Lord of the Flies8

Lord of the Flies

“Without society’s rigid rules, savagery and anarchy can come to light." This is one of the many themes expressed in William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies, and by far the most important. It is exemplified throughout his novel with Jack and his tribe, Ralph and Piggy, and other key characters and symbols.

Jacks anarchistic ideas come to view when he forms his tribe, this group would be the more savagery part of humankind. With them, Golding is showing that when or if left alone to fend for themselves, they will go back to the roots of their ancestors and the savageness of them. (i.e. When the tribe is hunting for Ralph near the end.) It is also shown with the Tribal hunting dance and the sow’s decapitated head on the stick, which becomes the Lord of the Flies, the evil that lurks in everyone.

Ralph is shown as more of the civilized part of humankind. When he blows the conch, he forms a meeting. When the conch and Ralph are together, it forms some sort of order, or democracy, while Piggy, representing clarity and social order, is taking names and such. It seems as if Ralph is trying to portray the role of government in a modern society, listening to everyone’s ideas and thoughts, trying to please everyone. Even though Ralph is portrayed more as a civilized human, he still has that human nature to be cruel. This is shown when he tells the kids that ‘fatty’ is really called ‘Piggy’, “...his real name’s Piggy!!” (LOTF pg.21), even though he asked not to tell the others that.

The defects in human nature is what brought the boys to the island in the first place. The savagery impulses in humankind were belted out in the ‘war.\' When stranded, the more civilized impulses are brought out because of how society has molded them to be. This is shown with Piggy and his adherence to the rules of his aunt. Jack however, feels that his “If it’s fun, do it!” Philosophy is the way to go. With Piggy and Jack at the two opposite extremes of human nature, Ralph is pulled somewhere in-between. Ralph seems to be empathetic with both sides. Even though Ralph sides more with Piggy, he still does not change his philosophy, meaning that he does not adhere to the ‘rules’ like piggy, nor does he get as extreme as Jack and his tribe are. Ralph seems to realize that certain rules of behavior should and must be followed in order to prevent anarchy. If anarchy broke loose, it could and would get out of hand.

Unfortunately, anarchy defeats order. This happens because Golding has made it seem that government is not a good tool to keep people together. No matter what, human nature (anarchy) will always overcome society (democracy), and no matter how logical or reasonable, government will eventually have to give in to the demands of the public.