Lord of the Flies Essay


The theme of the novel, Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding, is that the shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual. On the island the actions of one would cause a copycat effect, where others will try to mimic that one person’s actions and more so than often, the immoral ethical nature of a person will cause a greater effect on society rather than a moral ethical nature. That is what exactly happens on the island, the boys who were uncertain of whose side to choose, they chose the more savage side, rather than the one, which represented a more civilized side, which had laws and morals.


The main character Jack is the most influential characters in the story and has the biggest effect on everyone’s decision. Jack has tried to be moral and has tried to help the boys on the island by hunting for food in the beginning of the chapter. But he is overtaken by the idea of a beast roaming on the island and his craving for the destruction of the beast gets him carried away from his duties to help the boys and instead causes the savagery inside of him. (Page 91) “And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing. Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving orders that don’t make any sense. We’re strong- we hunt! If there’s a beat, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat-!” Exclaimed, Jack!


Jack cannot help but start his own way of life and his actions cause uproar of little uns to follow him. His savagery has caught the attention of the boys and has caused an interest in savagery to them, as well. Jack’s ethical nature shapes the island’s society, later in the story, to be a society full of savagery and immorality.


Ralph’s actions also have an effect on the island’s environment. Ralph was trying to make the island civilized and wanted to use a system of law and order by using the conch. He was trying to make the island a similar society to his own at home and tried to make it as fair and reasonable to everyone as possible. His ideas were, at first, accepted by the boys but probably, because he was the only person to propose a way of life to be setup on the island. But when Jack presented his ideas, Ralph soon had fewer followers of his ideas. Ralph also tried to set up a fire on the island, so that they could be rescued.


(Page 38) “We must make a fire on the top of the mountain so the ships can rescue us. We shall be rescued.” Said, Ralph.


Ralph also set up huts on the island and gives shelter. The island was at peace and acted civilized. Jack’s ideas though overpowered Ralph’s. Jack discarded all of Ralph’s rules and started his own society. Ralph tried to reason with Jack, but then it was hopeless. Ralph would have to resort to savagery to get back his followers and make the island a better-civilized place. Ralph attacked Roger before he could be hunted by Roger and Jack’s other followers. With Ralph now acting like a savage, the atmosphere of the island was nothing but the deaths of each person.


Piggy is another character in the novel, who is a follower of Ralph and his ideas for a civilized society, but also, shows his aggression towards Jack and his group of followers. Piggy tries to stay as calm as he can with the savagery of Jack, but cannot restrain himself from fighting back at Jack. Piggy tries one last time to retain order back on the island. He tries to convince Jack’s followers that there is no sense in acting like savages, but instead they must put their effort into getting rescued from the island. (Page 180) “You’re acting like a bunch of kids. Which is better-to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is? Which is better-to have rules agree, or to hunt and kill? Which is better, law and