“Which is better- to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?” (Golding W. 200) These are the intelligent words uttered by Piggy in William Golding’s classic novel, Lord of the Flies. The plot revolves around a group of British schoolboys who are stranded on an uninhabited island following an unfortunate plane crash. They are faced with the challenge of survival, and savagery results from their efforts to govern themselves. The overreaching theme is that savagery comes more naturally than civilization. This idea is proven through three main examples: the altered appearance of the boys, the ignored deaths and the way in which hunting prevails over ...view middle of the document...
At one point the boys circle a pig, and get much pleasure out of the kill. Clearly, the inhuman appearance of the boys influenced their primitive behaviour.
Even the death of a couple of the boys was not enough to put an end to the savage behaviour. This was clearly demonstrated by the death of Simon, who was accidentally killed by the boys thinking he was a beast after he jumped out of nowhere during a dance ritual. Even Piggy, who was one of the more intelligent boys, said stubbornly, “It was an accident... and that’s that.” (Golding W. 174) Piggy convinced Ralph that it was a just an accident and from that point on, the murder was not brought up again. The boys made up excuses to justify what they had done. Jack even tried to use the explanation that they had simply killed the beast, which had taken on different forms. His theory could not be challenged because the body went into the water and disappeared. There was thus no evidence, and so the boys had no reason to remember what they have done. This lack of impact resulting from the death of a Simon is unemotional and unaffected behaviour. It gives evidence to the idea that humans are in fact savage beings, who can act immorally and then free themselves from their guilt. Killing became normal after the death of Simon, and it was no longer viewed to be barbaric in the boys’ eyes. Shortly after, Piggy was killed by Roger, the most disturbed hunter. The boys took Piggy’s glasses away, impairing his vision and leading him to his death. Ralph was also hunted by the boys, but was saved by the naval officer when they were rescued. The disturbing murder of a couple of boys is proof that humans will turn on each other, especially when faced with a dangerous situation.