How Does Government Emerge out of the Politics among the Boys on the Island?
In the novel “Lord of the Flies” a group of school children find themselves stranded on a remote island with no adults around. In order to survive they attempt to mimic the social organization of the adult world, which ultimately fails epically. The children identify a leader, select symbols that give their society significance (conch), establish rules and norms, and make attempts to fulfill their basic human needs while maintaining workable relationships with one another. The children attempted to impose order among themselves in a setting which clearly lacked some. This was how government was formed, from a basic need to survive. The boys believe that if each can be assigned and fulfill a particular role, they will survive on the island until someone finds them or until their parents come to look for them.
When the boys first stepped foot on that ...view middle of the document...
Each of them are expected to promote the activities which will promote their survival. However the leader Ralph fails to recognize the extent of their abilities and their shortcomings, also for getting that they are indeed children. This shortcoming of the political system is exposed when the fire watchers on duty were distracted and left their post. The fire got out of control, and when it was put out the boys had lost a practical resource and an important symbol of getting home. The children were so upset by this turn of events that they began to form competing groups. Jack began attracting followers with his promises of meat and fun, while Ralph continued to sing the tune of law and order. Eventually Ralph’s influence began to wane as boys suffered blunder after blunder under Ralph’s leadership while Jack’s plan sounded better. I believe that these are the politics mentioned in the question I am answering. The children are divided into two parties, the Jack Party and the Ralph Party, both sporting different agendas and promises. While this makes their little society look more like a democracy it is in fact tearing it apart. The competing groups become suspicious of each other and begin behaving petty towards one another, sometimes acting violently. The social order unravels and the government falls apart, instead of working together towards survival hey begin to pursue their own small interests and thus devolve into savages. Inconsiderate of each other and more so, inconsiderate of the idea of society building, the central work of which involves establishing a functional government.
When the boys first landed on that island and attempted to create a government I’m sure they had good intentions. However they failed to address potential threats from the beginning. They assign roles without assessing the boys’ abilities and resources. They have none of the checks and balances that compensate for social unrest. For these reasons the boy’s society unravels and their government falls apart. I believe that the movie shows what happens when children with little insight or experience attempt to establish a society, I also believe that the problems the children faced, are similar to the ones we face today in our society just on a smaller scale.