel as a Moral Allegory” by P.H. Newby, the change of the boys trapped on a deserted island will be clear.

Ralph’s attempt at a civilization and his failure is proof that humans will be savages if not restricted. Ralph and the reader have a connection that is important to understand. “(Ralph) provides the most consistent point of view, because he most nearly speaks for us (the reader)” (Hynes, pg. 173) Because Ralph is the reader’s thoughts in the story, Golding elucidates that no amount of logical thinking can stop this metamorphosis.
Ralph tries very hard to bring democratic idea to the island. “He takes as a totem the conch; making it a symbol of rational orderly discussion.” (Hynes, pg. 173) The conch symbolizes rules, like one cannot speak at an assembly without holding the conch. These rules are proof of Ralph’s attempt. Ralph’s attempt becomes more difficult as Jack begins to shun the conch and the rules it represents. “ (Ralph and Jack) they are antithetical, but intimately linked tighter—man-the-destroyer confronting man-the-preserver.” (Hynes, pg. 173) This is where the change begins, Ralph, as a character remains logical. But other forces stray the other boys, hunting, the beast and the need for security. As the book progresses Ralph never gives into these instincts, yet he relies why they are so luring.

Jack is the spark that starts the change in the boys. Since his change is what starts the others change he is the one who must be analyzed. Jack begins as a seemingly calm boy that agrees with Ralph on many occasions. “After all we’re not savages, we are English, and the English are the best at everything.” (Hynes, pg. 171) Jack and Ralph agree that they must keep a signal fire and hunt for food. Jack is put in charge of the hunting. This is where his metamorphosis begins. Jack gets a rise out of hunting; his instincts start to surface. He, and the boys that hunt with him, chant while hunting. “The blood thirst of their chant has poked through the veneer of civilization, and they are helpless within the throes of primitive passion” (Newby, pg 257) Jack is consumed by the thrill of hunting. He begins to forget trying to get rescued. His motives changes so drastically that he denies limitations on hunting, like keeping the fire going. Soon he just leaves Ralph and forms his own group, his tribe. “ (Jack) becomes in the end an absolute ruler of his tribe.” (Hynes, pg. 173) Now Jack is allowed to do what he wants when he wants. He only hunts, so killing and eating are his only concerns. Jack and his tribe have now the single mindedness of animals.

The tribe is final stage in Golding’s belief that humans are instinctively savage. The boys themselves no longer consider themselves opinionated individuals. “ (Face) painting the boys he (Jack) turns them into a anonymous mob of murderous savages” (Hynes, pg. 173) By face painting they loose their willingness to speak for themselves which Ralph’s democracy gave the boys. The boys retrogress into primitive, animal-like, behavior deepens as the boy chant. “Kill the pig! Cut its throat! Spill its blood!” (Newby, pg. 257) The boys now act, look, and sound like murderous, single-minded savages. They represent all the evil on the island. The tribe is the surfacing of humans’ savage nature. “Residual savagery lies barely under the surface and is controlled only under the right circumstances.” (Newby, pg. 257) So Golding’s final stage is complete, an inhuman savagery in a human. From logical beginnings to savage