Most children are confined to the society that is created for them. This society for the most part consists of their family and friends in school. In fact most children are a reflection of the society from which they are brought up in. Human society is taken for granted by most. People don’t consciously think about who is in power and why. They just go about everyday the same worrying about petty little problems that they seem to feel are of significant importance. But when things are altered radically people are suddenly forced to make drastic decisions one how they will chose to live their lives. This would be difficult enough for an adult but imagine the fear and lack of responsibility when children must learn to live in a totally new environment without any adults. Such is the concern when a group of young school boys, who are victims of a nuclear war, are sent away to a deserted island to ensure their safety. The problem that William Golding presents to the readers of LORD OF THE FLIES is one that suggests what might happen when a group of young boys is faced with the challenge of creating a new civilization for themselves without the help of adults. The boys must take what they have been taught and incorporate that into a new society governed by themselves. Before long these boys will deal with the many fears associated with this new life and the power struggles for survival that will exist along the way.
The boys’ creation of a new society helps the reader to see what might really happen if a group of young boys is thrown together and must fend for themselves without any adult supervision (Bowen, 58). This new found freedom brings about many mixed emotions among the young boys. The oldest of the boys is twelve and the youngest of them is six, so at first all of the boys are happy to be rid of adult supervision, but as time wears on the boys start to worry about if they will ever see home again. Ralph, one of the oldest boys is very concerned about being stranded on the island and tries to get the boys together to work as a team to survive. With Ralph as their chosen leader the boys face the possibility that all experiences might be meaningless and he long to be back in the world of adults where they feel life was meaningful (Cox, 87).
The boys develop a democratic parliamentarian form of government on the island. By signifying a conch shell as the device needed in order to speak to the group Ralph and Piggy are able to maintain order among the other boys for a short time. As time progresses though, more and more of the boys start to question the authority of the conch as well as whose control it represents. This type of behavior indicates the influence still exerted over them by western civilization (Kerns, 151). The children must evolve new forms of worship and laws because none exist and society has taught them that they should have them. Eventually these will manifest themselves into taboos, the oldest form of social repression (Rosenfield, 129). These laws and forms of worship in essence will tear apart the boys and all the morals they were ever taught in the so called "civilized world" of adults.
Many of the boys are considering the possibility of being rescued, so under Ralph’s orders one group of children sets up a signal fire to try to get the attention of boats and planes that may pass by. Another group is sent to try to find civilization on the island and hunt for food, but both attempts turn out to be unsuccessful. Most of the boys especially the ones associated with Jack’s group get excited about new ideas but quickly lose interest and nothing is getting done.
Jack and his group of hunters are in charge of the signal fire and feel that it is more important to go hunting instead of watching the fire. The irony of this situation is that a boat had passed by the island but didn’t see any signal because it was let to