Autocracy In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

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The Ingredients of Autocracy Autocratic governments are built upon fear and Lord of the Flies shows this fact well. It shows what happens when people are ruled by fear. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a story of boys who are stranded on an island after a plane crash in the middle of a fictional war. They attempt to construct an orderly society, with one of the boys, Ralph, being democratically elected as chief. However, over time, the boys join another boy who lusts for power, Jack, and this leads to the murders of two of the children. As this is happening, a figure known as the beast, who turns out to be only in the minds of the boys, representing their fear becomes stronger and stronger, as all of the boys eventually live in constant…show more content…
One example of how Jack’s autocratic rule comes from violence and fear is how he reacts at the mere mention of the idea that his hunters are not as powerful as he believes. This is illustrated when Ralph, angry at Jack for letting the fire go out, expresses a negative opinion of Jack’s hunters, while Piggy, a logical thinker who supports Ralph, is nearby: “‘What about my hunters?’ ‘Boys armed with sticks.’ Jack got to his feet. His face was red as he marched away. Piggy put on his one glass and looked at Ralph. ‘Now you’ve done it. You’ve been rude about his hunters’” (Golding, 125). Here Ralph suggests that Jack’s hunters are not in fact the powerful force he believes them to be. Jack’s extreme response to this shows that how he needs the hunters to protect and expand his power, or at least he believes as much. The hunters are a tool of Jack’s power, and a violent one at that. This use of violence to obtain power is also shown through how Golding uses the word “Marched” when describing Jack leaving. This word has an association with military power and as such, violence. This shows that Jack’s power, even before he becomes chief is rooted in violence and the threat of such. Violence like this leads to the fear that forms the base of Jack’s power as an autocratic leader of the island. Moreover, Jack uses sanguinary means of implanting a pig’s head on a stick to show what he is capable and inspire fear in all those around him. Golding describes the process in gruesome terms. “Jack held the head and jammed the soft throat down the pointed end of the stick which pierced through into the mouth. He stood back and the head hung there, a little blood dribbling
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