The Decline to Inhumanity

In prehistoric times, cavemen walked the earth and, in order to survive, they had to kill and live barbarically. As human beings evolved, their pre-civilization instincts became lost; however, these intuitions are not completely irrecoverable.

A series of gruesome events are necessary to resurrect the early nature of our ancestors. In Lord of the Flies, the boys resort back to the old way of thinking upon their abandonment on the island. The author, William Golding, utilizes diction and imagery to demonstrate that without civilization and order, people would begin to rely on their old, primitive ways. Golding uses eloquent diction to exemplify the children’s reactions to the lack of order. Their “filthy bod[ies]” had a “fleeting” resemblance to that of a terrified creature.

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They were enveloped with “shuddering spasms;” their “matted hair” camouflaged their faces. The lack of direction has left the boys ignorant of how to survive without adults. Absent of the constant supervision, the children abuse their freedom and lose control of their actions. Their grotesque appearances reflect their animal-like insides. Golding uses the island as a metaphor for the world.

The “infected” island was occupied with “scorched” vegetation and bits of “wreckage” that was always accompanied by an ever present “darkness”. The island is portrayed as a revolting, repulsive, and repugnant place, which embodies how evil and corrupt our world is–especially when there is no order. Golding’s vivid diction clearly defines the foul similarities between society and the island. The use of imagery expressed by Golding describes the relationship between the island and the world. To depict how the world is full of dark and broken ideologies, Golding writes, “…the island was scorched up like dead wood.” The world’s early past is full of hate and betrayal.

Society keeps man’s greed under control, but when released, like a wild fire, it consumes every human being. The island is also described as, “… black smoke before the burning wreckage of the island.” With the burning of the island also comes the end of society. The black smoke acts as a sign that the decline to savagery was hard and unclean. Golding’s portrayal of the island through imagery makes it simple to understand how corrupt the world is.

Golding warns society through his book, Lord of the Flies, that without structure and order, the greed in man’s heart will engulf us all. Man’s evil heart will overpower and consume the population– no matter the good intentions of people. When the boys realize what they have done, they are overcome with emotion and cannot handle the monumental consequences. The boy’s inability to survive without order ultimately ends in death. The world needs to come to terms that not all freedom and lack of order is good. Feelings of distrust, the instinct to kill, and savagery come from our pre-historic ancestors.

When left to our own demise, we will fall back upon these ways.