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In an essay about his novel “Lord of the Flies”, William Golding wrote: “The boys try to construct a civilisation on the island; but it breaks down in blood and terror because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human&

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09 March 2001 In an essay about his novel "Lord of the Flies", William Golding wrote: "The boys try to construct a civilisation on the island; but it breaks down in blood and terror because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human". Discuss your own response to the novel in light of this statement. When the boys all arrive on the island, due to their plane crashing while on the way to be evacuated, they find themselves in beautiful surroundings, a place which appears to be completely uninhabited with only them, no girls or adults. While on the island they attempt to establish a society among themselves. Quite early on in the novel the reader is introduced to the three main characters of Golding's novel, Ralph, Jack and Piggy, and immediately we are struck with their contrasting personalities, which shape the way things turn out on the island from the very beginning. As soon as they're on the island Piggy and Ralph discover the conch, a shell that becomes both the boys' only symbol of hope and democracy. When they first discover it in the sea, and finally retrieve it, it is Piggy, who first suggests the idea of using it to call a meeting, "We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting." This is the first attempt to organise things on the island. Once a meeting is called we see straight away the contrast in the two boys of which contention for leadership will hang. Jack Merridew appears to be stronger, more outspoken, determined and his strict ruling is seen when ruling over his choir, as head chorister. Demonstrating his authority to the rest of the group as if presenting them with a warning, showing them that people will obey him, even it was unenthusiastic, monotonous obedience, and that he has that power over this small group of choir boys. ...read more.


We see the boys' thrill in killing the sow, in the blood on their hands, and the total exhilaration, "He giggled and flinked them, while the boys laughed at his reeking palms" This is a disturbing image of the boys taking complete joy in killing her, and even certain sexual connotations which could be linked to their actions, "wedded to her in lust" This is not how human beings are meant to act but Golding tries to show us the disturbing truth. Golding is showing us the results of this terrible disease that we all suffer from, which is being human. He is trying to demonstrate to us what terrible things human beings do and are capable of. We see it displayed in every day life, in a psychopathic killer for example, whose actions often have sexual links to what he or she does. Even though we see this in everyday life, people are made to see it in this microcosm on the island more clearly, and a question is asked on the island, one that society does not often ask, perhaps because we are too afraid of what the answer might be, "What makes things break up like they do?" Piggy does ask this question, because he starts to realise things on the island are beginning to deteriorate. Through this microcosm we are reminded of what is going on in the outside world and that there is a war going on outside, it is clear that when the Naval officer comes to rescue them, that human beings are so blind to what is happening around us, we don't recognise what we are doing, "I should have thought that a pack of British boys... - would have been able to put up a better show than that..." The Naval officer says this as well as ignorantly, jokingly asks whether people have died, unaware that people have actually died. ...read more.


After Piggy's death Ralph comes to the same realisation that Simon had come to, that it is only themselves they have to fear, that this false creature which put the fear into all of them, does not exist and that humans create their own terror - this is because they are suffering from that terrible disease which seems to possess everyone of us, no matter how old that person is, these boys are only young children who still grasp at old memories of home, "When you went to bed there was a bowl of cornflakes with sugar and cream." This is a simple reminder that how ever savage these boys appear to be, they are still children and I think this is why the Naval officer finds it so hard to come to terms with what has happened among them, on the island. The feelings of the officer are also echoed by the reader, as we are all human beings it is hard to accept these t terrible things occur as a result of our human instincts. I think that Golding is trying to tell people and to show them, to make them see what human beings really are. This is why it is a fable because William Golding is trying to demonstrate to the world through this microcosm on the island what is happening after seeing it first hand, fighting in the war himself he saw the blood and terror, the killing and devastation human beings are capable of and because of this it has left him with very significant feelings and exclamations towards the end of his novel; "Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of mans heart and the fall through the air of the true wise friend called Piggy." Illustrating how everyone suffers merely as a result of themselves, we only have ourselves to blame and that there is evil, which possesses every human being. It's a terrible disease, which has hold of every single one of us. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jessica Heiriss 10k-page 1 ...read more.

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