Monday, March 12, 2018
English, Ms. Saunders
Reading Response: ‘Lord of The Flies’
Image you are a 12-year old boy, on an airplane, on your way abroad to another location. The airplane then encounters a problem. It crashes down on a deserted island— with no adults, surrounded by a dozen other children. That, as you may expect, is a terrifying experience, an ordeal, and when you are still a yet-to-bloom child, your likelihoods of survival are instantly nil. That is the plot of the novel ‘Lord of The Flies’ by William Golding.
In ‘Lord of The Flies’ there are numerous themes. They vary from civilization, savagery, responsibility, innocence, and evil. Each of the themes is significant and has a deep meaning. We can see their symbolism on nearly every page.
The theme of civilization in ‘Lord of The Flies’ is carried throughout the book. The first signs of civilization are when Ralph, the fair boy, used the conch to assemble all the children for a meeting. If the children were rather not civilized, they would have most likely refused to take part in the meeting, yet alone patiently listen to what Ralph had to say. Civilization is rather important when you’re stranded on a deserted island. You have to be civilized in order to make reasonable decisions. Ralph, the elected chief, used his authority and power to set up rules. From the novel, Ralph said, “That’s what this shell called. I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he’s speaking” (Page 43). Ralph set up these numerous rules in order to smoothen the meetings, which shows us that they are civilized boys who won’t interrupt each other.
Let’s look at ourselves today. If we weren’t civilized human beings, then there was absolutely no way in which we could have achieved so much. The children had to be civilized if they wanted to survive. If the children were in fact civilized throughout the entire story they would have actually focused on the essentials and would have built a shelter in which they could’ve been safe. But no, shortly after, they refused to listen, obey, and they turned into savages, which is the theme that I’ll be discussing next.
The theme of savagery in ‘Lord of The Flies’ shows us how there is some bit of savagery in everyone— it’s just a matter of when it’ll come out. Let’s look at Jack for example. At first, he seemed rather a megalomaniac and controlling. He had his own group, called the choir, which he commanded. When Jack lost the election, he accepted his defeat and was glad that he still had control over the choir. Jack also refused to murder a pig, which he found in the forest. This shows some bit of civilization. Eventually, his savage-self awoke and turned the pig into prey. This shows that despite Jack being some-what civilized at first, like all the other kids, he turned into a savage. During Ralph’s last meeting, Jack influenced all the children into shouting, rallying, and going crazy. The children ignored Ralph’s demands and followed Jack blindly. This shows how civilization was crippled to its core, just because of savagery.
Responsibility is another important theme in ‘Lord of The Flies’. In the deserted island, there are no adults. The only rules the boys have are those that they themselves create. The first thing they do is to elect a leader. Shortly after, they ignore nearly every rule and refused to take responsibility for their actions. A good example of that is when the signal fire goes out, and a ship passes without realizing there is someone on the island. Jack, being an egoistic commander, refuses to take responsibility for allowing the fire to die. Though, he and his hunters were in charge of keeping it alive. Due to Jack’s lack of responsibility, the children missed a chance for rescue. If the children were rather responsible, they could have escaped the ordeal and would have been back home. That is the reason why I adore this book so much. The author showed us how the smallest detail can come and bite us back in the neck, and how we shouldn’t take anything for granted.
The theme of innocence in ‘Lord of The Flies’ can be understood in a variety of ways. My understanding of innocence from ‘Lord of The Flies’ is that everyone at first is innocent until you undergo a traumatic experience. Being present in a crashing plane can be classified as a traumatic experience especially for boys who are of the age of around six through twelve. Without any adult present, the children are left without any supervision, and many of them have no idea what to do.
And that is what I think of the book ‘Lord of The Flies’.