Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lord of the Flies Analysis Essay

Golding’s novel and its exploration of temptation on a deserted island can be examined within a broader understanding of mankind and social order. Patrick Reilly from the University of Iowa Press states, â€Å"Lord of the Flies depicts the disintegration of a society whose members play rather than work. † (Reilly 138-61) The inclination to give in to temptation is depicted in biblical passages as far back as Adam and Eve. When they are told not to eat an apple from the tree of knowledge, they do so anyway because temptation drives them. Temptation can also be witnessed in the modern world. Even within a structured society that upholds rules and boundaries, the urge to act on impulse is inevitable. For example, people that cheat on their husbands or wives may be tempted by jealousy, revenge, and excitement. They can resist, but the drive to cheat is too strong for some. Even minor infractions such as speeding to get to work on time stem from temptation. Overall, temptation and its consequences play a huge role in societal behavior, and there is no way to evade it. â€Å"He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling. (Golding 64) This powerful quote describes Jack immediately before he brutally murders a nursing sow. Bloodlust, defined as a desire for bloodshed, and temptation, the craving to have or do something that should be avoided alters Jack’s mind. The pigs that the boys hunt and kill in Golding’s novel Lord of The Flies represent how temptation can lead one into savagery and bloodlust. As early as chapter one, temptation arises because of the basic need to eat and survive. The group is reluctant to kill a pig, let alone draw blood from a living thing. Their sense of morals is strong, and Jack is unable to kill the first pig they encounter. Golding states, â€Å"He raised his arm in the air. There came a pause†¦the blade continued to flash at the end of a bony arm. The pause was only long enough for them to understand what an enormity the downward stroke would be. The piglet tore loose from the creepers and scurried into the undergrowth. † (31) This shows that Jack was uncertain whether or not to kill the pig and missed his chance. When questioned about his hesitancy, Jack defends himself by stating â€Å"I was going to†¦I was choosing a place. Next time–! † (Golding 31) However the boys recognize the truth. Jack doesn’t kill the pig because he cannot bear to see a living creature bleed and die. As time on the island passes, temptation to hunt and kill grows. Before the pig hunt in chapter 4, the boys decide to paint their faces with island shrubbery to conceal themselves. As shown in this quote, they feel â€Å"liberated from shame and self-consciousness† (Golding 64) The group is still uneasy at the thought of bloodshed and must hide behind their masks to finally kill a pig. The mask compelled them† (Golding 64) After this pig hunt, a change from civilization to primitivism, from good to evil begins to take place. Golding states, â€Å"There were lashings of blood†, said Jack laughing and shuddering, â€Å"you should have seen it!†¦ We’ll go hunting everyday—â€Å" (69-70) Each subsequent pig hunt gets increasingly violent and savage. Even Ralph, who has resisted what he believes to be immoral, now eagerly participates. Golding writes, â€Å"Ralph talked on excitedly. ‘I hit him all right. The spear stuck in. I wounded him! ’ He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all. (Golding 113) After hitting the boar on the snout with the spear, he is overwhelmed with exhilaration and takes pride in himself by gloating. Ralph’s conscience is deteriorating as his primal urges begin to surface. The ensuing hunts are no longer about survival and basic human needs. Instead, violence, savagery, and bloodlust are the motivators. Golding writes, â€Å"The sow staggered her way ahead of them, bleeding and mad, and the hunters followed, wedded to her in lust, excited by the long chase and the dropped blood. † (135) As savagery escalates, the boy’s behavior becomes increasingly demented and uncalled for. For example, one of the killed pigs is offered to the beast. Jack decapitates the pig’s head and places it on a spear as depicted in the following quote; â€Å"This head is for the beast. It’s a gift. † (Golding 137) The head soon rots and becomes covered with flies and insects. It becomes the â€Å"Lord of the Flies†, a symbol of evil and temptation. It also depicts the deterioration of the group. As the head rots and becomes corrupt, so do the boys. Caught up in this violent escapade, the boys forget to watch the fire and miss a crucial chance of rescue. In Chapter 9 the boys are in a complete frenzy during a monstrous storm. They are delusional and murder Simon in blind rage, believing he is the beast. As shown in The Lord of the Flies, temptation for power, for control, and to do evil leads to destruction, savagery, and grief. Skylar Burris informs us that Golding delivered a lecture on his personal explanation for the collapse of a civilization. She reports that Golding believes the breakdown is due to the inherent evil present within all human beings (Burris 1). Golding’s view of man’s basic instinct toward evil and the vicious nature of temptation is a powerful theme.

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