Lord Of Flies

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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"Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in." William Golding wrote the book Lord Of The Flies in order to show how his belief that all people have evil inside of them. The book shows how society can be evil and dark society can be. In this novel, Golding uses two main characters as a way to compare democracy to anarchy. The characters, Ralph and Jack, are enemies who have conflicts throughout the whole novel. Golding's messages about society can be found after comparing and contrasting the physical appearances, personalities, and leadership characteristics of the two boys and by understanding the use of symbolism.

One of the two main characters, Jack Merridew is described by Golding as a skinny, tall, bony boy with freckles and "ugly without silliness". He is about twelve years old and is said to wear a black cap covering his red hair. Jack has a very strong but an angry and mean personality with no rules.

He shows his bloodthirsty attitude when he and the hunters who used to be choir boys, brutally kills a mother pig and places her head on a stick. Jack was leader of the choir group and makes them into hunters. As a leader he is not very responsible and this is shown when Ralph tell Jack a ship has passed and Jack let the fire go out. All Jack can say is "you should have seen the blood." Jack is also demanding and a dictator for instance at one point he says "Tomorrow we shall hunt" and "He said we weren't to let you in." Jack represents Goldings belief that if people are left alone to do how they please, things will fall apart and there will be evil with chaos. Jacks personality represents Goldings belief that only the strong will surrive.

Ralph the other main charters is a twelve year old blond who Is described to be built "like a boxer." He has blond fair hair and he's tall and thin. He has an orderly personality who is very civilized and charismatic. Ralph is strong, social and nice boy who can be unsure of himself under different situations such as when he was not sure if he still wanted to be the leader of the boys or when the fire goes out and he is unsure of what to do next. As a leader he is very positive and gets the good out of people. He is a commanding leader and gets things done the right way. He craves doing the right thing and having an orderly society. Ralph represent the struggle of order and democracy. The conch is used to represent order by their blowing it and commanding a meeting. They say that who ever has the conch may speak. Ralph uses this to create democracy letting everyone have a chance to say their ideas. He says "I'll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he is speaking"¦and he won't be interrupted." Jack and Ralph together have many characteristics that are very a like. Physically, they compare in height and they are well-conditioned school age boys. Their personalities are similar in that they both are strong. The two characters have many differences. Physically, Jack is described as being like a boxer. Ralph was a reluctant leader. The position of chief was forced on him. He did not the energy and drive that Jack had but become a leader because he was qualified. Ralph is concerned about rules and order and says that without them the boys will have nothing. Jack is aggressive and destroys by even being physically threatening and he abandons all rules and codes of society. He leads the boys in a disorganized hunt for an imaginary beast and causing anarchy. Ralph is a leader because of his calm and rational personality and Jack gets his power from being irrational and through fear and manipulation. Ralph stands for civilization and humanity and Jack is seen as savage and a murderer.

Golding uses his novel, Lord of the Flies, to show that people are basically evil. He uses two of the main characters, Ralph and Jack as examples of the extreme differences between people and how he believes that the strong will survive. The similarities and differences between these main characters represent the differences in society between anarchy and democracy.