Ralph And Piggy

1181 Words5 Pages
Lord of the Classics How classic literature is still shaping out understanding of the human condition, writes Sarah Landy Modern commitments and increasingly busy lifestyles are leading a lot of us to forgo good literature in favour of more idle pastimes. With the Internet at our fingertips constantly, we are able to access all the Vines, BuzzFeed articles and TV shows we want at little more than the press of a button. To an extent, this demand for idle amusement makes sense; as millennials, our schedules are jam-packed with work, social commitments, classes and a million other things simultaneously and often we want to just take a break from everything! But is it time we returned to older forms of entertainment? For the most part, classic…show more content…
From the minute they arrive on the island, Ralph and Piggy are searching for some semblance of the glue that held their lives together: authority. Within the first chapter, the conch shell that Piggy stumbles upon becomes a symbol of leadership and community, like the “men with the megaphones” it is used to bring the community together, and “most obscurely, yet most powerfully” determines Ralph being elected as leader over Jack’s blustering…show more content…
During the initial stages of the stranding of the boys, Jack’s inherently violent nature and elation at the lack of the presence of authority turns out to be useful, with him and a group of other boys forming a group of ‘hunters’, with the intention of providing for the community established by Ralph (with the assistance of Piggy). Upon the destruction of the shell, the symbolism for the point at which the semblance of civilisation fell apart, Jack’s violent reign led to an unequal distribution of power amongst the boys and the consequent deaths of Simon and Piggy. The key difference between the sides is the motive for power: Ralph wants to restore order and plan ahead, keeping in mind what he sees as the best option for the boys under his leadership, whereas on the other hand Jack is primarily motivated by his savage desires, free to flourish without a ‘proper’ authority to reign him in (although it could be argued that this was perpetrated by fear). Whilst the setting of these events seems disconnected from out perspective, as modern-day readers, the staging and symbolism of the whole ‘civilisation vs. savagery’ concept is a very real issue. This leads to the question: If we were to manipulate the text and re-evaluate it in a more modern, post-war setting, would we (as humans) respond in the same way? Golding seems to think so. His use of these figures to explore the innate characteristics of human mindset
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