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Breakdown of the Social Order in Lord of the Flies

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    Several factors contributed to the breakdown of the social order, most of which were results of Jacks actions. When word broke out that there was a beast roaming about the island who would eat little children, most of the boys feared of going up the mountain where the beast was thought to live. Since the boys were too terrified of going near the beast, the signal fire on the mountain, ceased to burn and hope of rescue among the boys quickly diminished, despite Ralphs efforts to rally the boys to continue the signal fire. After Jack and Ralph fled the mountain top after seeing a beast-like object, Jack accused Ralph of being a coward and to be unfit for the position of chief. This began unrest among the boys and soon some were beginning to consider choosing Jack as their leader.

    Ever since the boys found themselves trapped on the island, Jack felt he should rightfully be the chief of the boys because he was the head boy and chapter chorister in his choir. Thus he tried to sway the groups preference of leaders to him at all chances he could attain, and questioning Ralphs leadership and acting somewhat rebellious. In one case, Jack takes the two boys who were tending to the signal fire on a hunt, meanwhile a ship passed by the island unaware of the groups presence because the signal fire was dead. When Ralph confronts Jack about letting the fire go out, Jack retorted by saying they needed meat and to hunt. When Jack has a feast, he invites the other boys to follow him, saying that they will hunt and have fun while they are on the island. The situation that occurs in the novel, could have arisen had there been only a group of boys in question, who were obedient to those older than them. This is because the younger boys would show more respect and obey orders of the older boys such as Ralph and Jack. Due to the two opposing sides constantly agitating each other, breakdown of social order was to be expected.


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