The Social Contract In Lord Of The Flies

Superior Essays
“Everyone living under the social contract we call democracy has a duty to act responsibly, to obey the laws, and to abandon certain types of self-interested behaviors that conflict with the general good,” (Simon Mainwaring). Mainwaring explains the purpose of the social contract by mentioning the types of traits who conflict with society and prevent it from reaching its ultimate goal, or “common good.” To avoid these behaviors Mainwaring mentions everyone within society must follow the rules they established. The idea for a social contract was created by philosopher Jean Jaque Rousseau and encompasses certain unalienable rights citizens are guaranteed to, and a government can’t breach. As defined by Rousseau: “The social contract is an agreement …show more content…
Rousseau’s theory of a social contract is exemplified throughout Lord of the Flies, when the children attempt to craft a government in which a chief is in of controll them. The kids make a rule stating, “We can’t have everybody talking at once We’ll have to have hands up like at school” (Golding 33). Although the children do not have adults who command them, they, being young as they are, crave order for them to coexist. Even though they are so young it is almost of an instinct to have created a form of structure. Much like the children on the island, society must have order within its government for people to continue coexisting. The kids agree to “raise hands” for them to have structure, and by doing so creating a civilized government where the kids all agree to work towards a common good and particularly order. They understand that in order to achieve their common good and work well together they must have laws. Similarly, in the french revolution during the Tennis Court Oath, “the third estate gathered, promising to to remain in the courts until they were recognized,” (French Revolution notes). The third estate, like the kids on the island, counted on order to achieve their goal. To achieve their common good they decided to remain in the courts. This alludes to the social contract. In this situation the people represented individuals within …show more content…
These aspect are defined as followed, “Rule of law declares a democratic society is ruled by laws not be people consent of the governed is the agreement of the people to coexist peacefully under a just government” (Building a Democratic Society notes). These rules must be met in order for a just democratic society to exist, because they are the fine line highlighting the freedom citizens ought to have in a government, and essentially the grand role they play. Similarly to the social contract they are important to establish which rules citizens and government must follow to establish a common good, in this case a democratic society. Consent of the governed ties to the freedom all citizens possess in that they need to agree to participate in a government for it to work. This is essential because without the consent of the people the government has no power and people will fall back to anarchy. Furthermore, rule of law highlights the importance of order within society. By not having people have extreme amounts of power and instead obeying laws the government can be orderly. By having both these aspects of order and freedom the social contract is appeased. In his writing Golding described a society which struggled to allow their citizens to have freedom without breaking into anarchy. Throughout the novel Ralph the main

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