We've got to have rules and obey them, afterall we're not savages

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“We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all we’re not savages.”

Lord of the flies is a celebrated modern classic novel written by the illustrious William Golding. In this book, the author writes an allegorical story where a group of young, innocent schoolboys face a plane crash, causing them to be stranded on an isolated island. Through the many events that happen in this novel, the group of boys loses their innocent and childish thoughts, descending into savages. The book demonstrates how a society holds everyone together and how out of control it can become without these conditions, leading us to forget civilization, democracy, order and social organization, the capability of distinguishing between right and wrong losing to dictatorship, anarchy and savagery. The author demonstrates the perspectives on how political systems cannot govern society effectively without taking into consideration the defects of human nature which is proved through two of the main characters, Ralph and Jack. The author shows the contradiction between the two characters, where Ralph acts as the primary representative of the order of civilization and Jack as the savagery, anarchy and the darker side of human nature.


        The book begins with a chapter entitled “The Sound of the Shell” including an introduction to Piggy and Ralph, where they enjoy a mixture of fun and freedom, building up their friendship, and finding the conch in the novel, a symbolic representation with respect to authority. The conch, a ‘creamy object’ found lying ‘among the ferny weeds’ was first identified as ‘a shell’ (pg 10). The conch retains its important symbolic role as the book progresses, even to the point where the boys lose their respect for their old lives, and descend into savages. The fascination by the beauty of the shell brings them together for the first time, developing their friendship further. By learning how to create sounds with the shell, squirting air into the shell, emitting ‘low farting’ noises and ‘deep harsh  note(s)’, (pg 12), they end up calling a choir, led by Jack Merridew, with the first impression of him being a strong-willed and enthusiastic boy who demonstrates leadership and authority over his group “Choir! Stand still!” His leadership skills were immediately identified by Ralph as he recognizes that Jack has “the voice of one who knew his own mind”. A lot of strong order and abundant discipline amongst the choir is also proven through the way they were described to join Piggy and Ralph “Marching approximately in step in two parallel lines and dressed in eccentric clothing”, holding onto “shorts, shirts and different garments” as well as wearing “a square black cap with a silver badge” and their whole body covered by ‘black cloaks’ (pg 15). Jack’s cap, differing from the other choir members “his cap badge was golden” further proves his role as a leader among the choir.

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Later in the chapter, we see a voting section surfacing, with the competition for leadership between Ralph and Jack. Piggy would have made a good leader due to his superb intelligence; however, he lacked vital social and communication skills and had trouble getting along with the other boys on the island. Piggy was a precise representation of civilized order and democracy, making him a potential leader. Piggy recognized at an early stage that organization was required to ensure their survival and this is shown “I’ll expect we’ll want their names…and make a list. We ought to have a meeting” ...

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