Breakdown Of Society - "Lord Of The Flies".

Essay by EnglishNutHigh School, 11th gradeA, December 2005

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"When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." This preceding quote, said by Carl Sandburg, helps people to understand why deterioration of a society occurs. When a civilian, or a country forgets their background or morals, they are unable to demonstrate constraint towards what they would refrain from immediately under normal conditions. These unusual conditions can be the cause of all deterioration in society. In The Lord Of The Flies when a group of boys are deserted on a remote island, they originally try to follow the societal values in which they learned in their homeland of Britain. Eventually, the boys lost all control over each other and even themselves because they forgot where they came from and what they stand for. The three main stages of societal deterioration seen in The Lord Of The Flies are the failure to duplicate British society, the breakdown of society into two factions, and finally the act of murder.

The initial stage of societal deterioration seen in The Lord Of The Flies is the boys' inability to effectively duplicate British society. The first time this can be seen in during one of the boys' meetings. They are discussing the current situation on the island, and more particularly, the need for rules. Ralph said:

"We'll have rules!" he cried excitedly.

"Lots of rules! Then when anyone breaks' em"




"Doink!" (Golding, 32).

Ralph's obviously ineffective statement caused an eruption of laughter within the boys, which allows the boys to believe that the need for rules is not a serious issue. As leader, Ralph is not placing any consequences on the breaking of rules, therefore, the boys essentially have...