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LOTF essay

Hi, I have my yr10 mocks quite soon and was doing a practice paragraph, could you mark it and give me a grade?

In his allegory, Lord of the Flies, rules are a key theme throughout the story. Golding explores the idea of the lack of rules and constraint, and how our primitive and innate human evil causes us to become blind to the idea of civilisation and order.

At the start of the novel, the rules on the island are more stable and constructed. Ralph and Piggy find a conch at the beginning of the novel, and an assembly is called. The boys all obey the conch without question. “I’ll give this conch to the next person…” shows the boys are setting up rules and order on the island, which enables them to set up an organised and structured microcosm. The boys then set up shelters, food and water, which indicates signs of a stable and thriving civilisation on the island. However, the conch, “a deep cream, touched here and there with a fading pink” in this novel symbolises democracy and order on the island, and Golding’s use of the phrases “touched” and “fading pink” links to the idea of fragility and delicacy. The conch is merely “touched” by the colour, as it is so frail. The “fading pink” also shows how the conch’s colours are deteriorating, and what made it so attractive to the boys is already slipping away. This early idea of the conch’s fragility foreshadows Golding’s later ideas and the true power that rules hold over the boys

Later in the novel, the boys start to lose their sense of civilisation, and with it rules and order. Jack’s progression is used to show this. At the beginning of the novel, Jack leans into the idea of rules and order “We’ll have rules! If anyone breaks em…” Jack begins very inclined to rules and authority, however, through his innate human evil, his power and authority is foreshadowed through “If anyone breaks em…” It foreshadows Jack’s inclination to violence as authority and not through justice and democracy. Jack’s natural authority and power over the boys as a hunter plays into the deconstruction of democracy. “*******s to the rules!” is a key turning point in the novel, as Jack starts to become detached from his normal life. It shows the true fragility of democracy and shows the fragility of man without rules. The fact that Jack can destroy the foundation of which Ralph had built democracy shows its fragility. [Ralph is] like Piggy. He says things like Piggy. He isn't a proper chief.” To Jack, intelligence is incompatible with strength, and the latter is necessary for chiefdom. Because Ralph uses logic and reasoning like Piggy does, according to Jack, he can’t be fit to be the boys’ leader, and through Golding’s experiences in war, allow him to write about the weakness of democracy. Experiencing the atrocities of the war at the time, Golding was able to understand that “man produces evil as bees produce honey.” He saw that the power of rules came from the power of the people, and that to destroy order all it took was for us to give into our natural urge to hunt and kill. His message that all humans are innately evil shows the nature of civilisation as nothing more than a barrier to our primitive selves, and a barrier that is easily broken by our true nature.

Ralph’s progressive descent into evil is also used to represent the delicacy of rules. Ralph begins as the “boy with fair hair” and “golden body.” Golding chooses to represent Ralph as a symbol of purity and fairness, linking to democracy. Ralph is a natural leader and Golding chooses to show democracy and civilisation through Ralph’s character. He says “We’ll have hands up…” showing how we tries to retain his previous life on the island, and strives for organisation and order. Ralph also sets up the fire on the mountain and says “We must make a fire.” This intelligent and rational thinking to get them off of the island shows Ralph’s more civilised and sophisticated personality in the novel. Linking to Freudian ideas, at the beginning of the novel, Ralph can be represented as the “superego” the rational and conscious part of the island, who tries to keep some sort of control and reasoning. However, as the story progresses, Ralph begins to lose the importance of rules and reasoning. In a hunt with Jack, Ralph has a “desire to squeeze and maim.” This sudden act of violence from Ralph is unnerving Ralph had always tried to keep a calm and collected manner, however his “desire” is compelling him away from this. “Desire” indicates a strong sense of want, not need, showing that Ralph is now acting on his impulses, not taking time to think and process things. His natural predisposition to law and order is failing and is losing sight to the things that keep the boys controlled “A curtain flapped on his head” shows this. A curtain is normally used to block out light, and light symbolises purity, hope as does democracy to some of the boys. Essentially, Ralph has been blinded to those societal values that were instilled in him, and as Ralph loses this, the boys start to take on a much more savage significance, and a totalitarian regime under Jack begins to start.
This book was written in 1954 after the full horrors of Nazi Germany were revealed, the cold War getting under way, and the British empire collapsing. The story challenged the notion that British civilization was somehow superior. A group of British public-school boys stranded on an island - supposedly the products of the finest education available in the world at the time, but then they descend into savagery, cruelty and murder. Golding’s message throughout the novel shows that evil and unlawfulness can arise anywhere. “It can even happen here.”

Overall, Golding uses the boys and the conch to represent the demise of rules and order on the island, and how it is a very fragile concept.
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