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The book Lord of the Flies, by William Golding can be read in two ways. At first glance, it seems to be just an adventure story about some kids on an island. However, upon closer inspection, it is found that the book contains much symbolism and reference to people and how they unction. There is also a distinct connection in the story that relates it to our government. This theme of the story is the application of morals to government and society. This theme is that everyone is inherently amoral, and that is only masked by the morals instilled upon people by the government.
There is a great deal of evidence in the book, and in the movie, that supports this theme, and some of it will be discussed in this essay. First, the major proof of this theme comes in the way that all order on the government falls apart with time. Although the kids initially decide to stay organized, elect a leader (Ralph), and decide on a symbol of authority (the conch), eventually it all falls apart. At first, everyone is given directions, and they all fill them out eagerly.
However, as first seen in the scene when the boys go hunting and let the fire go out, losing the chance of being rescued, they all slowly turn towards the evil within them. Throughout the story, the way in which their morality falls apart can be observed. Some of the scenes that display this are, in chronological order: + During chapter 4, some of the children begin to paint their faces. This is a major clue that they are beginning to go down the dark path. They also do the first of their savage dances in this chapter. + During chapter 7, Ralph joins the dances and hunt for the first time.
This shows that even the stronger kids are affected by the lack of government and order, or as Ralph says, the desire to squeeze and hurt was overmastering. + Chapter 9 is probably the most significant in the falling apart of order and government on the island. When Simon is beaten to death by the other kids on the island, including Ralph, this shows that, even more than Ralph s participation in the dances in chapter 7, that no one is safe from the beast inside of them. + The events in chapter 11 are the second-to-last step in the falling apart of society and government on the island. When Roger pushes the rock onto Piggy, that is the first time someone kills someone else on the island intentionally. Murder is usually the worst crime one can commit under a civilized government, and Roger commits murder, showing his total amorality at this point in the story. + Chapter 12 is really the pinnacle of savagery of the tribe on the island, for if the navy officer did not notice it; the boys would have surely died afterwards from the lack of food and shelter provided by the forest. This is significant because it means that everyone on the island has completely lost all clear sightedness, and that the boys no longer have any association with government or society. These events are just some of the many showing the boys steady decline into amorality throughout the story.
Another way that Golding s theme is proven in the story is the relationship between fear, morality, and government. Golding shows that fear, or terror at the extreme, can lead to hysteria, which leads to the eventual downfall of morals, and with them, society and government. This is demonstrated as a main theme throughout the story as the beast. This beast is inside the boys, yet all through the story, the boys attempt to pin the beast down on something real.
First, the beast is a giant snake as described by one of the little uns and it changes constantly during the story, being at times the dead fighter pilot, animals in the forest, or finally, some of the other kids on the island. This is what leads to Simon s death, and is very active in the role of bringing the children away from government. Simon s death is also significant in these them for the reason that Simon was the only one who knew the truth about the beast, and he was killed trying to tell the other kids about it. Furthermore, Jack often uses the beast as an advantage to get some of the kids to join his tribe by offering protection from the beast by means of his hunters. Since Jack s tribe was the quickest to make the journey away from government and civilization, the beast, or the children s fear, destroyed their morality, and government and society with it. Finally, Golding s theme can be proven in his use of Piggy s glasses.
The glasses represent clear sightedness, and with that social order. The status of social order, or government, on the island can be represented through the deterioration of the condition of Piggy s glasses. At the beginning, when everything is going well on the island, Piggy s glasses are in perfect condition. The first sign of decline in the state of Piggy s glasses comes when Jack punches Piggy and breaks a lens in the process. This is the first time there is any sign of trouble on the island.
For a while after that, nothing much happens to the glasses, up to the point where they are stolen by Jack s tribe to create fire. This is a significant event in the downfall of society and government on the island, but what happens next is even more noteworthy. When Roger rolls the boulder onto Piggy, the glasses are crushed along with him. This marks the complete downfall of social order and government on the island. In conclusion, William Golding s theme, that morality is instilled by government and with the downfall of government, amorality sets in, proves true in The Lord of the Flies. This is shown in the story through the gradual falling apart of society on the island, the theme of the beast, and the degradation of the condition of Piggy s glasses.
The transformation from boys to savages is well displayed in one of the little uns quotes- It was dark. There was that -, that bloody dance. There was lightning and thunder and rain. We was scared!
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Research essay sample on Government And Society Lord Of The Flies