The theme of savagery versus civilization in "Lord of the Flies" captures the competing impulses inside humanity: the first instinct is that of civilization, where individuals follow rules created for the good of the group, and they possess moral values, versus the second instinct toward violence, evil actions, selfishness and power at any cost. When looked at from a broader lens, this is the innate conflict of good versus evil.Continue Reading
Golding associated evil with savagery and good with civilization. In his novel, the characters are well-trained boys from the civilized country of Great Britain who are lost in a wild jungle. Slowly, they lose their morals and give in to their baser desires for power, control and violence, which Golding figuratively depicts through the beast.
Golding believed that civilization merely masks the beast within men. When Jack and his tribe become savages, they begin to worship this beast they have imagined, even leaving it offerings. Golding's characters embody these competing instincts of civilization and savagery: Ralph represents order and civilized leadership, while Jack represents anarchy, barbarism and a thirst for power.
At the core of their most base and innate desires, Golding believed people were evil. Civilization suppresses the beastly desires; savagery exploits them and enables people to give into their desires for violence and evil.Learn more about Literature
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.Full Answer >
The mob mentality in "Lord of the Flies" develops because the boys lose their own values and principles to follow the louder and more persuasive Jack. When the boys lose their identities and form a mob during their pig hunts, that helps to distract them from their abandonment on the island and also allows them to avoid direct blame for any actions.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
A literary device used in the novel "Lord of the Flies" is allegory. The characters and setting that feature in the novel are used by the author, William Golding, to represent the universal theme of the conflict between civilization and savagery.Full Answer >