english literature

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The Lord Of the flies: Government

In the book The Lord of the Flies, there were many different lessons you could have got out of the book, such as civilization is heavenly-like or can be Christ-like or something like being fun can lead to savagery. Though, I will be talking about the unique changes in government throughout the book. The book consists of two main leaders: Ralph and Jack. Ralph was more of the democratic type instead of the type who would demonstrate rudeness' and irresponsibility. Jack is the dictator of the book, who is exactly what Ralph doesn't want to become. In this essay, I will be talking about the government that was shown in every chapter and conclude the passage with the reason why I think this way about all of the chapters.

In chapter one, Ralph is the democratically elected political leader of the group and Jack, "marching" in with his choir is akin to a military leader, assigned to lead the choir as if it were an army. In the beginning, these two elements - the democratic republic and the dictator - appear to be close friends, agreeing to cooperate with one another. The dictator, Jack, agrees to support Ralph as he makes political decisions for the group during the "assembly," going so far as to offer his choir, the army, to watch over the signal fire on the mountain.

Meanwhile, in chapter two, Ralph continues to establish a democratic political foundation, and the description of the children sitting in organized sections during assembly is reflective of a government meeting. Jack continues to support him offering his choir to protect them against any beast; abiding by Ralph's rules, he addresses the group only when he holds the conch in his hands. The conflict between the instincts of civilization and savagery emerges quickly within the group: the boys, especially Piggy, know that they must act with order and forethought if they are to be rescued, but the longer they remain apart from the society of adults, the more difficult it becomes for them to adhere to the disciplined behavior of civilization. In Chapter 1, the boys seem determined to re-create the society they have lost, but as early as Chapter 2, their instinctive drive to play and gratify their immediate desires undermines their ability to act collectively. As a result, the signal fire nearly fails, and a young boy apparently burns to death when the forest catches fire. The constraints of society still linger around the boys, who are confused and ashamed when they learn the young boy is missing—a sign that a sense of morality still guides their behavior at this point.

Golding's portrayal of the main characters among the group of boys contributes to the allegorical quality of Lord of the Flies, as several of the boys stand for larger concepts. Ralph, the protagonist of the novel, stands for civilization, morality, and leadership, while Jack, the antagonist, stands for the desire for power, selfishness, and amorality. Piggy represents the scientific and intellectual aspects of civilization, as his glasses—a symbol of rationality and intellect—enable the boys to light fires. Already the boys' savage instincts lead them to value strength and charisma above intelligence: although Piggy has a great deal to offer the boys' fledgling civilization, they see him as a whiny weakling and therefore despise him and refuse to listen to him, even when his ideas are good. For instance, when Piggy suggests that the boys find a way to improve their chances of being rescued, they ignore him; only when the stronger and more charismatic Ralph suggests the same thing do they agree to make the signal fire.

In chapter three and four, the first signs of discord appear between Ralph and Jack, the political heads of their miniaturized society. While Ralph struggles to build shelters to live in until they are rescued, Jack has been off hunting pigs, showing very little concern or planning for their rescue. He yearns to kill the pigs, insisting that they "need meat." Jack assembles his choirboys, his "hunters," as he likes to call them. He has painted himself and becomes more and more obsessed with killing pigs, even as Ralph struggles to worry about what is best for the group. Their relationship continues to disintegrate and, rather than keeping his hunters on the mountain to guard the signal fire, they go off to hunt in the forest. The bond between Ralph and Jack is severed, as unforgivable damage has been done. A ship which could have come to their rescue has passed them by since the signal fire went out while Jack's hunters were out helping him to kill the sow, they become almost tribal in nature, chanting, proud that they had killed something. The democratic Ralph sees this activity as a threat to the group's dynamics, while the primal Jack sees this as a way to build the war hunger of his choir and cement his role as the warrior-leader.

