Power Corrupt In Lord Of The Flies

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How Absolutely does Absolute Power Corrupt? Stranded, alone, no adults in sight. The boys in Lord of the Flies by William Golding were being evacuated from their school during the war, when their plane crashed on a small, uninhabited island. All adults were lost in the crash, only boys of various ages between twelve and six survived. Someone needs to be in charge, right? One boy, Ralph was unwillingly thrust into power because of his attractiveness and easy-going personality, while a power hungry, cunning boy named Jack strives to rule them all. Power is an important concept in this novel as it causes most events to take place, such as it does in the world we live in. It causes wars, arguments, laws, and revolutions, but when the right…show more content…
The conch shell is first found by Piggy and Ralph who use it to call for survivors. The shell is then established as a symbol of democracy, as found in this quote, “... I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking,” (33). Allowing each boy to speak when in possession of the conch shows that, although Ralph is chief, all boys can have a say in the rulings of the island. This democratic system is a beginning representation of our world in which everyone knows their place and there is overall peace. The democratic power type also provides a contrast for Jack’s government ideals later in the story. The conch has the power to grant the boys the right to speak. Later in the novel the power of the conch is decreased when Piggy and Ralph visit Jack’s pig roast. When Ralph and Piggy attempt to speak with the shell’s authority Jack says, “... And the conch doesn’t count at this end of the island-” (150). This shows how the power roles have changed throughout the novel, where at first the conch held the symbol of democracy, but now that the faith in it has dissolved, the conch is just a shell thrown around in the monarchy holding Jack as ruler. Throughout the novel, many items and people change as power rolls in between their hands. Consequently there comes a time when an object loses power completely, yet even in destruction it may…show more content…
Piggy is fat, brilliant, lacking in social graces, and wears glasses, in other words the outsider on this island. Due to Piggy being such an foreigner, Jack feels that he is above Piggy, and feels better when he causes Piggy pain and sorrow. For example, “‘You’re talking too much,’ said Jack Merridew. ‘Shut up Fatty,’” (21). In this scene you can see power in Piggy’s lack thereof. It is obvious as to Jack’s power over Piggy, and Jack takes full control of this advantage. Jack even takes this far enough as to override the power of the conch, “‘I got the conch-’ Jack turned fiercely. ‘You shut up!’” (42). Brilliant Piggy is restricted from the power of the conch, showing just how little power he has, and how Jack’s quest for power has influenced the bystanding boys into being oblivious of the misdeeds towards Piggy. Piggy’s final moment of weakness falls at the end of the story, “Then the sea breathed out again in a long slow sigh, the water boiled white and pink over the rock; and when it went, sucking back again, the body of Piggy was gone,” (201). In this personification, and in Piggy’s death, you can still see power. Piggy’s death powers the chaos that ensues, Ralph’s savageness and hiding, and Jack’s craze for death, which ultimately ended in crying when they were rescued. Piggy supported the theme of power in his lack
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