Lord of the Flies: Civil vs. Savage

990 Words4 Pages
Lord of the Flies Essay: Civil vs. Savage What would happen to humanity in a society without rules or constraints? Would humans retain their morals and values? Or would a state of chaos be evoked? This is the concept that William Golding explores in Lord of the Flies. Through the novel, Golding demonstrates that rules are essential to keep people from becoming savage and to maintain order in society. Although some might still defend civilization and follow their morals without concrete rules, the majority, that have returned to their savage instincts, eventually annihilates them. A character that becomes savage with the absence of rules is Roger. The reader learns about his malicious nature early in the novel, when he throws stones at Henry. Although he wants to hit him, he always aims to miss because he still has vivid memories of “the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law” and he feels that there might be consequences for such actions (62). As the book progresses and the boys become more savage, these memories slowly fade away. When Roger hears that Jack is going to beat a boy called Wilfred up for no apparent reason, he “received [those news] as an illumination. He [sat] assimilating the possibilities of irresponsible authority,”(162). This is the moment when he realizes that there are no consequences on the island anymore. After this point, Roger becomes the most savage boy of the group; he throws the boulder at Piggy, tortures Sam and Eric and burns the whole island down while hunting Ralph. Golding is pointing out through Roger’s character that some people have a more savage nature than others, and can’t be expected to be civil through morality. He shows the cruciality of the establishment of laws, and more importantly, the set consequences for breaking them, in order to keep people from committing acts of savagery. The
Open Document