The Lord of the Flies
“The author is making a comment on man vs. man and man vs. nature.”
The story is about a group of kids who got stranded on an island. Quickly and almost instinctively, they formed a hierarchy among the group of the older boys. With the ingenuity of most adults, they attempt to establish a system for survival. Crude in the beginning, but it eased out not only because of their mental adaptation, but because of their physical adaptation to the environment. They learned to hunt, conduct structured meetings, build shelter, find bathing facilities, and even figured out a distress call by lighting a fire and letting the smoke act as a signal. As the human instinct for food and survival grew, so did the self-centered, power-hungry evil in all of the children. Slowly, but surely, with fears of beasts and hunger growing, more people decided to concentrate on immediate self survival, instead of long-term good of the group. As the self centered group grew bigger, the desire to be in the safest, most powerful group grew larger, and larger. At one point in the book, the clique was so powerful, the others were not only ousted , but they were tormented also. The tormenting eventually led to the killing of others who weren’t in the group.
I believe there are two main characters in the book. One of them is Ralph, for his coolness and consideration, and another is Jack, for his leadership roll. Another reason I picked Jack and Ralph as main characters is because they have a conflict throughout the whole story.
Ralph is a medium sized, fair haired, boy, seemingly of about 12 years of age, making him one of the older boys in the story or a “bigun”. He was the first person focused on in the book and he remained the point of focus throughout the whole story. In the beginning, he called upon all of the boys to meet at a location by blowing on a conch. When the other boys came to see the noise, they saw him, and took favor to him immediately, because he united them into a secure group. When the group voted for a leader between Ralph and Jack, Ralph won because he had been their first sight of relief from the landing. He was held together, calm, and collected about his, and the others, stranded situation. He focused on the big picture of survival, he tried to keep order, organized and distributed work, shelter, and also a hope for rescue. In the beginning, his method worked, but as the story goes on he tries to spread himself and the group out too thin. The group could not keep up on all forms of survival, rescue, and urges (playing, bathing, and relaxing). Rebellion based on desire formed, and it slowly grew, taking the power away from Ralph. The others simply didn’t want to worry about anything but food and their personal fun. Ralph ignored these urges and worried about long term benefits for the group.
Jack was the second of the “biguns” in the story. He was “leader” of the choir. Jack was in competition with Ralph almost throughout the entire length of the story. He was jealous of Ralph and also very power hungry. He was self centered, and hated to be following someone’s orders. He was the determined “hunter” of the group. He Used his powers of persuasion, and the desires of the others to get people on his side. As his group grew, he grew more powerful, and more persuasive. He eventually became the anarchist leader who was all powerful among the group, and led the killing of Simon, and Piggy, and the attempted killing of Ralph. His greed invoked his power, and his power invoked his extended greed.
I believe that the author’s writing style was fairly appropriate for this story. The biased focus on Ralph could have been eliminated to further prove the authors point that their actions are no different then that of people at war. A less biased opinion on Ralph would have showed me that point quicker and more vividly. I enjoyed the time free approach at telling the story, because it leaves more to your imagination.
V. PERSONAL OPINIONS
Personally, I enjoyed the overall story. The way Ralph and Jack’s survival
techniques were incredible.I admired the way that Ralph was calm, cool and collected, and Jack had good leadership. The way the two young men held themselves was extraordinary. Survival and persuasion were the two main factors led by these two boys and the story.