Civilization Vs Savagery In Lord Of The Flies Analysis
The novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ written by William Golding, portrays the theme of civilization vs savagery and uses the characters as symbolization. Jack is depicted as the group's rapidly growing savagery while Ralph is portrayed as the boy's remaining civilization. Civilization has been helpful numerous times and created a livable society amongst the boys, but when disorder begins to rise, so does chaos. Jack and Ralph represent these opposing forces throughout the novel. Therefore, civilization is essential for survival or savagery will gain control and cause discord.
Civility has helped the boys numerous times and has advised them by creating a livable and decent society in which there are rules. Ralph establishes rules and jobs for the group to follow. Thus, becoming their first act of civilization on the island. “We’ve got to have special people for looking after the fire. Any day there may be a ship out there– and if we have a signal going they’ll come and take us off. And another thing. We ought to have more rules. Where the conch is, that’s a meeting. The same up here as down there.” (Golding 58). Due to the boys' young age, they rely on the knowledge and skills they learned prior to arriving on the island to establish rules and to delegate a leader. After a civilized vote, Ralph is elected leader and inflicts rules as well as jobs that assist in keeping the society organized and running. Some of these rules include looking after the signal fire, having a designated lavatory area and allocating certain people for hunting. These rules encouraged fitter living conditions on the island, while some other regulations comparable to requiring the conch to speak during meetings enhanced the boys' civility. The civilization represented in the book is imperative because it builds and influences the boys to come together and become a trustable family which is compulsory for a convenient society. Civilization is very prominent throughout the beginning of the novel, but savagery quickly begins to present itself after Jack commits the savage act of killing a pig.
When disorder begins to rise within the group, chaos emits to the surface. In chapter 4, Ralph recalls memories of a hunt that left him satisfied. “His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.” (Golding 98). This quote shows the rapidly growing savagery within Jack. He felt no remorse but instead satisfaction after murdering a pig and even goes onto saying “You should've seen the blood!” (Golding 98). This savagery advances and leads up to Simons and Piggy's death, who was killed by Jack's savagery and thirst for power. Such shows Jack's barbarism also being the opposite of what Ralph represents.
Throughout the novel, we see how Ralph and Jack are significantly different and represent the theme of savagery vs civilization. In chapter 2, Ralph and Jack have a conflict on what needs to be prioritized. “We want meat— We need shelters.” (Golding 71). Ralph's character is often shown as a civilized leader. He decides it is best to build shelters for protection against the rain, which will benefit the entire community. Jack is more focused on hunting and obtaining meat to quench his thirst of the desire to hunt, adding to his savage personality. We also see more representations of how Jack and Ralph symbolize the battle between savagery and civilization. Each time Ralph takes a more practical approach that focuses on building a healthy and fair society, while Jack is often found attempting to obtain power in any possible way like, inflicting fear and turning the boys against each other.
Civilization is essential for survival or, savagery will gain control and cause discord. It has proved to be helpful to the boys and when disorder emits, so does chaos. Jack and Ralph show the opposing forces of civilization vs savagery. Throughout the novel, William Golding teaches us about the barbarity within one another, and that anyone can commit savage acts.