Lord of the flies is a prize-winning novel by William Golding,published in 1954.
When he was going through many wars, he decided to combinehis experiences and some boys story in this writing. In this novel the main focuscivilization verses savagery. It starts, when a plan carrying British boys crashesinto an uninhabited island, far from land, and no grown-ups are there with theboys. All the boys gather together choose a chief, make laws for themselves,distribute duties, make a fire as a signal for rescue, make shelters, searchfor food, and explore the island to find the beast and kill it, but they failto continue working together. Their fight for various reasons keeps going onthat some boys are even killed.
The author wants to convey that there is evilwithin all human. The first two characters or boys who are introduced in the storyare Ralph and Piggy. Ralph is a handsome boy with fair hair, whose father worksin military and he is the oldest boy among all. Piggy by the name can be guessedthat he is a fat or chubby asthmatic boy with glasses which makes him lookintelligent and also it symbolizes wisdom. Ralph finds a conch, which he blows to gather the other boystogether, and later in this story the conch is used as a symbol of civilizationand order.
After blowing for severaltimes other boys gather together. Then comes Jack, an aggressive boy with redhair, with his marching choir. They all ask for a chief and Ralph is chosen astheir chief by all the boys. Ralph choses Jack to be the leader for the huntinggroup. Ralph says that first they need to explore the island and he choosesjack and Simonto go with him to explore the island. In their expedition, they climb a pink rock mountain and from therethey realize that they are actually on an uninhabited island. They go down therocky mountain to find food and there they come across a pig. Jack acting bold,tries to kill the pig, but he hesitates before doing so and the pig runs away.
When they return back, Ralph blows the conch and calls on ameeting. Ralph tells everyone, in order to be rescued they will need a fire asa signal, so that any ship passing by could notice them and come to rescuethem. Among the littluns, the younger boys was a boy with a big birthmark on his. He was pushed forward by other littluns to speak for them aboutthe “beastie”. But Ralph assured the littluns that there is no beasties on anisland that no one lives there.
The boys were so overwhelmed for starting a fire that they startedsinging a chant and Jack leads them into the forest to make fire there. Theyall walk in excitement of fire that they leave Ralph and Piggy behind. Jackuses Piggy’s glasses to make the fire.On the first night, the fire becomes uncontrollable and it burns alarge area, and the boy with a huge birth mark on his face, suddenly disappearsthat night. No one knowing what happened to him. The next morning, Ralph calls on a meeting and he ask forvolunteers who could look after the fire. Jack tells Ralph that few of his hunterscan look after the fire. Deep down Jack becomes jealous of Ralph’s authority andpower, so he tries to convince all the boys that they should devote theirenergies more on hunting than on maintaining the fire.
Meanwhile, only Simon helped Ralph to build shelters, even thoughit was everyone’s duty to help, but they all escaped from their duty. The boyswho were supposed to take care of the fire, skip their duty and go for huntingwith Jack. While they were away, the fire signal went off and a ship passed bywithout noticing them.
When jack and his hunters returned from their hunt,Ralph did not look very happy. He was disappointed with the hunters.Jack and piggy got into a verbal fight. Jack gets annoyed andhumiliated by both Ralph and Piggy. In front of everyone, he attacked piggy,punching him on his face and stomach and breaking one lens of his glasses.Jack and hunters hunt a pig, and chat, “Kill the pig”. “Cut herthroat”, during the hunt celebration Maurice who acted as a pig, and othersavage boys pretended to attack and kill the pig.
The next morning, Ralph after thinking for a long time calls ameeting hoping to set everything right but the meeting does not go as he wantedand as he expected it to be. Most of the boys start talking about some sort ofghost and beast. Again they argue that there is no beast there and Piggysuggests too.That night, after an airplane battle a dead, parachutist pilot landson the island near to the fire signal. The boys Sam and Eric, who weremaintaining the fire that night, thought that it was a beast, and told everyoneabout it. Ralph noticed most of the boys getting nightmares and shouting intheir sleep, because of the fear of the beast. So, Jack and Ralph with some of the older boys decide to go to gothe forest to find and kill the beast, if there is any.
The sun was sittingdown and boys had searched the whole island in search of the beast, but theyhad not found anything. The only remaining place was the dark cave which was ona mountain. With boys being too tired, Ralph decides that he will go alone tothe cave to see if the beast was there. But he was on his way when he saw Jackjoining him, and both went together to the mountain.
They were already drowningin fear, and when they went into the mountain. They saw the shadow of the dead,parachutist pilot, and thought it was an actual beast. This incident made themfrightened and they ran away.
