Lord Of The Flies Authority Analysis

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Jenna Ball Mrs. Nienstedt Civics 9 9 February 2018 Lord of the Flies Essay Franklin D. Roosevelt once stated, “The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country” (Brainy Quotes). The concept of authority being ruled by its followers, giving it power is highly depicted in the film Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Stranded on an island, a party of boys go back and forth between two rulers, each wanting power over the other. Roosevelt 's statement of how giving power to authority is a necessity is demonstrated throughout the film. The concepts of government and what is needed for a legitimate government date back to the philosophers Locke, Rousseau,…show more content…
The philosopher Baron de Montesquieu was known by William Golding as he used Montesquieu’s concept of the common good throughout The Lord of the Flies. The concept of common good was understood by Montesquieu as, “the best interest of society, rather than their own personal self-interests (Ashton 3). There are many actions in Lord of the Flies that reflect this concept, one in particular is when the boys work together to make a fire. Ralph and the other boys make the fire and appoint Jack and his hunters to keep the fire alive (Lord of the Flies). Being rescued was the boys number one thing on their agenda as the fire would signal to planes nearby. The fire represents a common good as it was for the sake of all of the boys. All members on the island had to contribute in some way either by making the fire or by keeping watch. This shows each member contributing to the common good, a concept from Baron de Montesquieu. This proves that Golding understood Montesquieu’s concept of contributing to the common good. Some disagree with the statement that Golding did show Rousseau’s concept of…show more content…
Golding was unfamiliar with Montesquieu’s concept of common good. During the film Ralph commands Jack and the hunters to make sure the fire does not die. Jack, of course, does not follow Ralph’s command and leaves the fire to burn out (Lord of the Flies). What Jack does not know, or does not care to know, is that the fire was to attract nearby planes. Finding a way out of the island and being rescued is their number one priority. Letting the fire go out goes against Montesquieu’s concept of common good. This concept of common good can be seen as a responsibility for those of the community to do what is best for society as a whole and not for the individual (Nienstedt Lecture). From Jack’s selfish behavior it can be seen that Golding did not understand Montesquieu 's idea of the common good. Despite these circumstances, Golding more often portrayed Rousseau and Montesquieu’s concept of government consent and common

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