Conformity In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

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While the English school boys, on the island, evolved into demonic beasts without a strong parental-esque influence supporting them, modern U.S. high school students are not much different. Many adolescents let unachievable standards set by the media and their own peers dictate their social lives, and as a result, many teenagers, depressed, resort to unhealthy methods of dealing with stress if they are not able to reach the set standards. A hope for solvency, parents possess the ability to stop these cycles of conformity; as University of New Hampshire’s Amber Carlson puts it, “parental support is the largest influence on creating preferable behavior in adolescents” (Carlson, 42). In a speech to the Brookfield East student body regarding the …show more content…
William Golding, having served in World War II, knew about the egregious disasters that could arise from brainwashing, detrimental influences. So, in order to ensure history would not repeat itself, Golding emphasized the slippery-slope nature of sinister influences on society in his novel, Lord of the Flies, namely through character development. Initially in the plot, the boys willingly agree to “have rules and obey them” (Golding, 42) claiming that they have “got to do the right things” (42). However, the boys, ultimately, end up clashing between, and changing their opinions on the values they advocate for in the beginning, like peace, and the opposites of those values, such as savagery. It all starts with the “beastie” (35). Due to the fact that the beast is described …show more content…
Golding intricately details the rise of a demagogue, Jack, through the development of the plot and the power struggle between the two major leaders, Ralph and Jack. Ralph’s struggles to provide the wellbeing of the group, while Jack “want[s] meat’” (51). This opposition of values is essential to understanding Jack’s rise to power because while Ralph wants to take steps to increase the groups’ chances of rescue, Jack wants to “‘catch a pig first-’” (53) which reveals that Jack doesn’t value the, more civil and less delusional, society outside the island. Like the others, Jack has lost his connections to reasoning and reality in exchange for power through extorsion and fear. Ralph and Jack’s confrontation, essentially, sets the stage for the competition between Ralph’s path of civility and order versus Jack’s path of evil and demagoguery. When Jack wins the battle against Ralph, he immediately utilizes the boys’ fears in order to bolster his power. Within the process of conformity and deindividuation, the boys, desensitized, don’t question Jack’s power while Jack commits acts like “beat[ing] Wilfred” (159) for no reason. Golding specifically denounces Jack’s actions by portraying Jack like an animal. In many cultures throughout the world, acting like an animal is considered an insult to intelligence and a proverb for misconduct. Therefore, by Golding intentionally painting Jack, with

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