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In what ways do the boys descend into savagery in the novel "Lord of the Flies?"

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Introduction

In what ways do the boys descend into savagery in the novel "Lord of the Flies?" There are many steps, in which the boys descend into savagery. The boys, at times seem to become gradually more and more savage, as they adapt to living away from civilization for prolonged periods of time. At times, however, they seem to suddenly turn dramatically savage, usually when confronted by their fears. At first the boys were unified after being summoned, or called by the call of the conch. They band together and delegate responsibilities within the group. They agree to have 'rules, lots of rules'. They 'have a vote' and Ralph is elected the leader, and leaves Jack as leader of the choirboys. Ralph is much like a political leader in a country, and Jack like a military commander or general. This sharing and election of the leadership seems to be done in a very civilized manner, which seems uncharacteristic for young boys left on an island without any supervision. They are also very proud to be English. This implies that they feel that it is their patriotic duty, to act prudently, till help arrives, and may explain their behaviour. ...read more.

Middle

This implies, that the boys have gone against the principle-not to kill something that would have been taught to them when they were smaller. Another thing that exemplifies the boys' barbarism, is the fact that they killed a nursing sow. This is something, even uncivilized tribes from thousands of years ago, would not do. It shows that they have lost some of the prudence they displayed at the beginning of the novel. As these are just young boys, who have never done anything like that before, this may have been overlooked by the reader, at that time. However, an example of this is shown again, when Roger tries to scare Henry, by throwing stones at him, however, Golding states that Roger's 'arm was conditioned by civilisation' and that the 'taboo of parents, school and the law' still stopped him from hitting Henry directly. Another instance when the boys are irresponsible is when they let the beacon fire out, in order to have fun and go hunting. This shows, a lack of commitment, irresponsibility, and disorganization, which would not have really been expected from the children, if it weren't for the fact that they had displayed such uncharacteristic qualities at the very start of the story, when one, would expect them to be the least organized. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sense of English fair-play seems to have disappeared from many of the boys, as now Jack, who was barely civil to Piggy at the start, no calls him a 'fat slug'. As the group disintegrates, the longest standing mark of civilization; democracy falls, and it becomes very clear that the boys are becoming increasingly savage. The murders of Simon and Piggy are horrific and brutal. Simon is killed as result of frenzied dancing and shouting round a fire in imitation of savages, who become increasingly violent as they dance around. Piggy's murder, however, is much more shocking as it was coldly deliberate. Roger, who was mentioned before, is no longer restrained by the constraints of civilization, and his murder of Piggy is just an example of how savage and brutal some of the boys have become. The beating of disobedient boys is also another example of this. The final manhunt for Ralph, which concludes the story, shows the depth of savagery to which the boy have stooped to. After first being restrained by ingrained senses of sensibility, then the urge to have a semblance of civilization, the boys eventually gave way to their primal urges, namely to have fun. These urges, caused them, to deteriorate, through many steps, into a level of savagery astonishing for ones so young. ...read more.

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