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In "Lord of the flies" we see a group of boys starting off as civilised people and ending up as savages. Trace the disintegration of the boys' standards.

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Introduction

In "Lord of the flies" we see a group of boys starting off as civilised people and ending up as savages. Trace the disintegration of the boys' standards. "Lord of the flies" is a novel written by William Golding about a group of public school boys who's plane is shot down over a paradise island during a time of war. In this essay I will trace and explain the disintegration of the boys standards as they struggle to survive on a remote island with no adults. At the beginning of the novel the reader is presented with a group of school boys, brought up to the highest standards, who have always been guided by adults, learning what it right and what is wrong, keeping within their limits. Now they have no adults to guide them. Their upbringing is reflected in their characters a lot at the beginning of the novel, but as the novel goes on the boys start to lose track as they have to make the decision to play by the rules or to have some fun. The first character that the reader meets is Ralph, once Ralph gets over the initial excitement of being on a paradise island with no adults he immediately starts to set rules and bring some kind of order to the boys. Ralph and Piggy find a conch, which is set to become the symbol of democracy on the island. ...read more.

Middle

Jack has gone from being one of the smartest boys to half naked and worn. The rest of the hunters all change too. Jack has made face paints out of clay and it compels the other boys to join him, and they all paint their faces. Now they have masks to hide behind, metaphorically and literally. The hunting starts to become more horrific now. This time when the boys go hunting they catch a pig, and make their way back to camp, chanting. "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood." Jack and the boys are really excited at what they have done, everybody is eager to tell what happened to the others. Its seems that they have lost all their inhibitions, but the reader knows this is not so as Jack notices blood on his hands and feels wrong. " He noticed blood on his hands and grimaced distastefully." Jack looks for something to wipe his hands on as he cannot bear the blood on them. This time Jack does not seem so bothered by the fact that the pig bled. He describes it to Ralph excitedly. When Ralph tells Jack that Jack had let the fire go out and there had been a ship, Jack simply says " you should have seen the blood!" Jack is getting distracted from being rescued. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ralph, Piggy and the conch, will offer them the best chance of survival, but Jack offers them fun, and excitement, like in books they have read. Jack just says no to Ralph's rules and thw whole of the civilisation breaks down. Jack rules with as a dictator, he is idolised by the others as though he is above everybody else. At the beginning of the novel every one is working with pride, building huts, and happy with themselves and how they are getting on. At the end of the play, Jack is chosing who works, who plays, he has full control over they boys. The conch loses all value, and is smashed along with Piggy. When the conch breaks it is like the whole of the civilisation has broken. Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric do try hard to keeps the civilisation going even when it is just them. The brush their hair and try to dress nicely, as a "Liberation to savagery." But Ralph's mind deteriorates at the same rate his appearance does, and no matter what he does he cannot hold on to it. Just as Percivil cannot remember his name when they are rescued. At the beginning of the novel Percivil, a small boy, can recite his name, address, and telephone number, but now at the end even his name surpasses him. The appearance of the boys goes from being very smart in uniform, to mostly naked, painted faces, long scruffy hair, and dirty skin. The boys standards seem to deteriorate with their appearance. ...read more.

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