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In what ways does Golding present the boys decline into savagery?

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Introduction

In what ways does Golding present the boys decline into savagery? The main descent to savagery in the novel could be seen in the choir. They begin as boys who accept the discipline of a choir school and acknowledge Jack's position as head chorister. They become hunters, when Jack claims this role for them. Then, as Jack releases his savage instincts by creating his mask, they become savages. They used to wear identical cloaks and caps, a uniform designed to promote their group identity and hide individuality. Jack orders the choir to 'take off' their 'togs'; this symbolizes the stripping away of civilisation. Now their identities are hidden by masks and paint, and they degenerate into a tribe of savage killers, living in fear of their cruel chief. In the third chapter: 'Huts on the Beach' Jack description of a hunter makes him seems like an animal himself. We see him crouching, 'dog-like', and sniffing the air, 'like a sprinter, his nose only a few inches from the humid earth'. He's almost naked, apart from his 'tattered shorts' and he carries a 'sharpened stick' which he uses as a spear. Every time they kill they take a step further down the road to savagery. ...read more.

Middle

There, it was possible to dream of rescue. The contrasting language helps express the difference of the different parts of the island. Chapter 8, 'Gift for the Darkness' is long and important because we see how there is a very close connection between the boy's physical appearance and their mental state. Jack's hunters are now painted, anonymous savages. Their sticks are spears. These hunters once sang in unison in the choir, now, at Jack's insistence, they talk in unison in a frightening ritual designed to enhance Jack's power and authority. In the next chapter, 'A View to a Death' Jack is shown even more like a primitive god, throned on a log with a garland around his neck, surrounded by offerings of food and drink. He gives orders which the boys obey, and conveys warnings which they obey. This shows how Jack dominates like an imperious monarch. Golding uses pathetic fallacy and personification to emphasise how the island has changed, 'evening was come, not with calm beauty but with the threat of violence'. The killing of the pigs becomes more bloodthirsty, and has more to do with ritual violence than with the providing of meat. The ritual of chanting and dancing increases in ferocity until it culminates in Simon's murder. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this final chapter it is written in such a way as to bring the reader right inside Ralph's head, so that we identify with his thoughts and feelings, and experience them in the same way he does. Golding uses short sharp sentences to show Ralph's breathless panic and his attempts to think clearly like Piggy: 'Break the line. A tree. Hide, let them pass.' Ralph is found by the hunters, and is chased onto the beach. There he meets a navel officer on the beach, who uses an ironic comment, 'Fun and games', 'nobody killed, I hope', the officer does not understand the situation. He knows less about the real meaning of war and the real nature of humanity than Ralph does. Golding has written all four intended killings in a certain order. The first is of the 'pigs' they kill, which is essentially for food, however it turns into more of an exciting sport. The next murder is of Simon which is arguably an accident caused by the frenzy the boys had worked up. Piggy's death was because of one Rogers sadistic nature, but it was a not a group murder. At the end the boys intended Ralph to be murdered, the whole group of savages was trying to kill him, and this was intended because of the savage nature they had taken on. I think that each chapter in the novel shows the boys decline into savagery. ...read more.

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