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The Lord of Flies, by William Golding - Essay Example

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Among these two instincts one is to have rules and regulations and live by them, avoid fights, obey ethical instructions while the other instinct is to behave…
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The Lord of Flies, by William Golding
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of the Lord of the Flies The main theme of Lord of the Flies is the fight between the two core instincts which are present in every human. Among these two instincts one is to have rules and regulations and live by them, avoid fights, obey ethical instructions while the other instinct is to behave violently just to satisfy one’s inner desire of having supremacy and impose one’s wishes over others. In simple words this battle between the two instincts can be expressed as the conflict between good and evil and that of civilization and savagery. In the whole novel, the writer, Golding connects the civilized nature with good and the nature of savagery with evil. Through this conflict between good and evil, and civilization and savagery the novel moves on from one step to other till it reaches the end.
Lord of the Flies, being an allegorical novel, puts forward his main ideas and themes through symbols. Throughout the novel Golding uses his characters and objects symbolically. The conflict between civilization and savagery is handled by showing the conflict between his two main characters Ralph and Jack. In the novel, Ralph is a protagonist and is the symbol of governance and order. On the other hand, Jack is the Antagonist representing violence, savagery and has thirst of exercising power.
In the novel, the writer shows the way people are influenced by these instincts of civilization and savagery to different levels. As for example Piggy is extremely peaceful and does not possess any instinct of savagery but on the other hand, Roger is unable to understand civilization and its rules. For Golding the instinct of savagery is more primitive and central in humans as compared to the instinct of civilization. Golding infers that if humans are left to make their own decisions, the behaviours of cruelty, savagery and violence is mostly shown by them. In the whole novel, the only character who shows natural and innate goodness is only Simon.
In Ring of Gyges, Plato by narrating the story of Ring of Gyges raises the question that if one has no fear to be caught then why should one be moral? His character Glaucon through arguments shows that the person who is unfair is better-off as compared to the person who is fair. Apparently there does not appear any disproof of Gyge’s arguments. But on the other hand there are also strong reasons to believe that a person who is truly moral will behave morally in most of the circumstances and even if he is gifted the power of the ring.
Philosophers since ages have been debating on the origin of human morality. In everyday life humans have to make decisions on small issues as well as on big matters. Usually they follow the path shown to them by morality rather than choosing the alternative. In most of the cases, people know that if they take the path of immorality they would be benefitted but they select to be unselfish.
In my opinion, it is in the nature if humans to act morally so that the people on the land would have greater chances of survival. Morality gives structure and permanence. It is through morality that the humans are benefitted to a large extant as compared to immorality which only creates chaos. Also the feeling of sympathy lets us know the feelings of people around us. This also prevents us from being violent. This, along with our sense of right and wrong gives the answer to the question, “Why should I be moral?"
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Golding, W. The Lord of the Flies. The Berkley Publishing Group. 1962 pp.77 Read More
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