Lord of The Flies': Civilization Vs Savagery as The Main Theme

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1849 |

Pages: 4|

10 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

Words: 1849|Pages: 4|10 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Civilization vs Savagery in the Lord of the Flies
  3. Conclusion
  4. References


William Golding's, Lord of the Flies, is a novel about a collection of young British boys who're stranded on an island after their aircraft is shot down. The group encounters endless hardships while being stranded at the island, ensuing in multiple disputes among the lads. Golding uses the boys struggle for survival to symbolize the loss of innocence, to suggest a theme of civilization vs. savagery, which is the topic for this essay. A New York Times critic wrote, “This brilliant work is a frightening parody” (Franklin) about William Goulding’s, Lord of the Flies (1954). All through the unconventional, it starts offevolved to focus on the development and effects of the three major characters; Ralph, Jack, and Simon. Every of those characters represents elements of human beings and ranging views on existence, morality, and love. How will they reply to strength, obligation, and duty when confronted with adversity and unmonitored.

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Civilization vs Savagery in the Lord of the Flies

The theme of civilization, as opposed to savagery, is first delivered to us through the image of the conch shell, which we companion with Ralph, as he's the person who first makes use of it, and will become the elected chief of the lads. This symbolizes authority among the boys. At the first meeting, Ralph says “I’ll deliver the conch to the next character to talk…he won’t be interrupted”. This indicates civilization as Ralph is permitting every boy to have the same say and opinion. If they have the conch, regardless of who they're or what age they may be they will be given the risk to talk and will be listened to through the relaxation of the men. the men have created the island to be a democratic place which suggests a civilized facet to them as they are attempting to imitate the homes they have got just left.

To feature, the growing movement suggests the developing anxiety between civilization and savagery, whilst Jack and his hunters permit the hearth to die out, inflicting a ship to bypass by without a smoke sign displaying and allowing the institution of boys to overlook a possibility of being rescued. This key second is critical as it marks the first strife among the antagonist and protagonist in the novel. Ralph’s priorities are to build shelters and maintain a sign fire going to get rescued, but, Jack’s priorities are to hunt meat for the men and have a laugh. tension is proven at this second once they argue and Jack finally ends up taking his constructed frustrations out on innocent Piggy. Golding writes, “he took a step, and able at final to hit a person, stuck his fist into Piggy’s stomach”. This occasion famous a clear distinction between the savage and the civilized as Jack makes use of violence, whereas Ralph suppresses' his anger. Golding writes, “Unwillingly Ralph felt his lips twitch; he turned into angry with himself for giving manner”, which conveys his attempts to cover his spite in the direction of Jack. Without this second the climax might not be possible as it prevents the boys from being rescued. If the fireplace were kept alight then this first spark of their developing war would no longer exist and would in no way have thrived in the course of the story. consequently, the following critical key occasion in the story would now not have taken place.

Contrasting with the symbol of the conch is the image of the beast which comes to be related to Jack as through the stop of the unconventional he is almost Satan worshipping it. The beast begins as a “snake issue” however utilizing the stop of the radical it has to grow to be “the Lord of the Flies”. the first quote shows us that the beast is evil. Western society considers snakes to be awful omens because it changed into a snake that led Eve to consume from the tree of information. however, at this degree of the unconventional, the beast is quite insubstantial as it is most effective a “thing”. As the lads worry the beast grows so too does the beast itself until it has manifested into the devil – the last and maximum effective evil. He has a strong repute as a Lord even though it is over something pretty disgusting – the flies. the boys' belief inside the beast leads them to act more like savages as they act out from their worry and that they begin to lose preserve of the guidelines, led with the aid of Jack, accordingly demonstrating the subject of savagery.

William Golding suggests a battle among civilization and savagery is whilst Jack and some of the other boys are killing the first pig. Jack chants “kill the pig, reduce her throat, spill the blood”. This indicates savagery as the men are being violent and aggressive whilst killing the pig and they don’t care approximately it. that is mainly clear through Golding’s word preference. Jack talks approximately cutting the pig’s throat which makes it sound like a savage action and spilling her blood which reinforces the dearth of care and feeling shown towards the pug’s carcass. This shows that the lads are now not feeling guilty approximately what they have executed thus showing them becoming savages.

We will see the battle between savagery and civilization growing further whilst Piggy’s glasses are broken. we're advised, “Piggy cried out in terror ‘my specs!” This shows us that the men savage natures are beginning to overrule their greater civilized facets. at the start of the e-book, Jack might never have dared touch Piggy, however right here he snaps and is going for Piggy who he despises. we will inform that Piggy is scared as Golding chooses the words “cried” and “terror” to describe the scene. Piggy feels like he is hurting and is terrified approximately what Jack might do to him and the lack of his sight. Piggy’s glasses have also come to symbolize intelligence on the island, with them breaking we see that the pathway to savagery is now absolutely open for the lads. this is the primary true piece of violence among the 2 factions at the island and it will bring about nearly all of the boys becoming savages.

