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"Everything is breaking up. I don't know why." Ralph - What is going wrong on the island and why?

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Monday 11th October 2004 "Everything is breaking up. I don't know why." - Ralph What is going wrong on the island and why? The group of evacuees, all boys roughly aged between five and twelve, is dividing into two sets of people, each following either the ideal of civilisation, or the ideal of savagery. At the beginning of the novel, every boy, conditioned by society, was following the ideal of civilisation, that being the only ideal they knew. However, as the novel progresses, the ideal of savagery, hidden in every human heart which is the centre of this allegorical novel, begins to grow and surface, and soon more and more boys are falling prey to their very basic, primal instincts and urges; hunting animals, forming tribes, painting themselves and losing all vestiges of societal rules. This regression is what Ralph, a firm advocate of the civilisation ideal, deems as what is going wrong on the island. As the island, the tropical paradise, on which the group of boys are stranded upon is not, and cannot be held to blame for the regression, the only other possibility is that the boys themselves are responsible. ...read more.


governs the boys' meetings, for the boy who holds the shell holds the right to speak; a symbol of political legitimacy and democratic power, which epitomises what Ralph represents in the novel. He has a fair, open nature, and goes furthest out of any boy in the group to accepting Piggy, the group's social pariah. Unlike most of the other boys, who are initially solely concerned with having fun, Ralph sets about building huts and thinking of ways to maximize their chances of being rescued; for this reason, Ralph's power and influence over the other boys are secure at the beginning of the novel. The vote for chief establishes a conflict, which becomes to blame for a large majority for what goes wrong on the island, between the different values espoused by Jack and Ralph. Jack assumes that he should assume the role automatically, while Ralph actually achieves it reluctantly by vote. Ralph therefore comes to represent a democratic ethos. Though they are guardedly friendly towards one another at the beginning of the novel, eventually Jack grows tired of Ralph being in charge, letting the barbarism inside of him transform him into a savage-like creature, destroying the makeshift civilization the boys, Ralph, work so hard to create; other boys, seeing the appeal in this way of life, begin to follow him. ...read more.


as different characters have different ideas as to, at first, whether the beast actually exists and then eventually how to deal with it, it causes even more strife to the already tense atmosphere building on the island. The separation of peers due to the conflicts between Ralph and Jack, Jack and society, Piggy and the boys, and the boys and Beastie are what is going wrong on the island, and the reasons behind it. Human tendency to obey rules, behave peacefully, and follow orders is imposed by a system that is not in itself a fundamental part of human nature. Young boys are a fitting illustration of this premise; left to their own devices, they often behave with instinctive cruelty and violence, which perfectly explains their demise from civilisation to savagery. However, not everyone has so much malevolence hidden inside themselves as to become complete savages when released from the boundaries of our society. Some people will, because of the ways they were conditioned, remember and abide by the rules they had depended on for social organization and security, but sadly, in this instance, they did not, which is why, and Ralph will come to realise this at the end of the novel, things on the island go wrong. 1 http://www.deliriumsrealm.com/delirium/mythology/beelzebub.asp#flies ...read more.

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