Lord of the flies1



Regression and Realization

In the book Lord of the Flies by, William Golding the characters Jack
and Ralph change their outlooks, and withdrawal from each other. Jack
is seemingly more responsible at first, but later becomes corrupt and
regresses to primal desires thereafter. Ralph is initially viewed as being
jubilant at the absence of adults, but later wishes to return to the old
social taboos.

When reading the first few chapters, Jack is portrayed as the more
organized and mature person. Jack desires to be leader, and feels he
should fill this role because of his position as leader of the choir. The
darkness of the choir boys is hidden in the context “The creature was a
party of boys, marching approximately in step in two parallel lines and
dressed in strangely eccentric clothing.” Ralph utilizes the conch to
summon the boys and then is elected leader. Jack is apprehensive to kill
his first boar, but later views the jungle as an adventure, obsessing over
hunting. While Jack is off obsessing with killing, Ralph preaches the need
of fire to signal the outside world. Despite the fact that Jack is cruel to
Piggy, (breaking his glasses and not allowing him to participate in the
feast) Ralph attempts to befriend him. As Ralph realizes the boys just
desire fun and Jack breaks off from the group; Ralph’s authority begins to
deteriorate and Jack begins his regression into primal desires.

As the plot climaxes, symbolism shows the ideals that both hold.
When Ralph thinks about washing up thinking, “He would like to have a
pair of scissors to cut his hair...He would like to have a bath...and decided
that a toothbrush would come in handy, too,” this really symbolizes his
wishes to return to the taboos of the old society. Similarly, as the brutality
of Jack’s group is illustrated after the slaughtering of the sow, it symbolizes
his group’s regression and separation from social ideals. Ralph makes a
grave mistake when he shrugs off Simon’s advise concerning the
inevitable splitting of the group, and the immortality of the Beast. Simon is
killed soon after as Jack and his group refuse to listen to the truth, resulting
in the group’s slip deeper into praetorian.

As the fall of utopia ends, the boys turn to mutual hatred. Jack is
now referred to as “Chief” by his “Tribe”. Jack uses the Beast as
motivation in the attack on Piggy in an attempt to steal the fire. Ralph
attempts to retrieve the fire, but is met with hostility. When the boys are
rescued, Ralph weeps, “...Ralph wept the end of innocence, the darkness
of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called
Piggy.” because he realizes his revelations. He weeps for the end of
innocence (regression), darkness(Lord of the Flies), and Piggy
(manifestation of adult taboos). He knows that the depths of human
nature cannot be retained.

As Jack regresses further into the inevitable end of utopia and
succession to primal desires, Ralph realizes these primal behaviors are
evident in every person, even the youngest and in those least expected.




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