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All animals struggle to keep at sense of equilibrium between their good and bad natures. This is prevalent through all of nature and human society in general. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding delves into the sensitive controversy of how close humankind comes to the loss of civilization because of its inability to suppress its savage-like spirit. People everywhere fall into political categories. In Lord of the Flies, the boys unconsciously separate themselves into categories. Ralph and Jack are immediately and obviously leaders.
Simon and Piggy are advisors, though this is not as apparent to the boys. The rest of the boys could be described as weak-minded followers, possibly dangerous only because of the stupidity and brute force that goes with a naive mob. Societies exist wherever there are groups of animals. The boys, following the mimicry of civilization, attempt to set up a small society. They create a democratic-like relaxed government. They appoint tasks to keep everybody busy, even though the boys ignore these tasks, sparking into effect the disconnection with reality.
The rogue orphaned elephants, lacking authority and general wisdom, attack the rhinos because they have no one to enforce any set of rules for them, "under normal circumstances... A dominant older male is around to keep the young bulls in line. " (Michael Lemonick 1) The boys try to maintain a sense of unity which ends up failing as the stronger but more foolish boys influence the weak-minded ones to stray from the established code of conduct resulting in chaos for lack of enforcement of rules. Misbehavior is caused in part by a disconnection of reality; a loss of foresight caused by an unwillingness to use one's conscience. In Chechnya, Russian soldiers slaughter Chechens daily without thought or care accepting it all as an unavoidable part of war, "I remember a Chechen female sniper. We just tore her apart with two armored personnel carriers, having tied her ankles with steel cables. There was lots of blood, but the boys needed it. " (Maura Reynolds 1) The killing of the first pig symbolizes the lost connection of reality that some of the boys end up with.
Few of the boys are able to keep their ties to society intact. Jack loses his sense with reality until the end when he sees the Marine, only then realizing exactly what horrible crimes he has committed, just as the Russians felt after they got home from Chechnya: Sometimes I fear I will not be able to control myself, especially after a couple of drinks, the thirty something police commando says. I wake up in a cold sweat, all enraged, and all I can see is dead bodies, blood, and screams. At that moment, I'm ready to go as far as it takes. I think if I were given weapons and grenades, I would head out and start 'Mopping up' my own hometown. (Reynolds 4) While losing sight of reality may seem easy, the consequences catch up to everyone in the end. When situations reach a point where the transpiring chaos is having a strong impact, reactions are intense and distinct.
Recently, two students at a college for the deaf were murdered causing tumult in the small tightly woven Washington D. C. Community: Chris Sutton, 21, a freshman from Newfoundland who was a friend of Plunkett (a victim) and lived in the same dormitory, said he sank into such a depression after the first slaying that he returned home for four weeks and mostly stayed in bed. (Mike Dorning 2) When the community on the island started to face problems, the boys had varied reactions. Some of the unthinking boys panicked and made unwise decisions to hunt with Jack rather than stay with Ralph and attempt to remain civilized. Others acted with self-assured ignorance and murdered innocent boys because they surrender to their barbaric urges. Ralph and Piggy reacted to the uncivilized behavior of their island-mates with shock because they clung to the old way of the society they knew.
The detachment of reality while committing acts of savagery is in itself horrible. The murders of the two deaf students were shocking not only because they were brutal and bloody, but also because they are thought to have been committed by a fellow student, "It makes you wonder: who is this person... Is it a person on campus? Is someone targeting people?" (Dorning 1) When the hunters killed Piggy it was because they were completely apathetic. All they wanted to do was cause destruction so that they could have a sense of purpose and a solid sense of who they were.
Being away from all adult influences and not being fully mature left many of the boys with a identity crisis leaving them wondering what conscience they should follow. When committing acts of violence and destruction, people become detached from what is considered to be the normal standard of right and wrong. After the chaos when everything has had time to settle down, everything sinks in. After dealing with the war in Chechnya: ... Creating a new generation of troubled Russian men with deep psychological problems, many of whom are violent. Many of the returning servicemen said they were Experiencing symptoms such as nightmare and an inability to control their anger.
Many said they or their comrades were drinking heavily. (Reynolds 15) After the Marines arrived at the island, the boys had a shock of reality. Jack's conscience came back, and he realized that he would have to pay a price for his careless actions. Ralph also had a flood of conscience that made him remember all the atrocities that occurred on the island. Some of the boys began to cry as they regained their link with the real world and faced the fact that they were going to return home to their homes, schools, and families. After all the chaos, destruction, apathy, and violence has taken place the victims and victimizer's both have to deal with the after-affects whether they like it or not. Bibliography: Dorning, Mike. "Two Slayings Grip University for Deaf. " Chicago Tribune 12 February 2001.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Random, 1990 Lemonick, Michael. "Young, Single and Out of Control. " Times Magazine. 13 October, 1997. Reynolds, Maura. "War has No Rules for Russian Forces Battling Chechen Rebels. " Chicago Tribune. 5 February, 2001.
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Research essay sample on Lord Of The Flies Chicago Tribune