What Is The Natural State Of Savagery In Lord Of The Flies

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In William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies the Hobbesian idea of man’s natural state of savagery is explored in depth. When a group of British schoolboys are stranded on an uninhabited island after a plane crash a conflict emerges between civilization and savagery, and a rivalry between Jack a supporter of savagery and Ralph who tries to maintain civilization. Without adults, laws, or rules to guide the boys chaos ensues and many of them descend into a state savagery. Through the novel’s unique conditions and Golding 's use of symbols like fire, Ralph, and Jack he book explores the eternal struggle between civility and man 's natural state of savagery. Ever since man first harnessed the power of fire it has been a symbol of civilization. From the flame kept alive by the Vestal Virgins of Rome to the first street lights of modern cities fire has symbolized civilization. But fire itself is wild and savage which is why it is the symbol that best represents the struggle between civilization and savagery. After the boys first arrive on…show more content…
As the flame is lit the boys establish a link to civilization harnessing the power of fire in an effort to be saved and to return to the world that they once lived. At this point fire becomes a symbol of civilization, but at the same time the boys witness the savage nature of fire when they lose control of the flames and a littlun ends up being killed by the fire. As the story continues the struggle between civilization and savagery becomes more apparent and pronounced. When a ship passes by the island the boys have a chance of being rescued but they discover that the signal fire had burned out: “The fire was dead. They saw that straight away; saw what they had really known down on the beach when the smoke of home had beckoned. The fire was out, smokeless
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