Savagery Symbolism

1333 Words 6 Pages
The author George R.R Martin once said, “There is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs” (Martin). Savagery is a common theme in literature. The novel Lord of the Flies is a good example of this. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding presents the story of a group of British boys who are stranded on an island after their plane is shot down. At first, the boys attempt to build a civilization based on rules and order. They elect Ralph as their leader. The boys split up into two groups: a group that is responsible for hunting, and a group that is responsible for a signal fire. However, as time progresses, the group that is responsible for hunting becomes more …show more content…
Early in the novel, a plane is shot down over the island. The pilot dies, and his body falls on a mountain on top of the island. The boys mistake the pilot’s body as an unknown “beast.” They panic and alert Ralph. “‘Ralph, wake up!’ The leaves were roaring like the sea. ‘Ralph, wake up!’ ‘What’s the matter?’ ‘We saw-’ ‘-the beast’” (Golding 98). The boys are panicked by the unknown “beast” and alert their leader, Ralph. This “beast” represents the inherent fear within humanity. Despite only being a dead body, the “beast” manages to provoke an irrational fear within the boys because the boys don’t know what it is. This fear of the unknown later unleashes the inherent evil within the boys. Golding argues that irrational fears can cause humanity’s inherent evil to be unleashed. Later in the story, Jack’s group of hunters brutally kills a pig. Fear impels the group to leave the pig’s head as an offering for the unknown “beast.” Simon later visits the site and experiences a hallucination. “Simon’s head wobbled. His eyes were half closed as though he were imitating the obscene thing on the stick. He knew that one of his times was coming on. The Lord of the Flies was expanding like a balloon” (Golding 143). Simon is experiencing a hallucination while visiting the site of the offering. He sees the “Lord of the Flies” expanding on the stick. The “Lord of the Flies” represents both the fear and the evil that is present in the boys. As the “Lord of the Flies” grows, so does the amount of fear and evil within the boys. Golding asserts that fear can lead to evil; as the level of fear grows, so does the level of evil. Towards the end of the story, the boys separate into two opposing groups. The first group, led by Jack, is evil, savage, and violent. The other group, led by Ralph, is rational, intelligent, and concerned about rescue. “They understood only too well the

Related Documents