Civilization Begins with Order

Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty and dies with chaos (Will Durant), If a civilization does not have order within it or liberty for the people then it is bound to end in terrible chaos. In the novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a group of boys get stranded on an island and there are no adults with them but even though they have each other they lose a sense of what is real and what is not. As the story progresses civilization is lost and chaos rises. Jack is a very interesting character who shows a lot of change in the story; from eager little boy to savage young man.

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Also, the way the author writes the story with such a simple style but with deep subject matter plays a role in how the story is understood. Jack starts the story as a very refined boy who could never bring himself to harm anyone, but as the story progresses all that is lost and he starts to clearly represent the destroyer. This archetype is, a paradoxical character whose destructions reflects a death drive and an inner fear… their quest is to let go of anger or whatever force drives them (Changing Minds). Jack had not been able to kill a pig earlier in the story but then, Look! We’ve killed a pig- we stole up on them- we got in a circle- (Golding 69).

After killing the pig, hunting was all that Jack was left thinking about and he let his shadow side of self- destructive and addictive behaviors get the best of him. Jacks transformation into such a savage character results in his barbaric and animalistic behavior, and his savagery grows because of the lack of authority beyond just the conch. The conch is a symbol for order and power that all the boys get a chance to have, but Jack never cared for that because he lets his savage behavior and governance with violence get in the way of a civil state. Nature versus nurture is a very strong but indirect theme in the story.

Nature refers to one’s hereditary factors who influence our person while nurture refers to the environmental factors which influence one’s growth. Jack in the story appears to be a natural born leader who always wants to step up, Ralph- we need meat even if we are hunting the other thing (Golding 111). Here Jack tells Ralph what needs to be done and the nature he has of being a leader later drives him to be the leader of a violent group of boys. The new environment he is placed in nurtures him to the point where a great change is caused within himself and all ideas of civilization are lost, and his nature plays a role here because he feels that he has to be leader otherwise things will simply not go his way. Jack has a very strong motive to dominate the boy and have complete power over them because he feels that he is the most suitable for it. Jack is a great example of an Id.

Very similar to the Id, Jack cares about survival rather than rescue. The ids central point is immediate pleasures no matter the repercussions. Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands (Golding 135). Jacks desire to kill and please his personal desires are shown here. He shows the boys that nothing will hold him back from completing his own needs, much like the Id aims to please itself by taking over one’s mind. Furthermore, William Golding’s writing style is very deep within subject matter but still very simple throughout. This is the writing structure portrayed in the story because there are certain parts where there would be many details about quite unnecessary things and other parts with not enough. For example, You got your small fire alright… the heart of the flame leaped nimbly across the gap between the trees and then went swinging and flaring along the whole row of them (Golding 44).

This is the part of the story where a forest fire starts and here, the author goes into such a descriptive state for the fire and in the next starting chapter it is suddenly resolved and never talked about again. This was quite confusing when it came to reading because it would be expected that such a descriptive section of the book would not just suddenly end and just be done with for the rest of the story, but that was the case with this certain section of the story. Another section of the story that was explicit without much necessity but ends up being quite simple to the story is when Ralph thinks about how ungroomed he is, The folds were stiff like cardboard and unpleasant; noticed too how the frayed edges of his shorts were making an uncomfortable, pink area… he disliked perpetually flicking the tangled hair out of his eyes (Golding 76-77).

This enhances the understanding of the story because of how descriptive the author is hinting to how long they’ve been on that island because of how the boys now look and that helps simplify the story. Lastly, in chapter 9 the author goes deep with the subject of the story, but again it is not talked about again. The beast struggled forward, broke the ring, and fell over the steep edge of the rock. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock… and screamed, struck, bit, tore.

There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws (Golding 153). The author goes into so much depth with how the boy’s savagery made them lose sight of what was going on and it is confusing because after this scene the murder was never really talked about again and the boys just go on and continue being themselves as if nothing had happened. It was not as simple to the story as other parts were because this section doesn’t infer or make anything else clearer.

Overall, Jack started the story as a very decent young man and ended as a very uncivil and uncultured boy. He let his desire of wanting to kill and be leader get in the way of the civility of the rest and soon brought them down with him. Also, the authors writing structure not only affected the way that the characters were seen or what inferences were made but also the way that the story was understood. All civilization was lost as well as liberty leading to terrible chaos that ended with pure savagery.

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Civilization Begins With Order. (2019, Apr 15). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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