Lord of The Flies: The Evil & Primitivism in Man


In the story Lord of the Flies Ralph, the democratic character, and Jack,
the dictator are the most important main characters. Ralph is the voice of hope
on the island, and without that, the boys would have turned to savagery much
faster, and under the control of Jack. William Golding uses Ralph and his
character foil, Jack, to show how civilization works and how it doesn\'t. Jack,
the chief of the hunters, represents the hidden human passion and almost animal
cruelty, and Ralph, who represents human common sense to show how civlization is.
This story is an allegory. This means the character, events and setting
represent deeper truths or generalizations then those suggested by the surface
story. There are four main characters, and each character represents different
types of people in the world. Jack is the dictator who uses force to show his
thoughts and feelings. Therefore he is the destructive side of man. He is the
type of person who would rather have fun and gratification over work. On the
other hand Ralph is the believer in democracy and fairness. He is the voice of
hope, and the responsible type of person. The boys on the island, allegorically
show what the human civilization is like.
Ralph stands for order and conduct of society. Each chapter begins with
order, which means that Ralph has control. Ralph uses the conch to show order
and the right to speak. By the end of each chapter there is no order and there
is usually chaos, this shows that evil and/or fear has control, meaning Jack has
control. Allegorically in the world it would be a legislative government versus
a military type of government. Where Ralph is the legislative and Jack is
military. The disorder caused by Jack, threatens the island and the society
that Ralph has tried so hard to form. Ralph wants to have a fire, so they can
be rescued, but Jack is more worried about having fun then being rescued and
this is a major conflict. The fire is a symbol for hope and enlightenment, but
when it gets out of control it becomes very destructive. Anything without order
and control can become destructive, this is why Ralph is so important to the
society.
The two character foils, Ralph and Jack, have different ideas and want
different things. Ralph wants huts and a signal fire. The huts which stand for
civilization and the signal fire is needed to get rescued. This shows that
Ralph creates and builds. On the opposite end of that is Jack. Jack wants to
hunt and kill pigs and have fun. This shows primitivism. Jack is shown as a
person who kills and destroys. Here is the conflict; creating and building
versus killing and destroying. Ralph asks Jack what he wants: " Don\'t you want
to be rescued? All you talk about is pig, pig, pig!" And Jack answers him and
tells him what he wants: "But we want meat!" This tells us that Ralph and Jack
will not settle their differences. Right from the start unity of society is
threatened by the different purposes of the boys.
Ralph was never comfortable with primitivism, but Jack rather enjoyed it.
Ralph thinks to himself: "He would like to have a bath, a proper wallow with
soap... and decided that a toothbrush would come in handy too." Ralph resists
primitivism strongly but is still sucked into it. Even though he resists
primitivism, he still went on a pig hunt and when he gets a stab at the pig, he
becomes very proud of himself, and ends up enjoying the hunt very much. This
shows that every human has an evil side. Even Ralph, who is the one who
absolutely hates primitivism. The dead pilot in the tree suggests that humans
have de-evolved, gone backwards in evolution. Ralph cries: "If only they could
send a message to us... a sign or something." The dead pilot was the sign that
the real world isn\'t doing any better then they were doing on the island.
Jack objects to doing things that Ralph tells the whole group of the
boys to do, as well he objects to Ralph\'s being chief. Ralph still believes in
the conch, and thinks it still holds some order: "Jack! Jack! You haven\'t got
the conch! Let me speak." Again Ralph refers to the rules: "\'The rules!\'
shouted Ralph, \'you\'re breaking the rules!\'" Jack replies with: "Who cares?"
His reply is short and stabbing. Once Jack says this, the reader