In Lord of the Flies, William Golding shows the progression of absolute power, and how ambition can take over one's mind. Stranded on an island after their plane crashed, the boys create their own democracy with one absolute ruler, just like many other governments throughout history. The boys voted Ralph as their ruler, but Jack slowly starts to take some of Ralph’s power, and eventually usurps him as their chief. Lord of the Flies suggests that absolute power is corrupt, and that humans are overly ambitious in wanting to take power from the person who has the most of it.
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?
The novel, Lord of the Flies, was sparked after the profound consequences that World War II had on Golding’s view of humanity. After the victory of Britain against Germany’s Nazis, the notion of British people being innately good was created. However, Golding did not only see the surface of the victory but also the underlying evil present in the actions Britain made to be liberated from the Nazi invasion. In particular, the mass murders of innocent civilians, and propaganda manipulation done by the British was not so civilized in comparison to the Nazis either. As a result, Golding’s sole purpose to writing this novel was to demolish this misconception of Britain and humanity. Through its contrasting characters, Golding’s Lord of the Flies signifies the different behaviours of mankind, which civilization is either lost and turned to savagery, or remains steadfast under extreme circumstances. Simon illustrates the pure and good-hearted individuals of mankind. Jack symbolizes the innate savagery of our society. Ralph personifies the grey area between civilization and savagery.
In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Golding attempts to compare and contrast two opposite strategies of control. Golding portrays that while Ralph and Piggy’s government may have been a morally sound solution, the boys chaos is too strong to be controlled by a democracy. It must be controlled by a feared dictator. While the idea of democracy, represented by the conch, is a pure concept and can provide an equal opportunity for all of the boys on the island, the animalistic need for power and chaos that controls the boys can only be reined in by a powerful dictatorship. Democracy on the island could have provided an equal opportunity for all the boys on the island.
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is a novel that revolves around the concept of civilization versus savagery. The boys argue about points that eventually split the boys amongst themselves. These disputes come up multiple times over the course of the novel. One of which being the fight over the leader of the boys. Some believed the leader should be Jack while others believed it should be Ralph.
Lord of the Flies also displays the power of an individual to use symbols to control a group such as Ralph using his conch to represent his authority and Jack using the Beast to make the children adhere to
The conch symbolizes the role of leadership showing they have some source of civilization, once the conch is broken a descent into savagery leads to a dangerous turn for the boys. The one thing that the boys all had that could bring them together was the conch. “I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking.” Ralph says and later on says “We’ll have rules!”
Consequently, the demand for power thrived on their souls and drove them to their breaking points. Lord of the Flies is about the role of power and control in the world and how it can enhance society or bring civilization as we know it, crumbling down. Throughout the novel, the leaders in the book, use certain symbols and objects to give them authority over the other boys and have law and order on the island. Nevertheless, the pig’s head and the conch both wield a certain power over the boys while giving control to the leaders of the group, but in the end, their obsession over control is what makes them lose control. How does the power of the conch differ from the power of the Lord of the Flies?
In the novel, Golding associates the conch with the boys nature, signifying there civilisation till it was destructed and therefore, the dark side of the boys was released when there was no unity or order. The beast is another important symbol demonstrating their impulses to becoming violent, that the 'beast' is within the boys themselves. The antagonist Jack is addressed to represent that without regulations of society all human beings are savages by nature. Golding includes these symbols, motifs and characters to confront the idea the dark side of human nature is represented when left to your own
Leadership Abuse in Lord of the Flies The famous 17th century poet Jean de la Fontaine once said “Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people.” When the children in Lord of the Flies find themselves stranded on a distant island with no adults to be found, they encounter many forms of power, hence encountering many forms of abuse of power as well. This power abuse can be organized by the two leaders who each ruled the island during their own periods. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding utilizes these leaders, Ralph and Jack, to illustrate how people in positions of power will abuse their power for personal gain when given the opportunity.
As the boys’ discipline fades, the color of the conch also fades, thus showing the fade of order and structure. When the conch breaks, all order is gone and complete chaos arises. “The conch exploded into a thousand white pieces and ceased to exist” (Golding 11). Piggy’s glasses are another crucial political symbol in Lord of the Flies. The glasses represent technology as they relate to starting the fire, but since they belong to Piggy, they tend to represent intellectualism as well.
It shows the relevance of the conch through symbolism, themes and ideal comparisons. The novel proceeds to convey the message of savagery and violence which, unfortunately, the human mind has no control over, leading to a violent end. He also shows how evil is formed through a man. Also, Exploring how power can create conflict through control, good verses evil and certain objects creating a sense of embellishment.
Power and manipulation takes over people’s minds and turns us into egotistical people without even knowing and the sense of having control or authority can brainwash us into the people who we despise. William Golding fabricates his ideas around the time period 1933 after he received his English degree where he mostly wrote poems. Golding’s world consists of writing novels, pulling ideas from the real world into his own creative words on paper, this is where he developed his most famous book, Lord of the Flies, throughout 1954. The perspective of Lord of the Flies is through the eyes of the Second World War and since he was in this war, his point of view on violence changed and gave him a different outlook on society. In the Lord of the Flies