Lord Of The Flies - Civilized vs. Savage


The novel "Lord Of The Flies" bases itself on civilized and savage behaviour. Civilized behaviour means to be aware of your surroundings and to care for them and to sacrifice certain pleasures to attain them, and to help others. When hearing the word 'savage' one thinks of cavemen squatting and gnawing at raw meat right off of the bone. In a way that stereotype was satisfied in this novel. Savage behaviour might be best described as the act of living like primitive animals who don't care for others and expect 'instant gratification' from almost everything they do. Instant gratification can be best described by the following: to do something and expecting immediate results. The result for savage behaviour is that it leads to distractions from what is important (in this novels case, getting rescued) and disregard of others. When the characters in "Lord Of The Flies" begin acting savage they go so far that it results in the destruction of their environment as well as the destruction of their civilized minds. On the other hand, civilization is the partial suppression of a human's natural thoughts and movements. Civilization is the ability to take all force associated with savagery and to use it to create and maintain a certain order.
At the beginning of this novel, the boys make an attempt at order and civilized behaviour but they fail to the uncooperative nature of the 'little-uns'. The boys elect a leader and make different groups, each with a purpose of accomplishing something constructive: The Hunters, Water-fetchers and Fire-tenders. The boys find a conch and view it as a symbol of order. This shell grants any one person power, as long as they have it in their possession.
The boys in the novel begin as civilized children who obey the laws they were taught their whole lives. Upon first arriving the island, it was fresh in their young minds, so it took some time for them to forget it. The boys appoint a conch as the centrepiece of law and order in their community. This shows that the boys remembered how to stay in order. Supporting this is the suggestion from a boy named Roger, that a 'cheif' should be elected. The boys chose Ralph as their leader, because they were naturally attracted to his attitude. This shows that the boys want an authority figure in their lives, just like they and back home in England. Like adults, the boys want to have a Prime Minister to tell them the truth and to guide them in the right direction. Different organizations were chosen to take care of certain elements, a leader was chosen to look upon them.

The savage side becomes evident with the power of the leader, Ralph, failing. Jack overthrows Ralph as leader. Jack is a savage child who manages to persuade all the other children to join his "tribe". A tribe involved with hunting, playing and making sacrifices to make-believe creatures. The boys' natural human savagery can no longer be suppressed so as a result they drown in a sea of chaos. The fire is let to burn out as a ship passed by the island. A young boy is not looked after and disappears after a great fire.
All things in this novel eventually develop into the opposite of what it once was. The boys order steadily declined as savagery took over and with that came chaos. The island itself becomes a prison after once being a paradisic environment. Ralph loses control of his power and Jack introduces mustric violence and dictatorship. Roger, is after instant gratification and to attain it uses extreme savagery. He begins with throwing small pebbles at 'unimportant' figures but ends up killing Piggy with a boulder.