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Lord of the Flies

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"Lord of the Flies" is a captivating novel by William Golding. It tells the story of a group of young British evacuees who, following a plane crash during a fictional war, are stranded on a deserted, tropical island. There are no surviving adults to take care of them so the boys have to think for themselves, be responsible for themselves, and try to find a way to attract attention so they can be rescued. They work well together until their miniature society and sense of moral law and order goes downhill and a division in the group appears. The main themes explored in the novel are the loss of innocence and the conflict between civilisation and savagery. The main character, Ralph, and Piggy, a fat boy with asthma and glasses, are the first characters to be introduced in the novel. While looking around and trying to discover what has happened they come across a conch shell. This is the first founding of order on the island. Piggy explains that the conch is a very valuable shell and can be used as a horn. Ralph uses to call an assembly with all the boys on the island. During the meeting the boys discuss what has happened and what to do next. A new character, Jack Merridew is introduced along with his choir. ...read more.


To begin with, he could not bring himself to do it but he forces himself to do it. The choir, who are supposed to be looking after the fire, are taken away on a hunt and the fire burns out so when a ship passes it does not see them. Ralph is furious. This is where the conflict between Ralph and Jack really starts. "Ralph brought his arm down, fist clenched, and his voice shook. 'There was a ship. Out there. You said you'd keep the fire going and you let it out!' He took a step towards Jack who turned and faced him. 'They might have seen us. We might have gone home-" Following this, Jack is unable to challenge Ralph and so he apologises to Ralph, gaining respect from the boys for his 'noble deed', and throws himself into the rebuilding of the fire. Ralph doesn't respond, therefore not lowering himself to Jack's level and reasserting his authority over the boys. This infuriates Jack and he punches Piggy in anger, breaking his glasses. This is a significant blow to the order on the island. Jack is effectively attacking Ralph's brains. Ralph tries to regain authority during the next assembly. He stresses that the fire is the means to getting off the island and explains that they need to co-operate to survive. ...read more.


Sam n' Eric warn Ralph that Jack's number two Roger is 'Sharpening a stick at both ends'. This implies that Ralph is going to be hunted like a pig and then have his head stuck on a stake. This shows that Jack's group has really devolved into savages and has no longer got any morals. Jack's tribe begins to hunt Ralph and set fire to the island. The resulting smoke attracts the attention of a passing Royal Naval ship and an officer lands on the beach preventing Ralph's death and the absolute collapse of everything good at the end of the book. The boys at first attempt to set up civilised order from democratic and just Britain but things get slowly worse throughout their ethical voyage. Jack Merridew and his tribe become the prevailing group on the island and, along with simple immaturity, are the leading cause of the deterioration of order. At the end when they to kill Ralph it seems that they have totally become savages and have given up thinking about their actions. The beast is a broad representation of the beast and the innate malevolence within us all rather than as actual creature. Simon, the only character showing aspects of natural goodness makes this discovery and realises why we fear it. The boy's juvenile natures and the fact that they have been stranded without adults incredibly suddenly brings the beast into existence as a natural fear of the unknown which ultimately leads to the downfall of everything they had originally stood for. ...read more.

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