Rituals in Lord of the Flies Lord of the Flies centers around how a group of young boys deal with being stranded from civilization. They develop rituals, and as the boys convert to savages their rituals also alter from civil to savage. Lord of the Flies, written by William Gilding, is a fictional novel that takes place on a deserted island. The time period is unknown; however, the novel occurs during a war. Lord of the Flies focuses on power struggles between two of the main characters, Jack and Ralph.
Jack creates the sense of savagery on the island, and Ralph never gives up hope of rescue. This novel shows society the true nature of human beings and tells a tale of savagery. The rituals shown in Lord of the Flies change how the boys act and behave because these rituals convert from being civil to savage. When the boys perform rituals, they are strengthened and unified, which causes them to act violently and uncontrollably. When these solemn acts are performed, the tribe often behaves as one instead of as individuals.
For instance, when the boys go hunting, their unity strengthens them, which enables them to support each other. Gilding stated, “Roger became the pig, grunting and charging at Jack, who sidestepped. The hunters took their spears, and the rest clubs of firewood. A circling movement developed and a chant” (151). This quote demonstrates how the rituals cause them to act as a mob and not as individuals. When acting as a clan, they get a desire to kill, making their actions excessively violent. As a result, it is proven that rituals niter a group of people and cause them to act murderously.
Rituals shown in Lord of the Flies expose the true nature of human beings because their inner self is liberated. Throughout the course of the novel, Jack and his tribe wear face paint. At first, they do this in order to camouflage, but as time passes and they become more savage, they wear it to prove their power. The face paint is colored in red and black, symbolizing evil. Attempting to show the fear of savagery, Gilding says, “They understood only too well he liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought” (172).
As shown, not only do the masks make them look like something else; they actually turn them into unimaginable creatures. Summing up, rituals show how humans revert to savagery by revealing their violent nature. When the boys participate in rituals, they lose their grip on reality. To demonstrate, the chant that is said during hunts produces a loss of reason. Equally important, the boys become blind of emotion while reciting the chant, and this causes their behavior to change from civil to savage.
During a pig hunt, the chant begins, *ill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in! ‘ Ralph too was fighting to get hear, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-massing” (114). Evidently, it is shown that this ritual demolishes Rally’s sensibility. Within seconds, his sense of rationalism is crushed. In brief, rituals such as this chant lead to irrational behavior. Rituals shift from civil to savage in Lord of the Flies, and this leads to violent behavioral changes.
Due to rituals, the boys are unified, they lose reasoning and their brutal nature is exposed. As they transform into savages, a larger understanding of humans is gathered. The rituals in Lord of the Flies prove that when away from civilization, humans will revert to savagery. This still exists currently as soldiers are taken from home, only to go to war as they battle for their country’s power. Lord of the Flies sketches an outline of how savage rituals cause humans to darken to a deeper level of violence, and because of this, they become savage.