Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Lord of the Flies

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Lord of the Flies ~ Essay


Fear is oxygen for motivation. In 'Lord of the Flies', by William Golding, fear plays a huge part in how the boys react to being stranded on the island. Every action is controlled by fear; although the boys try to conquer their fears, it is impossible to do, because if they were to succeed they would feel no reason to survive or live.

Fears differ from person to person, because of this tension rises between Ralph and Jack. They have differing opinions on what is important due to their fears. Ralph's biggest fear is that they will never be rescued, where as Jack's biggest fear is that they will be unable to kill a pig for meat. "You let the fire go out."… '[Jack] noticed Ralph's scarred nakedness, and the sombre silence of all four of them. He sought charitable in his happiness, to include them in the thing that had happened. His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away it's life like a long satisfying drink.' (page 70, 'Lord of the Flies') Ralph wasn't interested in the hunt; he wanted to build shelters, to survive the elements, and keep a smoky fire going, so they might be rescued. Jack wants meat, to do as he pleases, and power. Jack fears failure, this shows in his determination to be a successful hunter. It also shows in his defiance of Ralph's authority. He is so afraid of failure that he won't stop trying to undermine him until he gets what he wants to be chief. "See? See?…There isn't a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone-…I'm chief!" (page 181, 'Lord of the Flies') Jack believes that if he is not in power, he is a failure.

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When we are afraid, we feel safer if we have power, or if someone makes us believe that we have power. Ralph's democratic government falls apart by the end of the book, "There was no Piggy to talk sense. There was no solemn assembly for debate nor dignity of the conch." (page 16, 'Lord of the Flies') this is because the boys have given up hope on being rescued. Their only hope now is to find a way to survive long-term on the island. They fear that Ralph won't be able to help them in this area. Jack understands human nature, the need for safety, and the want of power. He is able to convince people to break Ralph's rules, and that he is a better leader then Ralph. Jack makes the boys that follow him believe that they have power by offering them freedom from rules. Also, because the new "tribe" has so much power on the island, they are fearless.

Fear is also used to control people. They use fear to make rules, and power to make people fear. Jack's tribe used power to inflict fear upon Ralph. As they searched the island for him they would keep on letting out loud howls. He could hear them getting closer and closer, as they hunted him. "He forgot his wounds, his hunger and thirst, and became fear; hopeless fear on flying feet…" (page 00, 'Lord of the Flies'). The new chief hunted Ralph because he thought he might regain power again, he was able to make his tribe follow him by telling them that Ralph was dangerous. They were able to control Ralph, (to make him run and hide), and Samneric, (to make them join the tribe), by taking away their power. The boys follow Roger and Jack's idea of hunting down Ralph because they worry that there is the chance that Ralph was right about the fire, and the shelters, but with him dead there is no need to worry.

In the end every movement is done out of fear. Whether it was hunting or keeping a fire going, to stealing and murder. 'Lord of the Flies' would have had no driving force had fear not played such a large role in the plot.

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