Lord of the Flies – Symbolism

?Within the psyche of an animal consciousness there exists a strong impulse for savagery. The human dominance over savagery and our organization into civilization sets us apart from the common animal, as these impulses are set to work to make us a productive member of society. This theme of savagery opposing civilization has been explored throughout many forms of media such as William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

In this novel, he chronicles the descent of civilization into savagery through the medium of young boys on an island. He creates a message that strongly advocates civilization as a whole and puts emphasis on the negative nature of unrestrained savagery. Through the conflict between characters and symbols, Golding makes it clear that the fatal flaw of the human condition lies in our inability to overcome our animal nature.

The primary conflict in Lord of the Flies comes from the clashing of ideals between the young boys Ralph and Jack. Ralph wishes to start a “proper” society alike to the English one they came from, whereas Jack embraces his animal nature and wishes to gain more power and creates a tribe based on subservience to himself. He creates a dictatorial society of exploitation and illegitimate power.

Originally, Ralph is able to channel Jack’s barbarity into the hunt, providing an outlet for him to channel his violence, while benefiting the good of the tribe. While restrained by the rules of civilization, Jack is no danger to himself or others. However, Jack- unable to overcome his savagery- eventually rejects the validity of civilization and ultimately separates the group into factions. Due to his inability to reject the animal side of himself, he sets off the sequence of events that leads to a society of murder and false worship. The democratic idealism of Ralph is shown through the conch shell. It symbolizes his elected leadership over the others as well as the power of assembly. Alternatively, the Lord of.

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