Lord of the Flies Analysis
William Golding’s description in Lord of the Flies helps show that survival can come at a horrible price. As the book progresses, the degree of description about the boys going back to a primitive mood and becoming extremely dangerous becomes continuously greater. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses description to suggest that survival can force a person to revert back to a primal and violent state.
Golding slowly eases the idea of survival forcing people back to a savage demeanor though description but there is still obvious examples of it during the beginning chapters. In the very first chapter Golding describes Jack Merridew in a black cloak and black hat covering his red hair as well writing, “His face was crumpled and freckled and ugly without silliness. Out of this face stared two light blue eyes, frustrated now, and turning, or ready to turn, to anger,” (Golding 20). Golding has just started the book and already is showing a character to be unease with his eyes darting around, looking for an escape or, a way out. When someone becomes unease or anxious they wouldn’t think things through properly and it will easier for them to fall back on their survival instincts. Towards the closing of chapter one Golding writes, “He [Jack] raised his arm in the air.
There was a pause, a hiatus, the pig continued to scream and the creepers continued to jerk, and the blade continued to flash at the end of a bony arm” (Golding 31). Although Jack never stabbed that particular piglet he still raised his arm to strike shows the first signs of his change from having a civilized behavior appropriate for society to becoming a cold blooded murder and unpredictable savage. The way Golding writes the first pig attack is a shining example of how his description was used to prove that humans in survival mode, due to a dangerous and unfortunate situation they will slowly show signs that they are too hazardous for society. In the second chapter William Golding illustrates how the first signal fire the boys created grew out of their control because of their lack of order and started to destroy the island’s forest, and even killed one of them (Golding 44-46). This is clearly a major turning point in the story and due to the fact that the kids noticed that the little boy was missing but didn’t seem terribly worried, other than Piggy, shows how apathy has set in for some boys.
Apathy is one of the beginning stepping stones on the road to survival through savagery, and the little boys are already on the first stone. Golding vividly tells how the fire is gnawing at the forest and then furtively adds the child’s death in to the description possibly portraying that the child would not have survived due to innocence. The use of description on the first fire the boys created and how it was excessively destructive instead of helpful makes the fire a metaphor of the child reverting to a violent and primal disposition. As the story and its plot intensifies so does William Golding’s description about survival and how it can make a person become savage-like. The very beginning of the third paragraph is full of description of Jack and him hunting.
It is written that he gets down on all fours, like a dog, and is staking a pig. His clothes are also destroyed and his skin is burned as well as his hair has lightened extremely (Golding 48-49). Jack has changed immensely since the beginning of the book and with the way he acts and looks a stranger would most defiantly say that he is animal-like and isn’t fit for society any longer. Golding’s description on Jack as he is hunting is spot on for someone who has lost most of their connection with a civilization and reverted back to their primal kill or be killed attitude. In the middle of the eighth chapter Golding has the hunters, including Jack and Roger, not only attack a female pig but torture her first and then once she is among the deceased they decapitate her and put her head on a spear in the ground for all to see (Golding 135). These boys do not only kill this poor pig but there is obvious over kill towards her.
They have completely lost any chance to be able to integrate back into society when rescued because this description shows extreme torture towards an innocent animal when they could have just slit her throat and been done with it. The description that Golding has created is a disturbing image and he has also devolved most of the boys on the island in just part alone. Simon’s death was extremely sad and descriptive. He had been running to the boys to tell them that there is no beast but is mistaken by the very people is going towards as the beast itself. Since they boys were scared of the beast they attack what they thought was the beast and when they realized it was Simon they had already killed him (Golding 152-154).
Due to the fact that they killed Simon is reason enough to believe that these children are in a primitive and violent state, but they can also be named savages because they didn’t even know what was coming towards them and they still attack out of fear and bloodlust. The description used to explain Simon’s death shows how savagery has been achieved for most of these children out of fear of being killed themselves and the want to survive. As the book comes to a close Golding goes all out with the use of description towards the idea that people, when survival mood, become dangerous and unpredictable. During the eleventh chapter Golding has Roger murder Piggy, by dropping a large rock on Piggy crushes his skull while Piggy is holding the conch and trying to still talk some sense into the other children (Golding 180-181). Jack and the other hunter seem happy about this while Ralph was crushed.
With Ralph beginning the only real one upset with Piggy’s death is evidence that Jack and the hunter, in order to survive, have taken on a savage demeanor. The description Golding uses in Piggy’s death without a doubt suggests that people will revert back to a truculent or deadly, towards others, state when wanting to survive. The last example of description used to show that survival can create a savage in people in the last chapter when Jack and his tribe light the island’s forest on fire in hope that it would force Ralph into an open area so they could kill him. Even if they hadn’t been rescued, captured Ralph, and killed him they would have signed a death wish because that fire destroyed all of their food supply (Golding 197-198). Their sudden blood lust and barbaric attitude would not have been helpful in their fight for survival seeing that they destroyed where they lived without thinking about it.
Golding’s use of description of the fire and situation was an excellent example that the children have regressed to a primitive mind and nature making them a wild card and dangerous because of their lack of thinking ahead. Although it would easier, going back to a violent and primal state to survive has too many cons in it. In Lord of the Flies William Golding shows that survival can sometimes require people to regress back to a primeval and fierce status. If a group of children, full of innocence, can fall to this horrid violent state and be reduced to savages then what does that say humanity as a whole? Work Cited Golding, William. Lord of the Flies.
New York: Coward-McCann, 1962. Print.