Four top grade example essays on Lord of the Flies
He tries to coordinate the efforts of the boys to build a small civilization on the island. The group needs to have the necessities of living, as they try to buy time before they are rescued. While Ralph is more symbolic of civilized people, Jack is more of a savage, which represents that dark side of humanity. Jack is definitely the antagonist in the novel. He is one of the older boys in the group and eventually becomes in charge of the hunters among those who are stranded.
Instead, he wants to be in control of the entire group, as he longs for complete power. This longing drives him to become barbaric and wild. He is cruel to the others, and this cruelty progresses along with the novel. Jack becomes very manipulative, and this represents the instinct that people have in them — one that shows mankind as savages. This is in direct contrast to the civilized nature of Ralph. The dynamic between these two characters is interesting. While Ralph is chosen by the groups as being the leader, it is he who then decides to appoint another one of the boys, Jack, and designates him as the leader of the hunters for the group.
From the start, it was Ralph who had most of the power of the leader, but many of the character traits that Jack showed throughout the novel made him more of a leader than any of the other characters. That is because he was able to keep the group alive. It was the savage nature that he possessed that, when it came down to it, was more valuable than the diplomacy of Ralph. Golding addresses these topics through the intricate allegory of his novel. When Lord of the Flies was first released in , Golding described the novel's theme in a publicity questionnaire as "an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature.
The former schoolboys sought unthinkingly to dominate others who were not of their group. They discovered within themselves the urge to inflict pain and enjoyed the accompanying rush of power. When confronted with a choice between reason's civilizing influence and animality's self-indulgent savagery, they choose to abandon the values of the civilization that Ralph represents. This same choice is made constantly all over the world, all throughout history — the source of the grief Golding sought to convey.
He places supposedly innocent schoolboys in the protected environment of an uninhabited tropical island to illustrate the point that savagery is not confined to certain people in particular environments but exists in everyone as a stain on, if not a dominator of, the nobler side of human nature.
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Golding depicts the smallest boys acting out, in innocence, the same cruel desire for mastery shown by Jack and his tribe while hunting pigs and, later, Ralph. The adults waging the war that marooned the boys on the island are also enacting the desire to rule others. Ironically, by giving rein to their urge to dominate, the boys find themselves in the grip of a force they can neither understand nor acknowledge. As he received the reassurance of something purposeful being done he began to look satisfied, and his only clean digit, a pink thumb, slid into his mouth.
Piggy leaned down to him. His face was dark with the violent pleasure of making this stupendous noise, and his heart was making the stretched shirt shake. The shouting in the forest was nearer. Signs of life were visible now on the beach. The sand, trembling beneath the heat haze, concealed many figures in its miles of length; boys were making their way toward the platform through the hot, dumb sand. Three small children, no older than Johnny, appeared from startlingly close at hand, where they had been gorging fruit in the forest.
A dark little boy, not much younger than Piggy, parted a tangle of undergrowth, walked on to the platform, and smiled cheerfully at everybody. More and more of them came. Taking their cue from the innocent Johnny, they sat down on the fallen palm trunks and waited.
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Ralph continued to blow short, penetrating blasts. Piggy moved among the crowd, asking names and frowning to remember them. The children gave him the same simple obedience that they had given to the men with megaphones. Some were naked and carrying their clothes; others half-naked, or more or less dressed, in school uniforms, grey, blue, fawn, jacketed, or jerseyed.
There were badges, mottoes even, stripes of color in stockings and pullovers.
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Their heads clustered above the trunks in the green shade; heads brown, fair, black, chestnut, sandy, mouse-colored; heads muttering, whispering, heads full of eyes that watched Ralph and speculated. Something was being done. The children who came along the beach, singly or in twos, leapt into visibility when they crossed the line from heat haze to nearer sand. Here, the eye was first attracted to a black, bat-like creature that danced on the sand, and only later perceived the body above it.
The bat was the child's shadow, shrunk by the vertical sun to a patch between the hurrying feet. Even while he blew, Ralph noticed the last pair of bodies that reached the platform above a fluttering patch of black. The two boys, bullet-headed and with hair like tow, flung themselves down and lay grinning and panting at Ralph like dogs.
They were twins, and the eye was shocked and incredulous at such cheery duplication. They breathed together, they grinned together, they were chunky and vital. They raised wet lips at Ralph, for they seemed provided with not quite enough skin, so that their profiles were blurred and their mouths pulled open.
Piggy bent his flashing glasses to them and could be heard between the blasts, repeating their names. At last Ralph ceased to blow and sat there, the conch trailing from one hand, his head bowed on his knees.
Essays on Lord of The Flies
As the echoes died away so did the laughter, and there was silence. Within the diamond haze of the beach something dark was fumbling along. Ralph saw it first, and watched till the intentness of his gaze drew all eyes that way. Then the creature stepped from mirage on to clear sand, and they saw that the darkness was not all shadow but mostly clothing. The creature was a party of boys, marching approximately in step in two parallel lines and dressed in strangely eccentric clothing.
Shorts, shirts, and different garments they carried in their hands; but each boy wore a square black cap with a silver badge on it. Their bodies, from throat to ankle, were hidden by black cloaks which bore a long silver cross on the left breast and each neck was finished off with a hambone frill.
The heat of the tropics, the descent, the search for food, and now this sweaty march along the blazing beach had given them the complexions of newly washed plums. The boy who controlled them was dressed in the same way though his cap badge was golden. When his party was about ten yards from the platform he shouted an order and they halted, gasping, sweating, swaying in the fierce light. The boy himself came forward, vaulted on to the platform with his cloak flying, and peered into what to him was almost complete darkness.
Only me. What he saw of the fair-haired boy with the creamy shell on his knees did not seem to satisfy him. He turned quickly, his black cloak circling. His face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without silliness. Out of this face stared two light blue eyes, frustrated now, and turning, or ready to turn, to anger. We're having a meeting.
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Come and join in. The tall boy shouted at them.
Teaching ‘The Lord of the Flies’ With The New York Times
Stand still! None the less, some began to protest faintly. Please, Merridew They heaved the fallen boy to the platform and let him lie. Merridew, his eyes staring, made the best of a bad job. Sit down. Let him alone. Piggy asked no names. He was intimidated by this uniformed superiority and the offhand authority in Merridew's voice.
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He shrank to the other side of Ralph and busied himself with his glasses. Merridew turned to Ralph. So as we can decide what to do. We've heard names. That's Johnny. I'm Merridew. This was the voice of one who knew his own mind. For the moment the boys were a closed circuit of sympathy with Piggy outside: he went very pink, bowed his head and cleaned his glasses again.
Finally the laughter died away and the naming continued. There was Maurice, next in size among the choir boys to Jack, but broad and grinning all the time.
There was a slight, furtive boy whom no one knew, who kept to himself with an inner intensity of avoidance and secrecy.