Q:

What is a major conflict in "Lord of the Flies"?

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Quick Answer

According to SparkNotes, there are two major conflicts in the "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding: the circumstance of being stranded on an island and the conflict of whether they will set up a civilization with order or descend into savagery, chaos and violence. Golding explored the dark side of this conflict in human nature through these marooned boys and their choices.

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Full Answer

The major conflict of civilization versus savagery is embodied by two of the main characters: Jack and Ralph. At the start of the story, the boys elect Ralph to lead them. Ralph comes to represent reason, order and civilization. Meanwhile, Jack is more interested in hunting and finding the beast. He eventually takes over from Ralph and starts his own tribe. Jack leads the boys in violence and blood thirsty hunts. The beast that Jack and his tribe chase is imaginary.

One of the boys, Simon, tries to reveal that the beast is inside them--another conflict and theme that Golding created with innate human evil. Jack and his followers do not accept this news, and they savagely kill Simon and later Piggy. By the time the boys are rescued, they have lost their innocence; savagery has won out in the conflict with civilization.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the metaphor in "Lord of the Flies"?

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    The Lord of the Flies, or the beast, is a metaphor of the natural chaos that exists within human nature. The transition from boyhood into adulthood includes the conversion of that chaos into a desire for order, in most cases, but the lack of any adult supervision in the wake of the abandonment of the boys means that the chaos goes largely unchecked.

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  • Q:

    Why does Jack allow the fire to go out in "The Lord of the Flies"?

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    Jack allows the fire to go out in "The Lord of the Flies" because he is distracted by killing a pig. Just before he kills the pig, Jack paints his face with red and white clay. The clay makes Jack feel like a "stranger," and it makes the other boys obey him and follow him to hunt, even though it means they're leaving the fire untended.

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  • Q:

    Is figurative language used in "Lord of the Flies"?

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    Examples of figurative language in the novel "Lord of the Flies" are when Ralph says that he makes decisions like how he plays chess and when Simon describes the dead sow's eyes as "dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life." Figurative language includes: metaphors, personifications, allusions, idioms and puns.

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  • Q:

    What is the symbolic meaning of the conch shell in "Lord of the Flies?"

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    The conch shell in "Lord of the Flies" symbolizes order, structure, community and civilization. Initially, the boys use the shell to call and alert each other. This shows that they desire and need to remain together, in a community.

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