Lord of The Flies - Savagry

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Savagery has existed inside of everyone for all of man existence. Though as time has progressed and people have become more civilized the desire to kill mitigates to nothing more than entertainment. In William Golding's Lord of the Flies he proves that man can quickly revert to a savage life style if placed into a hostile environment.

Although Roger may be quiet and civilized acting when he arrives on the island he quickly becomes one of the most malicious behaving boys on the island. His first showing of being evil is when he throws rocks nearby the littluns. Although this does not seem evil, it begins his diabolic ways. Roger realizes that throwing the rocks at the littluns is wrong, but he does not care. When Jack, Ralph, and Roger go searching for the beast Roger aggress to go because he does not fear what they might encounter. Showing no fear in most people may be looked at as a brave thing to do but he is only doing it because he has reverted to a very primitive life style.

Roger reaches his deepest savage emotions and feelings when he kills Piggy with the boulder. In addition to the death of Piggy and the conch was the death of all intellectual and civilized manner left in the boys. Not even civilization could help Roger because of his incorrigible attitude. Jack attempts to maintain a civilized life style when he arrives on the island, but his ferocity overcomes him with the thoughts of killing. Jack's savagery begins to come out when he breaks Piggy's glasses in the fight. Piggy's glasses being broken symbolizes how the boys are losing sight of what civilization has taught them. In addition, the fight shows that Jack is slowing losing self-control of his emotions. Jack loathes Ralph so much that he puts them in a constant rivalry with each other partly because Jack thinks about nothing more than hunting and killing, and Ralph still has some rational thoughts. The constant rivalry between the two boys only brings out anger in them which gets them closer to total savageness. Jack's constant thoughts towards killing implies that civilize thinking is no longer available in him. Jack retrogresses to such a primitive state that he decides to light the whole island on fire just so he can kill Ralph. In addition, he thinks that killing Ralph is no different than killing a pig but he does not have any value for human life. Jack's loss of self-control proves that civilization is no match for his ferocity. As the boys are left on the island longer and longer, they also show signs of savageness. When the boy's hair grows they begin to tie it back, and they begin to paint their faces. The tying of their hair means that they begin to put civilization behind them. The painting of their faces mimics that of the war paint of the savage and brutal Indians. After pretending to hunt each other as a ritual they get a strong desire to kill something, then Simon walks out of the forest all cut up and they kill him saying he is the dreaded beast. All of the boys knew Simon was not the beast but they killed him any ways because it gave them pleasure. In addition, after the hunters kill a pig for the first time they begin to chant "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood." The chant showed how much hunting meant to the boys and to them hunting meant more than the fire did. Also if the boys weren't so consumed with the desire to kill they could have been rescued. Although they were a group and should have had many civilized actions between them, savageness still won control for the mind. Savageness is such a powerful emotion that no matter how hard the boys tried to resist it they still became consumed by it. William Golding proves in the novel that man will revert to a savage life style if he is put into a hostile environment.