"The Boys Start Splendidly. But then cracks begin to appear in their society" Discuss

Essay by viva_la_bennieHigh School, 12th gradeB+, July 2007

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The novel ‘Lord of the flies’ deals with the conflicting human instincts that exist within each of the schoolboys as they are stranded on the island. At the beginning of the novel the boys start off splendidly, building shelters, establishing rules and building a signal fire that is going to maximise their chances of being rescued. Ralph is elected leader because of his leadership that is reflected from his input of ways to maximize their rescue. However the order and civilization on the island starts to descend into chaos and disorder as the conflicting values between Ralph and Jack start to arise.

Ralph is the main representative of the order and civilisation, and keeps the group of boys in touch with civilisation by steering the boy’s efforts towards being rescued. It is up until the conflicting values between Ralph and Jack that the chaos and the loss of innocence become apparent on the island.

Jack is the main representative of evil and disorder on the island. He forms a tribe of hunters, which depict the first loss of the civilised world and immerses the boys into wild and primitive behaviour. It is when the firsts signs of the beast on the island, when piggy speaks of fear which initiate the litlun’s dream, that intensifies the conflict between Jack and Ralph.

Simon is also a key character, which symbolises an innate, spiritual human goodness that is deeply connected with nature. It is Simon who keeps in touch with the civilised world and his faith of being rescued continues throughout the beginning of the novel, even when Ralph and the rest of the boys begin to doubt the possibility. Simon also symbolises the uniting figure on the island. As the fear and chaos enter the mind of the boys about the beast, Simon remains his normal self, in touch with the beauty of nature and his different view and perspectives of the boys and the island remain. He acts morally not out of guilt or shame. He is the first to realise the problem posed by the beast and the Lord of the Flies, and recognizes that the monster on the island is not real a real monster but a savagery that is within each of the boys.

As it is apparent at the start of the novel that the boys start off splendidly on the island, it is not until the conflicting values between Jack and Ralph and the beast is created by stories and dreams of the children, that chaos and fear enters the minds of the boys, resulting in the loss of innocence and the ability to stay in touch with the civilised world is lost. Once the group of boys divide into separate groups that the order within their society descends into disorder and many problems begin to occur, as the boy’s behaviour becomes more and more out of control.