Power In Lord Of The Flies

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The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding is about a group of British boys who are stranded on an island “at the dawn of the next world war”. Throughout the book, two of the main characters named Ralph and Jack fight for power and control over the other boys on the island. The two boys have varying opinions on how to lead a group, Jack’s opinion being more violent than the other. Gradually, while the fight for power continues, the boys seem to forget their past lives and their sense of humanity. They replace that past sense with violence and animal-like behavior. This reflects the theme of the story, which is thought to be civilization vs. savagery. Since the conch shell is such an important symbol of power throughout the story, I chose…show more content…
Throughout the novel, the conch gradually loses its original power. Over the course of a few chapters, the conch becomes less and less valuable and, although some people like Ralph (38) attempt to make the conch continue to mean the same as its original purpose, they fail. This reflects to the main theme (civilization Vs. savagery) because it shows the boys failing to abide by the rules, and instead going against them. They continue to rebel against the rules until they mean nothing, just like the conch at that point. Golding describes the destruction of the conch at the same time as he describes the death (murder) of Piggy. He describes the destruction fairly quickly, saying “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.” (181) The quickness of the conch’s sudden disappearance from the island may be because at that point, the boys had already become savages and no longer needed a symbol for their communication. At that point, the conch was useless and unimportant. It could also symbolize their sense of humanity deteriorating…show more content…
Jack lights the fire in order to cast smoke around the island to corner Ralph in the last chapter. He does this because he is attempting to kill Ralph so he will no longer have competition for leadership of the island. What he does not realise is that by lighting this fire, he will put everyones’ lives in danger. If they continue to stay on the island for a long period of time, the smoke and flames will engulf them and they will all die. This means that even if they did kill Ralph before themselves, they would only live a very short amount longer than Ralph. At the very moment that Jack is hovering over Ralph, about to murder him, a naval officer appears and asks them who is leader of the group. Surprisingly, Ralph steps forward rather than Jack. This is most likely because Jack is ashamed of the fact that he was a few seconds away from killing Ralph a short period before. The naval officer treats the situation as if it is a game. He jokingly asks how many are dead, to which Ralph responds “‘Only two. And they’ve gone.”’ (201) The naval officer treats the situation as a game, which is very unfair to the boys. He explains that he found them because of the signal fire. This situation is ironic because Ralph had been telling the boys to keep the signal fire lit in hopes of someone seeing it and coming to their rescue. The boys refused to listen to him. When Jack ordered them to light the fire to smoke out the island and

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