Ralph told Piggy everything that he saw, butPiggy was not convinced, and did not believe. The next morning, Jack again opposes ralphs authority, but again everyonevotes in Ralph’s favor, and Ralph gets the support of the boys. Jack leaves thegroup with some other boys leaving Ralph alone with Piggy and the twins. Jack and his tribe make the castle rock (which is one the other sideof the island) their place to stay.
Jack paints his face “the mask was a thingof its own, behind which jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness”(4.34). The color on their faces is connected to being one with the wildernessand becoming full savages. Jack decides that he will throw in a feast, where hewill invite everyone and let them decide if they want to join his tribe, and hunt,and have fun. Jack tells his hunters “forget the beast, when we kill we’llleave some of the kill for it. Then maybe it won’t bother us” (8:168).
Withthat being said, jack leads his hunters into the forest to hunt. They hunt apig and leaves the head as an offering to the beast.Meanwhile, Simon finds out the pig’s head that the hunters had leftas an offering to the beast. He calls it “The lord of the flies” because of allthe worms and flies that were on the pig’s face. He was in an illusion andthere the head was speaking to him, and telling him how he (the beast) cannotbe killed, lord of the flies told him “you knew, didn’t you? I am part of you?I am the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are.” (8:181). Simonfaints and loses his conscious. After he wakes up, he finds the dead,parachutist pilot, so he runs to tell all the boys about how they havemisunderstood the dead, parachutist pilot with a beast.
During this time the hunters were again celebrating the hunt, andchant, “kill the pig”, “cut her throat”, performing dance, where Roger acted asthe big, and others pretending to attack and kill him. This time the danceturns into a violent beating, and Roger gets injured during the react of thehunt.Ralph, and Piggy who were playing at lagoon alone, decided to findother boys to make sure nothing unfortunate happens.
When Ralph finds Jack,they argue that who should be the chief. Piggy having conch shell says, let metalk, Jack says it does not work at my side. At that time Ralph warn them aboutthe storm, which was arriving. While, storm and rain starts, Simon comesrunning from the jungle, thinking that he is the beast the boys attack at himand kills Simon.The next day, Ralph and Piggy, on the other side of the island werediscussing about Simons death, they both took part in the murder.In the castle Rock, Jack said that they will first hunt and thenthey will go and steal fire from Ralph, and Piggy. The four boys were trying tokeep the fire on, but to keep the fire going they needed more effort and morepeople, so they kind of gave up on the fire and went back to their shelters.
Itwas midnight, when the four boys were attacked, while they were sleeping by thesavage boys, and got injured. They came to steal Piggy’s glasses and they did. Piggysaid “that’s them. They blinded me. See? That’s Jack Merridew.” After the attack, Ralph, Piggy, and the twins went to the castlerock where the savages were staying. When they reach the castle rock, Ralph usedthe conch to call on an assembly, but Jack told him to leave them alone. Ralphcalled them “painted fools” (11:225) and this made Jack angry, and there wasexchange of fists between them.
Jack gave order to his hunters to capture thetwins and keeps them as prisoners. Piggy lifts the conch and shouts “which isbetter? To be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible likeRalph. In the meantime, Roger, standing on top of the cliff pushed a bigboulder, which hit Piggy and he felt forty feet down the cliff and died. For amoment there was complete silence. Ralph opened his mouth to speak, but thewords dried out in his mouth.
Jack declared himself the chief and threw hisspear at ralph, who ran away. He hid near the castle. Keeping himself in the shadows, he crawled tothe gate of the castle rock, where the twins Sam, and Eric were kept as watchdogs. He asks them to come with him but out of fear, they refused. They gavehim some meat and urged him to go back. The next day, Ralph realized that Jackis trying to burn down the whole forest, thinking that the smoke up Ralph,which will destroy all the fruits left out on the island, because they thoughtthat out of fear, Ralph was hiding somewhere in the forest. Ralph startsrunning for his life from the savages, who wanted to kill him like an animal.
Running through the forest toward the open beach with savages running behindhim a few miles away. Ralph collapsed, on the beach. He was down, rolling overand over in the warm sand, crouching and begging for mercy. But when he lookedup, he saw a Naval officer standing in front of him. This brought tears intohis eyes and he started crying. He was crying for the death of his friends, hewas crying for how innocence was over and how cruel the men heart is.
In Lord of the Flies, William Golding represents his view of humannature and humanity. He demonstrates that out ability to leave peacefully, andbe civilized is not part of human nature, that’s more something that we learnin the society. He believes that all human beings has an evil side that can berevealed when they are living laws, and control over them.