Savagery In Lord Of The Flies Research Paper

799 Words 4 Pages
With all the rules and traditions society has placed upon us, we may think that humans are civilized by nature. However, William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies proves that our civilized nature is coupled with a savage one, in which the rules of society no longer apply. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is about a group of boys stranded on an island, and how they quickly turn towards savagery. Jack, a boy obsessed with hunting, turns against Ralph, the leader of the boys; and forms his own, separate tribe. More people join Jack’s tribe, until Ralph, being the only one left, is chased by all the others boys on the island. Towards the end of the chase, Ralph meet a naval officer who was sent to rescue the boys. Although Ralph is nearly …show more content…
The naval officer has a very civilized-looking appearance, but at the same time, his ignorance of the boys’ savagery proves that savagery is existent outside of the island. When Ralph sees the officer, he immediately becomes concerned with his appearance, implying that Ralph sees him as a part of civilization. However, the officer is not as civilized as Ralph thinks since his duty calls for killing people each day. The naval officer is ignorant of the extent of the boys’ savagery, even after seeing the appearance of the boys as “... streaked with colored clay, [and] sharp sticks in their hands” (200). After seeing this, the officer calls the boys’ savage acts “fun and games” (200). Clearly, the naval officer is ignorant of the boys’ intentions of killing Ralph. Surrounded by violent surroundings, he does not respond to the boys’ savagery that had caused the violence. “A flame, seemingly detached, swung like an acrobat and licked up the palm heads on the platform. The sky was black” (201). Despite the violent surroundings around him, and that the boys caused the island to be this way, the naval officer refuses to attribute savagery to the boys. The appearance of the officer, the boys, and the island prove that the naval officer is in denial of the boys’ savagery because the latter two are clear signs of violence (attempt on Ralph’s life and …show more content…
The naval officer sees many of the boys’ savage acts as civilized. For example, when the boys light the entire island on fire, the officer says to them that his group of officers “...saw [their] smoke” (201). He facetiously asks whether the boys are having a war, but doesn’t realize that the boys actually are. Also, he comments that he expected that a pack of British boys…would have been able to put up a better show…” (202). His comments about the boys are hypocritical because he expects the boys to be peaceful towards each other, yet participates in a war where he kills many. He assumes the boys have a natural inclination towards good because of the mannerisms and etiquettes that were hammered into them at birth. Finally, the naval officer’s embarrassment when Ralph cries proves that he deems the savage boys innocent. When Ralph cries, the officer relaxes his eyes on “the trim cruiser in the distance,” (202) as if it is a symbol of peace. This is ironic because the cruiser is actually a machine of war, which is one step above the sticks that the boys use as weapons. Through his behavior and actions, the naval officer proves William Golding’s point that man has a savage nature that he refuses to accept.

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, shows that everyone has a savage nature, even those among civilization. For example,

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