The Lord Of The Flies – William Golding

Essay by greg.semmensHigh School, 12th grade February 2010

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In the novel The Lord Of The Flies by William Golding the values of the group of stranded English schoolchildren and the relevance of those values to human society as a whole are developed by the interaction of Ralph and Jack. Ralph represents order and the desire for societies rules to be enforced. Jack on the other hand represents chaos and the breakdown of rules in a society. The conflicting relationship between these two develops the wider idea that society can be torn between those who impose rules and those who look to break away from the controls of society.

Jack represents chaos and Ralph continually worries that Jack is undermining his role as chief of the survivors. Piggy refers to this at one of the many meetings by saying "How can you expect to be rescued if you don't put first things first and act proper?" Piggy could speak Ralphs concerns because he had the intelligence to do so.

Jack was angry at the first meeting after the littl'uns voted Ralph chief, driven on only by the fact that it was Ralph who held the conch - a symbol of authority. Jack's sullen resentment was developed into a flagrant disobedience for the rules that the group had imposed. Jack's values became less about getting rescued and more about becoming leader of his own tribe.

Another way that values were developed was in the attitude to the rules of the situation the children found themselves in. Ralph and Piggy tried to set rules and enforce them. Jack and Roger quickly came into conflict with this as they pursued their own entertainment. This breakdown of the rules became most apparent when Roger toppled a huge rock onto Piggy killing him instantly. It was at that moment that the rules of our society were totally submerged in the values of the savage. The twins also confirm this when they pass information to Ralph that Roger has "sharpened a stick at both ends." The conclusion the reader draws is that the tribe will not only kill Ralph but will make a sacrifice to a new god, the Lord of the Flies.

In conclusion, in the novel Lord of The Flies the group struggles with old values and throughout the course of the novel different characters fight for control of the group and for the values of the group. The novel shows us that in any society or opinions, values and ideas can be easily disrupted.

Bibliography:Golding, W. Lord of the Flies. Penguin 2005