Power Has The Ability To Improve, Or Corrupt Its Holder.

1056 WordsJan 9, 20175 Pages
Power has the ability to improve, or corrupt its holder. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the desire for power is illustrated through symbols in the novel, and changes in the boys’ behavior. Throughout the boys’ struggle to survive, their strong thirst for power quickly begins to consume them. People of authority may use power to their advantage, such as Jack, and it may often corrupts one’s mind. Power is not all bad, though corrupted authority and abuse of power have many consequences, one of which is the collapse of society. Golding uses symbolism to show how power affects the boys’ morals and behavior. The desire and consequences are shown with the conch, Jack vs Henry’s view on power, and the killing of the pig. The conch is a…show more content…
Secondly, the way power affects someone is shown within Jack and Henry. Henry has a short encounter with power, while the consequences are long-lasting with Jack. Henry attempts to control tiny transparent creatures on the shore by “talk(ing) to them, urging them, ordering them” (61). He is so fascinated with these creatures and is entranced by the power that he has over them. He desires power, and finds it when he begins to control these transparencies. His encounter is short, and he cherishes what little power he had, and does not mind that his orders go unfulfilled. On the other hand, Jack lets the power go to his head. Jack was obsessed with hunting, and his desire for power had caused him to lose his identity. Jack wanted to camouflage himself so he’d have an advantage over his prey, by rubbing his face with charcoal. He “planned his new face. He made one cheek and eye-socket white…he looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but an awesome stranger” (63). Behind the mask Jack was “liberated from shame and self–consciousness” (64), and it transformed not only his appearance, but his attitude. The mask allowed Jack to put away all civilized thought, and unfortunately he goes too far with this. He becomes more mean and demanding towards the boys. He had power over a pig’s life, and is given power by the hunters. They obey him and follow him around,
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