In the novel Lord of the Flies, there are many different themes that are presented to the reader to add to the richness of the story. Many conflicts arise and basically in any of the situations the winner is determined by the survival of the fittest. As each conflict arises the boys slide back down into a unordered world of savagery and this is caused by the breakdown of the ordered society that the boys attempt to replicate when they first arrive on the island as that was how they had been raised. The sense of good and evil on the island becomes unbalanced as the boys regress back to savage ways. The characters that still have the sense to do what is right are killed and through this the very important theme is shown mainly that when evil overbalances good a human can perform almost any inhuman act without thought.
Right from the first meeting called by Ralph on the island there are conflicts that arise. Feelings of superiority and power cause a struggle as to who would be the chief in the society that the boys were beginning to form. Jack takes this decision to heart and so he resents most of the decisions made by Ralph and he eventually splits off and forms his own tribe of savages. The boys eventually all join this tribe except Piggy and Ralph. The larger number of boys in Jack's tribe mean that hey can hunt pigs and obtain all the food that they need while excluding the two outsiders. With the breakdown of one tribe and the forming of another the boys depend more on the belief of survival of the fittest. This belief is built upon on the night of the feast, as the boys believed that Simon was the beast but they did not fear attacking him, as they were a strong tribe.
The breakdown of the simple society that the boys had formed progressed slowly at first but once it gained momentum there was nothing to stop Jack's tribe from completely living without remorse. When Ralph blows the conch for the first time to bring the survivors together the first order since the plane crash is brought to the group. Once the chief was decided Ralph began to bring order to the society by enforcing rules that would help the boys survive. The most vital rule that he proposed was that of keeping a continual signal fire burning so they had a chance of rescue. When Jack took the two boys who were on fire duty just to go hunting, the first cracks in their society begin to form. From then on the society continues on its downward slide until the boys are living and acting almost like primates without a conscious.
The boys all appear to be innocent children who have never experienced true evil because of their sheltered lives when we are first introduced to them but as the characters slowly reveal themselves to us we begin to see some of them have a dark side. Jack is one of them, he hurts the littleuns if they misbehave unlike Maurice who even when he is throwing rocks at a one of the younger boys he still has his conscious which keeps him from hitting the boy. When the beast becomes a large worry on the island the boys begin to see it everywhere as their own wickedness towards each other builds. The result of this buildup is the eventual collapse of order begining with Simon's death at the hands of the boys themselves. When Jack decides to hunt Ralph we see that the evil is completely in control of him and he does not even make an effort to deny it which is enough to scare anyone. The arrival of the Naval officer however seems to bring the good and the evil not back into balance but in a way almost taking the control over the boys from it. Ralph was the only person who kept his conscious but in the end we see that he is the worst affected by the happenings on the island, which brings us to ask. Was it better to have a conscious or become a savage and not be affected by it? From the beginning of the ordered society on the island to its breakdown and the boys' eventual demise we can see that the plot has us thinking about many themes. The survival of the fittest is a very important one as it eventually determines who will be alive at the end of the story. Once the boys regressed back into savagery their minds were filled with fear so they acted without a second thought to what they were doing and even though Ralph fought to regain the balance of good and evil, evil eventually took over completely.