Transformation / survival – Jekyll & Hyde / Lord of the Flies

How is “transformation and or survival” depicted in two of the works you have studied and what is its significance? The transformation in both novels of the characters shifting from good to a darker twisted evil version of themselves, the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (text 1) and Lord of the flies … Read more

Lord of the Flies / In the Heart of Darkness (draft)

Historical Context The story of Charles Marlow in Heart of Darkness is heavily based around Joseph Conrad’s own experiences in the Congo during the time of the transatlantic slave trade; in which natives were kidnapped by imperial powers and exploited to work under the ‘superior’ race. During the 1890s, ivory was a valuable commodity. As … Read more

Lord of the Flies is a cautionary but beautiful warning about power

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scrounge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.” Golding’s life experiences exposed him to the worst of mankind. Having lived through both world wars; Goldings observations of mankind’s negative cycle of power … Read more

In Lord of the Flies Golding uses the boys as symbolic representations of the evil in oneself

In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, a group of British schoolboys land on an island after crashing amidst a war. With no adults or supervision required to maintain their school like behavior, one by one the boys let go of their once civil lives and fully embrace the wild and savage nature. Though, … Read more

About Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding might be completely unique within which the theme of savagery versus civilization is explored. Some British boys are stranded on an isolated island at the time of an imaginary nuclear war. On the island, we see a conflict between two main characters, Jack and Ralph, who represent civilization and savagery. This contains a concerning remainder of the boys throughout the novel as they fall further and further into savagery. Self-preservation was a giant part of the novel,Jack utilized this characteristic to accumulate his desires to become the leader.

At the beginning of the novel, Ralph and Piggy find a conch in which Ralph uses. Jack’s demands that he may be chief but the boys choose Ralph because he is the one who blows the conch to gather the scattered boys. The conch symbolizes authority amongst the boys, Ralph stated that “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak…he won’t be interrupted”. Jack is vastly disappointed because his demand to be chief is denied but he was cheered after being assigned as leader of the choir which is designated to be hunters. This suggests civilization as Ralph is allowing the boys to have equal opinions and say. Whoever had the conch will have the opportunity to speak and they will not be interrupted by anyone, everyone has to listen to whoever has their hand on the conch. The boys have created the island to be a democratic place which shows a civilized side to them as they try to copy the homes they have just left.

As the novel moves on, a “beast” appears on the island which made the boys think the island is not safe. The symbol of the beast which comes to be associated with Jack by the end of the novel as he is almost devil worshipping and he was chasing Ralph to kill him so he could have full control of the island. At first, the “beast’’ begins as a “snake thing’’ which proves that the beast is evil because we believe that snakes are bad omens as it was a snake that led Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. At this stage of the novel, the beast lacks strength as it is only a “thing” but as the novel moves forward the “beast” gets stronger by feeding it with savagery, Jack and some of the other boys are killing the first pig where jack chants “kill the pig, cut her throat, spill the blood”. This illustrates their savagery by violently and aggressively killing the pig and they don’t care about it. The boy’s belief in the “beast” leads them to become more savages, they act out from their fears, and little by little they begin to lose their hold on the rules that were made at the beginning of the novel which demonstrate the theme of savagery.

We are told, “Piggy cried out in terror ‘my specs!” This shows that the civilized sides of the boys are being overruled by their savage nature. At the beginning of the novel, jack wouldn’t have dared on touching Piggy in any way but as the novel moves forward Jack snaps and goes for Piggy who despises and take his glasses. Golding uses the words “terror” and “cried” to illustrate the scene, Piggy sounds like he is very terrified of what Jack might do to him as he is starting to become like the “beast” that they feared the most at the beginning of the novel. Piggy’s glasses represent intelligence on the island and with them breaking we see a completely open path for the boys’ savagery. Ralph sticks up for Piggy after he is attacked by jack and stated: “that was a dirty trick”. This illustrates that Ralph is really angry at Jack for what he did to Piggy, this shows the role of self-preservation as Ralph is fighting for his people. Ralph is standing up for Piggy and not letting Jack just do what he wants on the island. This proves that there is still someone with a sense of moral goodness ready to fight for justice.

In conclusion, The Lord of the flies by William Golding is a novel in which savagery and civilization go against each other. Civilization is represented by Ralph who is willing to let everyone have an equal say and opinions. Jack, on the other hand, represents savagery where he doesn’t care what the other boys think and he’s the only one who’s able to make decisions for themselves. William Golding proves to us that proper rules and regulations is necessary to have a society running properly.