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What is Golding Telling us About Society in 'Lord of the Flies'

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Introduction

What is Golding Telling us About Society in 'Lord of the Flies'? Golding is telling us that without rules and organisation, civilisation cannot exist and that there is a beast in everyone, it is just a question if it can be controlled. His message is conveyed by the action of boys as they transform from civilised schoolboys into murderous savages. At the beginning of the novel, a group of schoolboys crash-land on an uninhabited island. Golding has experimented with boys to see how they would react without adults, and also the fact that children are more easily manipulated. They are an allegory for everyone, as savagery is a part of us, but it is harnessed by rules and order. Golding wants to show how easily savagery can take over once rules have been broken. He has placed them on an uninhabited island with food and water. After they have crash-landed, two characters emerge- Ralph and Piggy. Ralph is excited by the idea that there are no adults on the island so he can have fun: 'In the middle of the scar he stood on his head and grinned at the reversed fat boy. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that they both regret their savage actions and wish it had never happened, like committing adultery following a drunken night. They are not truly savage, but were drawn into the killing through the thought of safety by numbers. However, towards the end of the novel, Ralph's mind is constantly disturbed by an uncontrollable curtain, which stops him from thinking straight and makes him more primitive: 'He paused lamely as the curtain flickered in his brain.' This shows that Ralph starts to become savage, because he is not thinking efficiently and is becoming more animal like, or primitive. This is because he is becoming tempted to become savage because of the breakdown of order in the boys' community. His uncontrollable curtain is like a gateway for his inner beast to escape, so when it shuts, his beast takes over. Piggy is the character that can control his inner beast the most either because he is scared to show aggression to others or because he is strong and wants to stick to the rules. Everyone has an inner beast; it is just a question if it can be controlled. ...read more.

Conclusion

This signals the end of one united group, and the beginning of two divided ones- Ralph's civilised society and Jack's savage tribe. In conclusion, Golding is telling us that without rules and organisation, civilisation cannot exist and that there is a beast in everyone, it is just a question if it can be controlled. This beast can be controlled by rules and organisation. It represents savagery and darkness of human nature. The conch and the assemblies represent civility and order, and as the conch is mentioned less and less and the assemblies get more and more out of control, the beast within everyone awakens more and more from its sleep. At the end two groups are formed- the savage group of Jack's and the civilised one of Ralph's. Jack's group are more of a tribe than a civilisation, because rules and organisation mean nothing to them. The fall of rules and organisation also means the rise of the boys inner beasts. Golding's experiment shows us that the darkness of man's heart can be controlled by rules and organisation. Adults are in charge of our world because they are mature enough to have rules and organisation. Without rules and organisation, man will descend into its primitive, savage days. ...read more.

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