Civility In William Goulding's Lord Of The Flies

469 Words2 Pages
When you hear the word civility, you associate it with manners, and remember those moments when your parents nagged you about putting your napkin in your lap and saying your thank you’s. These skills are not naturally known, they have been taught over the years throughout history. Take that all away, and what would you have? The answer is in William Goulding 's Lord of the Flies, when a group of boys get stranded on an island with no rules, parents, or civilization. Over time, their previous life begins to disappear, and with that comes this barbaric side that brings chaos and destruction. Once the boys accumulate, they vote for a chief, electing Ralph, as he is in possession of the conch who brought them together; "There was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch." (Goulding 22). The conch has given Ralph authority and sets him apart from the other boys. When they get out of hand, all Ralph has to do is remind them who is in power; ”You voted me for chief. Now you do what I say.’ They quieted, slowly, and at last were seated again. Ralph dropped down and spoke in his ordinary voice” (Goulding 89). In this way, Ralph symbolizes order and balance.…show more content…
The opposite of this character is Piggy, representing civilization and logical thinking. When the boys all assemble, Piggy is the only one who tries to make an effort to learn their names: ¨Piggy moved among the crowd, asking names and frowning to remember them. The children gave him the same simple obedience that they had given to the man with the megaphones”(Goulding ?). This quote relates him to a man with a megaphone, and in this way he symbolizes life back home. This means that when Piggy dies, all civilization is lost, along with the conch; "exploding into a thousand white fragments" (11.209). In these ways, the main characters symbolize different parts of the human mind; savagery, civility, and
Open Document