Savagery In Lord Of The Flies Essay

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In The Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses an island isolated from society to shape psychological and moral traits in a group of young boys, as no adults are there to tell them what is acceptable. Most of the boys inexorably succumb to savagery, showing that primal impulses held within all people are suppressed by society but are nevertheless present and can be dangerous. Some of the boys try to impose rules and order over the group, but ultimately fail because of the tribalism exhibited by the others, showing that this inner savagery is a natural human impulse that can surface in the right conditions. Ralph and Piggy serve as symbols of civilization and society. For example, they assign different people to different tasks, such as collecting wood, building shelters, hunting for food, and gathering berries, just as people perform specific jobs in countries with specialized labor: “Piggy was […] so full of pride in his contribution to the good of society […] that he helped fetch the wood” (Golding 136). This attempt to recreate government is a result of them clinging to the past adult world. At first, most of the boys accept this “government” and respect the leaders that they choose through…show more content…
Roger takes joy in hurting others, and when society stops hammering into his head that hurting people is wrong, his psychopathic tendencies show through: “There was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which [Roger] dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of his old life” (Golding 61). Early on in the story, Roger holds back his inner savagery, as he still associates hurting others with repercussions, such as being grounded. When he is placed in the context of different surroundings with no powerful authority figure, he eventually is turned into a merciless and cruel being. Jack thirsts for power and seeks to form his own “clan”, an example of
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