What Is The Theme Of Savagery In Lord Of The Flies

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Lord of the Flies, by William Goldberg, addresses savagery through the narratives of the boys trapped on an island. They do not understand what it feels like to be in an unknown premise without adult supervision. The protagonist, Ralph, tries to civilize the boys by establishing rules. However, the demanding Jack disregards Ralph’s rules and establishes those of his own—killing pigs. Soon, the boys slowly lose their innocence as they become attracted towards Jack’s regulations. The modern day readers can understand that the desire for power, lack of civilization and violence all lead to the loss of innocence, which results in savagery.
The antagonist, Jack, desires power when he leaves Ralph’s group in an attempt to be his own leader.
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When Jack first kills, he admits to Ralph, “I cut the pig’s throat….Can I borrow yours, Ralph, to make a nick in the hilt?....There was lashings of blood….You should have seen it!....We 'll go hunting every day” (Golding 69-70). His request to borrow Ralph’s knife, to notch the pig’s head as a trophy, is to prove that he is willing to be superior and he is excited to kill. When the boys become attracted to Jack’s regulation, they leave Ralph’s civilization to join Jack’s new group. From there, the boys are accustomed to the savage behavior of killing pigs and traumatizing other boys. The practical killings of pigs soon turn into the manslaughter of human beings. According to Bülent Diken and Laustsen Bagge Carsten, the authors of From War To War: Lord Of The Flies As The Sociology Of Spite article, they say, “Significantly in this context, Jack’s killing of his first pig is his first taste of sovereignty, the power to decide on life and death” (Diken & Carsten 434). Jack’s attractive promises in having meat to eat and fun influence all of the boys to leave Ralph’s group and to join his group, except for Piggy and Simon. This stage in the story also shows …show more content…
As William Golding describes in his novel, the killing of Simon starts when “....A thing was crawling out of the forest. It came darkly, uncertainly….Simon was crying out something about a dead man on a hill…. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on the beast, screamed….There were no words, and no movements….” (Golding 152-153). Jack is the mastermind in the killing of Simon because, being the leader, he and his group go after a creature coming out of the forest, which happens to be Simon. He chooses to react to the creature without first investigating. David D. Wilson believes that “from the games the boys find the possibility of excitement rather than horror. Secondly, it is this game that develops the theme of the boys becoming savages” (Wilson 57). The killing of Simon is the turning point of the novel because Jack and the boys partake in the wrongful murder. Since there are no adults to supervise their behavior, Bülent Diken and Laustsen Bagge Carsten say:
It is no wonder that it is precisely when the promise of enjoyment—the lack of adults—turns into enjoyment as an imperative that the initial state of exception is normalized and democracy is degenerated into the delirium of a lynching mob….With the death of the scapegoat, Simon, Jack attains full sovereignty, and he starts to use it arbitrarily. (Diken and Carsten

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