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The Summary of The Lord of The Flies

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In the Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of boys becomes stranded on a desert island. The boys struggle to survive without any adults and are forced to create leaders among them. At the beginning of the novel, there is an immediate conflict between the boys, especially between Jack and Ralph. Jack and Ralph both  have different values and perspectives on the situation at hand. Jack represents the desire for power and savagery; While Ralph represents leadership and order. Golding creates an initial bond between Jack and Ralph that erupts into conflict in order to show the reader that the violent and brutal instincts of mankind are more powerful than the civilization and order, which is inherently fragile.   The plot slowly starts to develop as each child on the island establishes their role in society. 

The first conflict occurs when it is time to choose a leader. Jack desperately wants to become chief. “I ought to be chief,” said Jack with simple arrogance, “because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp.”(22). However, Ralph ultimately is elected chief because he looks like a leader. There was a stillness about Ralph as well as his attractive appearance made the boys more likely to choose him over Jack. Primarily the reason Ralph was elected chief was because of the couch.”Yet most powerfully there was the Conch, being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform”(22). The conch was a symbol of authority and order and was often described as delicate which symbolizes the fragility of civilization throughout the novel. The author describes,’ and the freckles on Jack’s face disappeared under a blush of mortification”(23). It is evident that Jack was embarrassed as well as jealous of Ralph’s position as chief. One of the biggest conflicts throughout the book is the signal fire. Ralph believes that the fire should be lit at all times to signal to ships and planes. Jack and Ralph were completely agreed with each other and both wanted to keep the fire going. Jack even helped get the fire started. But when Jack was finally alone and had to take care of the fire he neglected his responsibilities. Jack went out and go hunt and kill a pig instead. Consequently, this is when Piggy and Ralph see a ship on the horizon. After Jack and Ralph constantly argued about the significance of the fire and maintaining it. Ralph said,” There was a ship. Out there. you said you’d keep the fire going and you let it out! he took a step towards Jack, who turned and faced him. They might have seen us. we might have gone home-.”(71). Jack was very nonchalant about the fact that the fire had gone out and hardly cared he simply responded with “we needed meat” (71). Jack was not bothered at all because he had a rewarding hunt and killed his first pig. It is evident that Jack and his hunters are more interested in hunting and savagery then they are with order and returning to civilization. This shows us that any individual no matter how much they believe in civilization has a drive for savagery. 

Another major that happens between the boys is in the boar hunt and the dance. After the hunters discover pig droppings they decide to hunt for a pig/boar. Ralph who has never been on a hunt before is quickly caught up in the wild chase. Ralph said’” I hit him all right. The spear stuck in. I wounded him!”(113). Ralph is ecstatic about his even though the boar escaped. After the hunt, the boys are all wound up. They end up recreating what happened in the chase with a boy named Robert who acted as the boar. The boys dance around and stab Robert with spires. Robert is almost dead and barely gets out of the circle before the boys remember who they are. The dance around Robert is a reminder of the savage and violent instincts of mankind. Prior to this point in the novel, Ralph did not comprehend why the boys enjoyed hunting and dancing so much, rather than keeping up with the responsibilities on the island. Golding demonstrates that anyone even if they have a strong desire and urge towards civilization and order many also have the drive to kill and be violent like savages. At this point in the novel, the conflict between Jack and Ralph has escalated greatly. Ralph has lost sight of his disciplined behavior and now has turned to savagery and violence. Ralph says, ‘He sunned himself In their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all'(113). It is a huge win for Jack as he disrupts Ralph’s confidence in order. The conflict changes between Ralph and Jack in the novel at this point. It is no longer a battle for power and who would be a better leader or chief but rather it is for strength and courage. A major scene is when jacks and ralph’s camp erupt into conflict this starts chapters before although it plays an essential role. Jack steals Piggy’s glasses because he wants the ability to create fire, this serves as a turning point because it symbolizes dominance on Jack’s tribe. Ralph starts on a journey to castle rock to retrieve piggy’s glasses. He hopes that the conch will remind the boys of authority and civilization. Once Ralph reaches Jack’s camp he blows the couch. Instead of the boys obeying him like he had hoped he was greeted by the guards who threw rocks at him. However, at this very moment, Jack and his hunters appeared from the forest carrying a pig. Jack and ralph immediately get into the midst of an argument. Jack demands that they leave his camp while Ralph demands for Piggy’s glasses back. Ralph says,” Your only hope is keeping a signal fire going as long as there’s a light to see. Then maybe a ship will notice the smoke and come and rescue us and take us home.”(178). Ralph tries to tell Jack about the importance of the fire and reminds him of being rescued. Jack dismisses Ralph and orders his guards to tie up Sam and Eric. In anger, Ralph lunges at Rack. As Piggy remains in the midst of the fight he tries to remind the group of escaping and being rescued from the island. piggy says,” Which is better— to hunt and agree, or to hunt and kill”(180). Your only hope is keeping a signal fire going as long as there’s a light to see. Then maybe a ship will notice the smoke and come and rescue us and take us home Roger shoves a huge boulder down at Ralph. Ralph doges it; however, the bolder hits Piggy and knocks him off the mountain and he falls to his death. In the process of this, the bolder also crushes the couch. Jack and his troops quickly capture Sam and Eric. 

It is important to notice that Ralph is now alone on the island with no one to turn to. In this event, it created conflict between Ralph and Jack that has also resulted in splitting up the boys into two sides and causing the other boys to turn to savagery and violence. Ralph is alone and has become a victim and essentially the prey of violent brutal forces of Jack’s tribe. It is ironic because at the beginning of the novel Ralph was completely in control. By the roles have completely reversed and Jack is now in complete control.  Since Ralph and Jack value two different things it created a conflict that we can see demonstrated throughout the entire book. Jack focuses on the things they need in the moment to survive. While Ralph focused on being rescued. At the end of the book, both characters ended up fighting basically until ralph became violent and savage. On the island, there is zero order because mankind has turned savage and civilizations in no longer as important as power.

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The Summary Of The Lord of the Flies. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 22, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-summary-of-the-lord-of-the-flies/
“The Summary Of The Lord of the Flies.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-summary-of-the-lord-of-the-flies/
The Summary Of The Lord of the Flies. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-summary-of-the-lord-of-the-flies/> [Accessed 22 May 2022].
The Summary Of The Lord of the Flies [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2022 May 22]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-summary-of-the-lord-of-the-flies/
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