“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace. ” (Franklin D. Roosevelt). In Gilding’s Lord of the Flies there is battle for civilization. However, this battle takes place within. A group of young boys are left to fend for themselves on a deserted island where they find a beast. Gilding portrays that there cannot be a functioning society if there is a battle between civil and savage within.
Ralph and Jack are the two authority figures within the novel and each represents either civil or savage. The novel reads “Ralph watched them, envious and resentful. Not till they flagged and the chant died away did he speak. I’m calling an assembly”(75). Ralph continues to call meetings and in this particular meeting he establishes more rules and laws. This is just like a civilized society, but this doesn’t come without oppression.
The novel reads “Jack himself shrank at this cry with a hiss and for a minute became less of a hunter and more of a furtive thing pee-like among the tangle of trees”(49).
Jack represents the savage part of the battle. He is depicted as an animal or just plain savage. Not only do Jack and Ralph show the battle but it is also represented through symbolism. The conch and the beast, two things very similar to Ralph and Jack. The novel reads “Ceremonially, Ralph laid the conch on the trunk beside him as a sign the speech was over. ” (82). The conch is a prime example of civilization the way it creates order and keeps it. If there is battle between civil and savage hen there must be a symbol for savagery.
The beast says “There isn’t anyone else to help you. Only me. And I’m the beast” (143). The beast is evil but not real. He is inside all the boys just like the there is a battle inside. Gilding shows that society cannot function with an internal battle between civil and savage. Ralph and jack represent the two sides of the battle. The conch is order or civil and the beast is darkness or savage. If the beast is within everyone then how can we have functioning society or is that why some fail.
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