An Interpretation Of LORD OF THE FLIES

  • Category: Book Reports
  • Words: 445
  • Grade: 100
Modern history has shown us the evil that exists in human begings.
Assassinations are commong, governments use torture to discourage dissent,
and six million Jews were exterminated during World War II. In LORD OF
THE FLIES, William Golding describes a group of schoolboys shipwrecked onan island with no authorty
figures to contro ltheir behavior. One of the boys
soon yields to dark forces within himself, and his corruption symbolizes the
evil in all of us. First, Jack Merridew kills a living creature; then, he rebels
against the group leader; and finally, he seizes power and sets up his own
murderous society.
The first stage in Jack's downfall is his killing of a living creature. In
Chapter 1, Jack aims at a pig but in unable to kill. His upraised arm pauses
"because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living
flesh, because of the unbearable flood," and the pig escapes. Three
chapters later, however, Jack leads some boys on a successful hunt. He
returns triumphantly with a freshly killed pig and reports excitedly to
the others, "I cut the pig's throat." Yet Jack twitches as he says this, and he
wipes his bloody hands on his shorts as if eager to remove the stains. There
is still some civilization left in him.
After th initial act of killing the pig, Jack's refusal to cooperate with
Ralph shows us that this civilized part is rapidly disappearing. With no adults
around, Ralph has made some rules. One is that a signal fire must be kept
burning. But Jack atempts the boys watching the fire to go hunting, and the
fire to go hunting, and the fire goes out. Another rule is that at a meeting,
only the person holding a special seashell has the right to speak. In Chapter
5, another boy is speaking when Jack rudely tells him to shut up. Ralph accuses
Jack of breaking the rules. Jack shouts: "Bollocks to the rules! We're strong---
we hunt! If ther's a beast, we'll hunt it down! We'll close in and beat and
beat and beat--!" he gives a "wild whoop" and leaps off the platform, throwing
the meeting into choas. Jack is now much more savage than civlized.
Through Jack Merridew, Golding shows how easily moral laws can be forgotten.
Freed from grown-ups and their rules, Jack learns to kill living things, defy
authority, and lead a tribe of murdering savanges. Jack's example is a frightening
reminder of humanity's potential for evil. The "beast" the boys try to hunt and
kill is actually within every human being.
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