Boys Becoming Men in Lord of the Flies Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Literature (general)
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #48811350

Excerpt from Essay :

Adapting on the Island in Lord of the Flies

In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the survivors of a crash—a group of school boys—find themselves in possession of a deserted island. Though they have never been in the wild before, nor on their own, they quickly learn to adapt by organizing into a hierarchy and tapping into their hunter/gatherer instincts. The plot of the never ratchets up the tension and conflict as the primal and violent spirit of some of the boys begins to dominate the action. Nonetheless, the individuals’ ability to adapt to situations remains unchanged. This paper will provide some examples of how adaptation is demonstrated by the boys in the novel through the process of their organizing to survive in the wild.

As the book opens, the boys survey their surroundings. They take stock of their situation and assess their whereabouts. The fair boy is depicted, upon realizing that there are no grownups on the island, as experiencing a revelation: “the delight of a realized ambition overcame him” (Golding 2). He is going to fill the gap left behind by the missing authorities—the grownups. The fair boy is going to adapt to the situation and be a leader. Indeed, this is exactly what happens. The fair boy is the first to name himself. Like Peter, who is the first to recognize the Messiah, Piggy is the first to recognize leadership in Ralph (the fair boy). “We got to do something,” Piggy says to Ralph (Golding 12). Ralph does not respond vocally: he only thinks within himself. He then spots the conch shell, which he intends to blow to call the other boys so that they can organize and begin to formally proceed to the process of adapting to the wild. “We can use this to call the others. Have a meeting. They’ll come when they hear us—“ Piggy says to Ralph (Golding 13).

The conch becomes a symbol of the boys process of adaptation—including their struggles with adapting to the wild (some of them, after all, adapt too well and become too wild). For instance, Piggy tries to be civilized on the island and maintain the order of hierarchy that the boys impose by way of the conch—whoever has the conch has the right to speak. Piggy tries to remind everyone of this rule, but Jack overrides him by asserting a new rule:…

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