Some other key second inside the rising action where Golding exhibits the growing tension between the civilized and the savage is whilst Jack decides to go away the civilized organization. this is a key second because the war among Ralph and Jack has grown from verbal disagreements, to a proper divide among civilization and savagery. This occasion shows the growing anxiety among the lads due to the fact they're now competing in opposition to each different to be inferior chiefs, resulting inside the rivalry rising to an all-new stage. 'the two boys glared at every different via monitors of hair' (181, 20). As chief, Ralph says, “The first-class element we will do is get ourselves rescued”, while Jack demanded that hunting is just as critical. Jack says, “I’m not going to be a part of Ralph’s lot' (183, 6), displaying that he is now unwilling to cooperate with the civilized group. If this occasion had not happened, the climax might not have been possible due to the fact the 2 organizations might nonetheless be living together as one and the struggle between the two boys could now have reached this sort of excessive degree. This battle additionally precipitated the following key conflict to eventuate.

A very last way wherein we see the theme of savagery as opposed to civilization being demonstrated is whilst Ralph sticks up for Piggy after he's attacked by Jack. This moment is important because it shows that the boys acting out as savages and animals, 'Then there was a vicious snarling within the mouth of the shelter and the plunge and thump of living things' (240, eight). This occasion also exhibits the greed and incorporation of the savages as they hotel to theft. This shows a splendid difference among the savage and the civilized, as the Piggy and Ralph would have approached the scenario very in a different way, requesting the glasses lower back as opposed to stealing them. If this incident had now not occurred, the climax might not be feasible because the civilized boys might have by no means needed to confront the savages approximately the theft of the specs, which could, consequently, save you Piggy's demise. also, if the savages did no longer have to get the right of entry to the glasses, they would now not have been capable of start the fireplace that lit the signal, which resulted in the boys being rescued.


In conclusion, The Lord of the Flies by using William Golding is a unique wherein the subject matter of savagery versus civilization is shown. Ralph represents civilization as he wants to put in force rules and let everyone have the same say. while Jack who represents savagery as he regulations over the boys and he isn't always interested in what they have got to say. via the boys' moves, Golding indicates us that we want regulations and to consciously impose them to make sure society capabilities properly. though the kids at the island have been taught the distinction among excellent and evil, they selected to observe the sinister aspect of their nature and plunged headlong into a world of cruelty and murder. Ralph, but, chose to follow the phrases of Simon and fought towards his dark aspect. He clung to the guidelines of his childhood in hopes to return to the person world because he knew that without those morals and ethics, society civilization of oppression; Jack’s world. Savageness’ in the society is every other overarching subject of Lord of the Flies. Through the man or woman of Jack and his hunters, William Golding has wonderfully displayed that human nature can speedily flip from prey to savagery. besides Jack, all others are simply fans. The methods of Jack tempt them toward hunting which is savagery in nature. Over time, they emerge as savages and begin searching for humans. This shows how savageness or savagery spread in society whilst there aren't any regulations.


  1. Franklin, H. B. (1954). A Fable of Children in the Wilderness. The New York Times. Retrieved from

  2. Golding, W. (1954). Lord of the Flies. Faber & Faber.

  3. Davis, G. R. (2013). Lord of the Flies: A Religious View. University of Dayton Review, 23(1), 73-80.

  4. Simpson, A. (2017). The Evolution of Jack’s Savagery in Lord of the Flies. JHUP Blogs. Retrieved from

  5. Beck, B. (2009). The Descent into Savagery: A Close Reading of Lord of the Flies. ELH, 76(1), 3-24.

  6. Baker, J. (2016). Lord of the Flies: A Psychological Approach. Thesis. Florida Gulf Coast University.

  7. Widdowson, P. (2015). Golding’s Use of the Visionary Mode in Lord of the Flies. Golding and the Quest for Human Nature, 83-106.

  8. Jones, E. (2000). William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Research in Human Ecology, 7(1), 1-8.

  9. Lothane, Z. (1991). Why did the Lord of the Flies become so dreadfully savage?. Psychoanalytic Review, 78(1), 1-18.

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  10. Stokland, E. (2005). The Representation of Law and Order in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 4(2), 67-88.

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Lord of the Flies’: Civilization vs Savagery as the Main Theme. (2023, August 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from
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Lord of the Flies’: Civilization vs Savagery as the Main Theme. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 1 Mar. 2024].
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