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    Themes: Evil in Lord of the Flies

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    Lord of the Flies begins with Making Friends and ends in death and violence. What do you think the main reasons and what is Golding trying to show by it? ” Lord of the Flies” by William Golding tells us about a number of English Schoolboys stranded on an island. To survive by themselves without adults, they elect a leader, set up rules, and perform basic survival skills. Soon, arguments and conflicts arise about their lifestyle and duties within the group.

    As some of the boys’ delicate sense of order fades, their behavior starts to take on a murderous, savage significance. The main reasons for the boys’ actions that cause death and violence include having a common aim, craving for power, rules that aren’t being carried out. Golding tries to show this by having the boys set up territories and rituals, the deaths of Simon and Piggy, changes in clothing and appearance, rule breakings and changes in language.

    The first reason for the change is that the boys all having a common aim. Before they elect a leader, they don’t know each other so well, not knowing the aims of one another and what their personalities are. They are being friendly to each other, they haven’t established a pecking order, they are still in good traits. The boys are equal, they do not appear to have something that others want as well, we can see their kind conversation in chapter 1. The second reason for the change is the older boys crave power. Some boys want to rise above others, want their voice to be heard and to be important within the group.

    We can see this when Jack says, “I ought to be chief because I’m chapter chorister and head boy” (18), it hints how feels about himself, how he feels that he is better than the others. The group does not hear Jack’s thoughts, Jack doesn’t respect Ralph’s wishes and challenges Ralph, wanting to regroup the boys, making him the leader of the group. The third reason of the story ending in death and violence is the rules not being set up properly and carried out by the boys.

    Ralph says, “… not putting water in coconut shells, the shelters weren’t built properly… we all built the first one, four of is built the second, and me n’ Simon built the last one” (85). from this, the shelters reflect the boys losing heart, slacking, not doing their jobs, and the result is an unstable hut. The boys are very excited at first, helping out, but soon not caring about responsibilities, doing things at their own will. The rules set up aren’t enforced properly, this later leads to rule-breaking.

    Golding shows the changes in the boys mainly through their actions. The first, is the changes in clothing and appearance. All the boys are wearing shaggy clothes, ” Piggy wore the remainders of a pair of shorts,” (67) Because of having to wear their clothes full time, the boys take off most of it. “Jack planned his new face. He made one eye socket white, then rubbed red over the other half of his face and slashed a black bar of charcoal from right ear to left jaw” (65). Jack wanted to hunt without the pressure of losing his dignity as an English schoolboy, to not care about the consequences by putting on a mask. Jack makes the other boys do the same too! (painting their faces).

    In terms of language, we can see the change in Jack, he was a gentleman at first, saying that they are not savages and English schoolboys are food at everything. Then, he says, “Bollocks to the rules! We’re strong- we hunt if there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down!”…” (49). This transformation in language tells us how the boys will change over time. The attitudes of the boys to one another also changes, they are ruder, such as Jack shouting at Simon, ” Eat, Damn you!”, the rule-breaking is also an important change in the boys, Jack breaks the rules by not speaking with a conch. Golding clearly shows how Jack feels about the rules.

    The third main change is the establishment of the rituals and territories,. Jack says, ” You go away Ralph. You keep to your end. This is my end and my tribe. You leave me alone” (195). Jack and Ralph have split the island, Jack at Castle Rock and Ralph by the beach. Rituals are set up by Jack, he and his tribe members dance around a fire, shouting a slogan, “Kill the beast, cut his throat! Spill his blood!” (168), further emphasizing their savage behaviors.

    The fourth major change in the boys are Simon and Piggy’s deaths. Simon is the one who sees what the real beast on the island is, that it actually is the inner beast in everyone, the beast doesn’t exist. Piggy, the voice of reason and intellect, he must be killed because savagery will not be able to flourish with the existence of reason and intellect. Jack feels fine with Simon being killed, and soon Piggy. Is lies to the other boys in his tribe how the beast is in Simon, so they are doing the right thing by killing Simon.

    What Golding is trying to convey about the boys and about the people, in general, is, firstly, how the world would be if rules are broken, the boys on the island is a microcosm on the world. Ralph says, ” Because the rules are the only thing we’ve got” (99). We can see what happens to the boys slowly after the rules are broken, there isn’t any order and the boys turn into savages. The second message Golding wants to tell us is that individually, people are good but not in a big group.

    Being in a big group makes you see how at first, no one believes in the existence of the beast, but slowly, they are influenced by others and let their “inner beast” get to them. This story is a representative of society, examples of the people, for the evil that exists in society: fear, jealousy, ignorance etc. the third main message that Golding wants to say is that with a common goal, violence can occur and things can go horribly wrong. Jack being the new chief also reflects how absolute power corrupts a person’s thinking and makes him unable to make the correct decisions. Jack being able to control everything made him lose his mind. Transforming into a savage.

    In conclusion, William Golding wants to tell us that absolute power should never fall into a single person’s hands, as it will corrupt a person’s mind. There is an evilness within every one of is, how we live as a person and what our personalities all depend on how well we control our inner beast, not unleashing it. The temptation of power changes a person entirely, Jack from an English school boy to a ruthless savage, The most important point stressed in this story is definitely how we cannot live without rules, society breaks down without rules and humans will fall back in time- turning into savages.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Themes: Evil in Lord of the Flies. (2017, Nov 30). Retrieved from

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