Essay on Civilization Versus Savagery in Golding's Lord of the Flies

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"Man has demonstrated that he is master of everything - except his own nature." This quote from Henry Miller demonstrates that even the best of people can be tempted and twisted by their own nature. Like the symbolic pig’s head stuck in the calm forests clearing, all beauty and innocence can be mutated when order is overthrown by impulse actions. In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, a central theme exists demonstrating the deterioration of civilization, and the overpowering of savagery, leading to the abandonment of moral thoughts and actions within a person. The beauty of the island is burned away slowly as the fiery demon of savagery attempts to overwhelm the boys. The beauty of the island symbolizes the charm of law and …show more content…
Piggy acts as a conscience when rumors of ghost and monsters are spread, and he ends the gossip by explaining ghosts are not logical or scientific, meaning they do not exist. Piggy uses his smarts to make sundials for the boys to keep track of the time, and with Ralph’s combination of leadership, the two boys begin to form what looks like the beginnings of a civilized camp. Civilization exists in the children, as they follow Ralph’s initial commands and help build the first shelter. They don not fully understand why they act civil, but their morals passed on by parents or self growth guide them during the first portion of the book. Golding uses the combination of Ralph and Piggy to show the roots of civilization, and the peace that morals bring, and the other boys to show the balance factor of feeling obligated to act civil. They use law as a protective companion, making rules for only speaking when holding the conch, to prevent yelling and fights. Jack even shows a civil side to his mind, when first establishing their camp, crying out, "We’ll have rules! Lot’s of rules!" (33) The fact that Golding would show that Jack, the symbol of savagery, has some civil thoughts, indicates that he is conveying the idea that civilization exists in even the most immoral people. Jack retains a sense of moral propriety and behavior that society leaves impressed on a person. Rodger, the
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