In chapter five, things get even worse as the ability of governing well is linked with acting like a grown-up, with Ralph yearning for something of the adult world to help them reassert order. Jack continues to become more and more an adversary to Ralph, no longer following the assembly's rules and talking without holding the conch, an item which gives the privilege of speaking to its possessor - this rule is also now disregarded. Jack's dictatorship becomes an adversary to Ralph's republic.

In the next chapter, As fear about the beast grips the boys, the balance between civilization and savagery on the island shifts, and Ralph's control over the group diminishes. At the beginning of the novel, Ralph's hold on the other boys is quite secure: they all understand the need for order and purposive action, even if they do not always want to be bothered with rules. By this point, however, as the conventions of civilization begin to erode among the boys, Ralph's hold on them slips, while Jack becomes a more powerful and menacing figure in the camp. In Chapter 5, Ralph's attempt to reason with the boys is ineffective; by Chapter 6, Jack is able to manipulate Ralph by asking him, in front of the other boys, whether he is frightened. This question forces Ralph to act irrationally simply for the sake of preserving his status among the other boys. This breakdown in the group's desire for morality, order, and civilization is increasingly enabled—or excused—by the presence of the monster, the beast that has frightened the littluns since the beginning of the novel and that is quickly assuming an almost religious significance in the camp.

The air battle and dead parachutist remind us of the larger setting of Lord of the Flies: though the boys lead an isolated life on the island, we know that a bloody war is being waged elsewhere in the world—a war that apparently is a terrible holocaust. All Golding tells us is that atom bombs have threatened England in a war against "the reds" and that the boys were evacuated just before the impending destruction of their civilization. The war is also responsible for the boys' crash landing on the island in the first place, because an enemy aircraft gunned down their transport plane. Although the war remains in the background of Lord of the Flies, it is nevertheless an important extension of the main themes of the novel. Just as the boys struggle with the conflict between civilization and savagery on the island, the outside world is gripped in a similar conflict. War represents the savage outbursts of civilization, when the desire for violence and power overwhelms the desire for order and peace. Even though the outside world has bestowed upon the boys a sense of morality and order, the danger of savagery remains real even within the context of that seemingly civilized society that has nurtured them.

Within the next two chapters, seven and eight, Ralph once again sways in his leadership, allowing a ritual of slaying a pig. Jack talks more and more of how to improve the ritual. After taking part in this himself, Ralph suddenly turns on them and insists that they must continue on to the mountain. Jack shows envy over Piggy's logic and foresight. Ralph has also begun to think logically like Piggy, rather than becoming tribal and following Jack. However, to lead his tribe, Jack does not need logic or foresight--he simply listens to the primal instincts to kill and transforms these into action.The fatal split between the republic and the tribe occurs here as Jack goes off to establish his tribe, taking most of the boys with him. Ralph still clings to his old democratic ideas blindly, still using the conch in assembly and speaking about matters of saving the "group", even though most of the group is no longer under his control. His democracy has proven to be less effective than Jack's more basic and instinctive government.

Out of all the chapter the this book, I would have to say that chapters nine and ten are the ,ost meaningful in my opinion. This is because of Ralph's role as political leader is weakened further. He willingly goes to the pig roast after Jack has openly mocked and rejected his democratic government. Ralph had tried to restore his democracy with use of the conch to call an assembly, but failed - he considers joining Jack's new tribe. Ralph participates in the ritual and chants along with the hunters. Having become the minority by clinging to his democracy, Ralph is now attacked and beaten up by Jack and his hunters. Thinking his society and system of governance still to be important, he assumes that they have come to steal the conch, though it is Piggy's fire-starting glasses they take. Jack has, piece by piece, eliminated Ralph's power and control. Though Ralph still wants reason and logic to govern, the other boys find Jack's army of hunters to be more appealing, with its simple philosophy of hunting when they are hungry.

