The Lord of the Flies is an essay about a group of children that are left on a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. Throughout the novel, there are many conflicts. The book is a reflection of the struggle between civilization and savagery, good vs. evil, which we deal with in our everyday lives. The question one must ask themselves as they are reading this novel is, “How would I react in the same situation.” When people are removed from a civilized society or what we feel and believe is a civilized society we react differently to our situation. Also what is prized in our society such are intellect and monetary items is no longer a concern on this island.
There are several themes that run throughout the novel. One major theme is the conflict between the human impulse towards savagery and the rules of civilization which are designed to contain and minimize it. Throughout the novel, the conflict is shown by the clash between Ralph and Jack, who represent the two totally aspect of civilization and savagery. Ralph uses his authority to establish rules, protect the good of the group, and enforce the moral and ethical codes the boys have been used to all of their lives. Jack is interested in gaining power over the other boys to gratify his most primal impulses.
One of the main concerns within the novel Lord of the Flies is the role of the individual in society. Many of the problems that occurred on the island were the result of the internal struggles that the boys had. Whether to try to preserve themselves as individuals or maintain a commitment to a group or community. That is, the boys would rather fulfill their individual desires than cooperate as a coherent society. The principles of individualism and community are symbolized by Jack and Ralph, respectively. Jack wants to "have fun" on the island and satisfy his bloodlust, while Ralph wants to secure the group's rescue, a goal they can achieve only by cooperating.