Lord of the Flies - Themes and Ideas Essay

The institutions of law and order slip away or are ignored; human beings revert to a more primitive part of their nature. In this book, this common idea made me consider more about the human mental structure. One of the most important quotes regarding this idea is, “They’re the only thing we have. ” This refers to the rules that Ralph has set and Jack challenges them. As soon as Jack and the rest of the boys begin to disregard these rules, a more primitive side starts to show. An Important part is that Jack at the beginning he decides he is going to be a hunter. Ralph however decides to make a fire and build shelters.

Jack has already turned down the primitive part while Ralph rides the road to civilisation. This is made clear when Jack allows the fire to go out and when is confronted, smashes one of Piggy’s lenses. This brutality towards Piggy shows a nasty side of Jack. This made me think about how people choose different paths when starting out new. The fire also has some symbolism to this idea. Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and gave it to the humans, therefore giving them the ability to create the structure of civilisation. In this instance, the boys gained fire but could not sustain it. Therefore civilisation cannot be sustained.

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Later in the book where Jack steals Piggy’s specs, it symbolises the loss of civilisation. The use of this symbol challenged me to alter my ideas on how civilisation began and to consider that it was no as easy to adopt this idea to the primitive people. When adult help finally comes, the boys stop hunting Ralph. They realise what they have done and begin to cry for their lost innocence. This shows that the biggest thing holding the boys to civilisation was adult supervision. Without adults to tell them right from wrong, they reverted to a primitive nature which resulted in the death of two boys.

Ralph and Piggy never fully lost touch of the adult world, because they wore some item of clothing until the end. Ralph even cared enough at one stage about his personal grooming. This idea developed my understanding of how dependent we are on the civilised world and that without it we lose a part of ourselves. The idea that without law and order developed my ideas on how humans will react when faced with a situation, in this case, being stranded on an island. It also challenged my ideas on civilisation and how it had started. Source:Lord of the Flies


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