In the final two chapters of the book, the chaos that ensues when Ralph's and Jack's camps come into direct conflict, two important symbols in the novel—the conch shell and the Lord of the Flies—are destroyed. Roger, the character least able to understand the civilizing impulse, crushes the conch shell as he loses the boulder and kills Piggy, the character least able to understand the savage impulse. As we see in the next chapter, Ralph, the boy most closely associated with civilization and order, destroys the Lord of the Flies, the governing totem of the dark impulses within each individual. With Piggy's death and Sam and Eric's forced conversion to Jack's tribe, Ralph is left alone on the island, doomed to defeat by the forces of bloodlust and primal chaos. Appropriately, Ralph's defeat comes in the form of the hunt, which has been closely associated with the savage instinct throughout Lord of the Flies. Ironically, although hunting is necessary to the survival of the group—there is little other food on the island aside from fruit, which has made many of the boys sick—it is also what drives them into deadly barbarism. From the beginning of the novel, the hunters have been the ones who have pioneered the way into the realm of savagery and violence. Furthermore, the conflict between Ralph and Jack has often manifested itself as the conflict between the interests of the hunters and the interests of the rest of the group. In Chapter 3, for instance, the boys argue over whether Jack's followers should be allowed to hunt or forced to build huts with Ralph and Simon. Now that Jack and the forces of savagery have risen to unchallenged prominence on the island, the hunt has thoroughly won out over the more peaceful civilizing instinct. Rather than successfully mitigate the power of the hunt with the rules and structures of civilization, Ralph becomes a victim of the savage forces the hunt represents he has literally become the prey.

After Ralph's tense, exciting stand against the hunters, the ending of Lord of the Flies is rife with irony. Ralph had thought the signal fire—a symbol of civilization—was the only way to lure rescuers to the island. Ironically, although it is indeed a fire that lures a ship to the island, it is not an ordered, controlled signal fire but rather the haphazard forest fire Jack's hunters set solely for the purpose of killing Ralph. As we have seen, Ralph has worked tirelessly to retain the structure of civilization and maximize the boys' chances of being rescued. Now, when all he can do is struggle to stay alive as long as possible, a deus ex machina (an improbable or unexpected device or character that suddenly appears to resolve a situation) appears, at the last possible moment, in the form of the naval officer who brings the boys back to the world of law, order, and society. Golding's use of irony in the last chapter blurs the boundary between civilization and savagery and implies that the two are more closely connected than the story has illustrated. Ultimately, the boys' appalling savagery brings about the rescue that their coordinated and purposeful efforts were unable to achieve.

Much of the irony at the end of the novel stems from Golding's portrayal of the naval officer. Although the naval officer saves Ralph, the ending of Lord of the Flies still is not particularly happy, and the moment in which the officer encounters the boys is not one of untainted joy. The officer says that he is unable to understand how upstanding British lads could have acted with such poor form. Ironically, though, this "civilized" officer is himself part of an adult world in which violence and war go hand in hand with civilization and social order. He reacts to the savage children with disgust, yet this disgust is tinged with hypocrisy. Similarly, the children are so shocked by the officer's presence, and are now psychologically so far removed from his world, that they do not instantly celebrate his arrival. Rather, they stand before him baffled and bewildered. Even Ralph, whose life has literally been saved by the presence of the ship, weeps tears of grief rather than joy. For Ralph, as for the other boys, nothing can ever be as it was before coming to the island of the Lord of the Flies.

The reason I think this way about all the chapters is because of the way civilization (or Ralph and piggy's way of runn ing things) was slowly pushed out as an opinion to use as a way of living. Also, what interest me the most is the way Simon and Piggy were killed. Simon, being the helper and Christ- like one of the story, was so innocent and yet savagery got to him and him ensured an fatal death. Whereas Piggy, The representer of sciences, technology and order had to go through a some-whatcongruent path of his death. This surprises me greatly because of how responsible and innocent they are.

In conclusion, there are many themes of the story The Lord of the Flies that stand out. Though, most of them can't be found because of the various view points that san be taken in. There is also a very unique adjustment throughout the story in government. I would have to say that all the characters were changed in tremendous ways. That concludes what I think about the government in the book of The Lord of the Flies.