Comparison between the law in Golding's "Lord or the Flies" and Aquinas's Concept of Law

Essay by irishriles2328University, Bachelor'sB, November 2003

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In Golding's Lord of the flies, the rules on the island in the very beginning of the book were very simple: whoever holds the conch shell is allowed to speak and everyone must listen to that person as he speaks. The children on the island never thought that it was necessary to go over all of the rules of proper conduct. After all, their families and teachers instilled these basic rules in them as they were growing up, right? Yes but being brought up in such a way that rules are a part of everyday life and then going to a situation where there are no set rules of conduct, this outcome was bound to occur. This book shows the conflict between obeying the rules, acting lawfully, and doing what is morally "right" and disregarding the rules and gratifying one's own desires.

Aquinas's concept of law would not have been applicable to the society constructed by the boys stranded on the island.

In the beginning of the book, all of the boy's were doing their own thing and paid no attention to the leader that they had all elected. If law is "engaged mainly with the scheme of common happiness," this would have never worked. All of the kids wanted different things. Ralph and Piggy wanted everyone to work together and do their part in hopes that if they did so, they

would be able to get off the island. Simon is kind to the younger boys and is willing to work for the good of their community. Jack, on the other hand, wasn't the least bit interested in getting off the island or doing what was best for their community; all he wanted to do was hunt. The other kids on the island just behaved like kids until...