Lord of the Flies Analysis Critique Essay
Lord of the flies: A beast among us Stranded on an island, a group of young boys face the challenge of forming a healthy community. Ralph, in charge of the conch and with the aid of Piggy and his glasses tries to establish civilized order. The society lives on the island in harmony until Jack, in pursuit of power, creates his own tribe and degrades to savagery and murder. In Lord of the Flies, Golding suggests that there is a savage side to every one of us that leads and inclines to the abolishment of order. At the evident concern of the littleuns, Ralph and the hunters go on a mission to find the beast.
Midway through their expedition, they are startled by a pig, which they were unable to catch. Quickly afterwards they made a ring and started doing a pig dance, using one of the boys as the pig, while chanting a chant. “Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering” (Golding 114). In this scene, Ralph’s savage side begins to open up, his desire to hurt “over-mastering”. The phrase “over-mastering” hints at the idea that Ralph is a slave to his own desire; he does not govern it, but is governed by it.
This scene is a major contrast to the state that Ralph is found in just a bit before this. He is sitting down and examining himself over while the boys stop to eat some fruit. “ He pulled distastefully at his grey shirt and wondered whether he might undertake the adventure of washing it…He would like to have a pair of scissors to cut his hair… he would like to have a bath… then there were his nails –“ (109). Unknowingly, Ralph’s lifestyle merged into a lifestyle of one who resembles a savage. This was now a new “normal”. Yet he tries to implement order back into his existence by making himself look presentable.
By making an attempt to cleansing himself of the savage look on the outside, Ralph fails to understand that the true savage mark and distinction is hid under the skin, and that, is not possible to wash away. No mater how much he will try to maintain order, his fleshly lusts will master over his mind. Roger follows Henry, one of the littluns, and starts throwing rocks in his direction, for the mere purpose of his want and entertainment. “At first he had hidden behind a great palm, but Henry’s absorption with the transparencies were so obvious that at last he stood out in full view” (61).
Roger tries not to be seen, for he is doing something he is not supposed to. The rules of his old life still have a hold on him. He starts throwing the rocks at Henry. “Yet there was a space around Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter into which he dared not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law. Roger’s arm was conditioned by civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins” (62).
The evident want to hurt and to taunt is awakening inside Roger; his savage side is questioning the order that he was raised in. The civilization meant nothing to him, Roger was just taught to obey it. Order was something he was “conditioned” to do, an acquired trait, a habit. Savagery was subdued from the very beginning, by the adults in his life. It was so natural; one didn’t have to think about what he was doing for the mere fact that it was done to feed that particular desire. Later on, Jack splits and forms his own tribe, and is accompanied by a vast majority of the children including Roger.
Ralph and his troops march up to Jacks guarded camp and try to implement and reestablish the order that once used to exist. As Piggy tries to talk some sense into the children, holding the conch, Roger once again starts to throw rocks. “High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever. Ralph heard the great rock before he saw it…the rock struck Piggy… the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (181). On the beach with Henry, Roger had a sense of boundary that he knew he could not cross.
His body was aware of the order that was taught to him. Yet he still pushed the limits ever so slightly, throwing rocks but not reaching his target. Here, intoxicated from his savage desires Roger catapults a huge rock down at Piggy, shattering the conch that Piggy held. Through out the book, the conch is a symbol of authority and order, as it used to call assemblies together and organized the children in the first place. Not being able to cross the boundaries of order before, Roger crushes it after giving in to his primitive impulses. Simon seems to be the only one who lacks this savage like aspiration.
Finding the beast after witnessing the horrible death inflicted upon the sow by Jack and the hunters, Simon now confirms his idea; that there is no beast, maybe it’s just us? “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!… You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you” (143). The beast is also referred to as “Lord of the Flies”. It translates into Beelzebub. “… The prince of Devils. And it is the beast – the beast that is part of all men. “The materialization of this devil coincides with the emergence of evil in the boys, revealed in the act that they commit” (Bufkin 4).
There is something evil lurking in all , and seen through the children on the island, most of them denied that it was indeed their own self who was causing the destruction to their own society. Bibliography Bufkin, F. C. “Lord of the Flies: An Analysis. ” The Georgia Review 19. 1 (Spring 1965): 40-57. Rpt in Children’s Literature Review. Ed. Allison Marion. Vol. 94. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 23 Oct. 2012 Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. London: Penguin Books, 1954. Print.