Lord of the Flies Essay
By: Dustin Tonsi
“They’re hopeless. The older ones aren’t much better. D’you see? All day I’ve been working with Simon. No one else. They’re off bathing, or eating, or playing.” (Page 50). When the boys first arrive at the island, they are convinced it will be their utopia although it doesn’t take very long for them to discover the opposite. The lack of cooperation and work ethic leads them from their utopia to disaster. This supports the idea “...that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self destruction.” This shows that although the boys know what should be done, they may not always do it; in the end these actions destroy their society and force them into savagery. The three main clashing characters in which this idea surrounds are Ralph, Jack, and Simon.
Ralph is considered the novels protagonist who is elected leader of the group of boys marooned on the island. Ralph is the primary representative of order, civilization, and productive leadership in the novel. Ralph attempts to coordinate the boys’ efforts to build a miniature civilization on the island until they can be rescued. Ralph’s power and influence over the other boys is secure at the beginning of the novel. However, as the group gradually transitions to savage instincts over the course of the novel, Ralph’s position declines rapidly while Jack’s rises. Ralph represents human beings’ civilizing instinct. Ralph always tries to do what should be done, but in the end fails holding together their society. Ralph stays true to his beliefs throughout the whole book and denies temptation more than once.
Jack is the novel’s antagonist. Jack becomes the leader of the hunters but longs for total power and becomes increasingly wild, barbaric, and cruel as the novel progresses. From the beginning of the novel, Jack desires power above all other things. He is furious when he loses the election to Ralph and continually tried to overthrow...