Tribalism In Lord Of The Flies

761 Words4 Pages
The characters in William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, illustrate a loss of morality that comes with the growth of tribalism. The book in question, Lord of the Flies, is about a group of boys who are the only survivors of a plane-crash on an uninhabited island, and how they survive on their own. The growth of tribalism was evident in the increasing separation between the boys and the eventual formation of two conflicting groups, and the loss of morality was illustrated by the boys’ lack of respect for human life. Instead of progressing through Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, we see the boys regress through the stages. The spark that created intense tribalism occurred at the start of the novel when Ralph was voted chief over…show more content…
At the first meeting, the boys use a group vote and discussion to decide on the chief, people’s roles, and other issues. Even though Jack and Ralph both wanted to be chief, “Jack and Ralph smiled at each other with shy liking” after Ralph was chosen as chief (Golding 142). However, as tribalism grew, the Jack’s tribe regressed through Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. Amazingly for such young children, the boys seemed to have possessed “conventional morality” at the start of the novel. In fact, during the meeting the boys are “usually consider society as a whole when making judgments,” which is the 4th stage (Sanders). The “dance” that Jack’s tribe performs seems to correspond directly with a loss of morality. When Simon wandered into the feast when it was dark, they performed the dance and killed him without considering that he wasn’t a beast. None of the boys expressed very much regret after they realized what they had truly done. By the end of the novel, most of the boys had dropped down to the first stage of moral development, where the “focused on satisfying personal needs”
Open Document