Hello, I'm looking for a quick critique on my essay. It's due tomorrow but I'm not feeling very happy with it. Thank you in advance!
Lord of the Flies: Lack of Civilization
Although evil exists everywhere in the world, it first festers in our minds and spreads to our hearts like an infectious disease to alter our actions and who we are. Throughout William Golding's Lord of the Flies, the boy's need for civilization in such dire conditions becomes desperate as the beast inside takes over their minds while they struggle with each other and themselves to salvage any remaining righteousness they were taught back in England. As the boys spend many months on the island, they begin to lose their structured ways of life and become malicious savages. They lose value for life after the killing of the sow, and ultimately cannot control themselves as they continue to kill fellow boys.
When the boys crash land on the island, they immediately form a sense of civilization by gathering when called by the conch and working together to build a fire. Ralph blows the conch and the "...boys [...] mak[e] their way through the hot, dumb sand" (14). The conch signifies a gathering, and the others respond collectively. As the boys scramble to form designated ranks, even Jack and Ralph manage to cooperate for the sake of the younger boys. They "...look[...] at each other while society pause about them. The shameful knowledge grew in them and they [do] not know how to begin confession. Ralph [speaks] first, crimson in the face. 'Will you?' [...] 'Will you light the fire?'" (39) Although Ralph and Jack despise each other, they are still willing to work together to maintain tranquility within the group, especially for the Littluns. The hatred that the two build for each other is just simmering. Naturally the two boys clash, but the need for civilization overcomes their gravitation to disagree. The boys have only been on the island for a few days. They do not fully comprehend that they may not be rescued.
However, as the boys spend more time on the island, the structured life they struggled to build begins to crumble as they lose hope of being rescued. Instead of building signal fires, Jack convinces the other boys to play games and have fun with him instead of working. Of course this idea sounds much more appealing, particularly to the Littluns who are merely five years old. Ralph has to constantly remind the boys that he is "'...chief. [The boys] have got to make certain [that there is no beast]. Can't you see the mountain? There's no signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are you all off your rockers?'" (118) The boys know that they elected Ralph as chief, but playing with Jack sounds much more fun and their interest for Ralph's instructions are rapidly lessened. In order for everyone to survive, they need to remain in one group. Due to the boys splitting off with Jack into a second group, their collaborative strengths are divided and weakened. It takes multiple attempts for Piggy's voice to be heard over the squawking boys. He tries to make them consider changing their behavior by saying: "'Which is better-to be a pack of painted [Indians] like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?" (200) Unfortunately, being compared to a pack of savages does not phase Jack and his followers. They continue with their barbaric ways, hunting and killing; playing and fighting. They don't respect Piggy when the plane first crashes, and their opinion of him certainly lowers as Jack's group becomes more primitive. Jack is callous, and his hunters are vicious. On the flipside, Piggy is rational and astute. If the boys listen to Piggy, they can restrain themselves from killing each other. Piggy is their clown because of his humiliating nickname and he is too civilized to be like one of Jack's hunters. Due to standing out, he is picked on, but he is truly the hunters' only hope to keep their sanity.
As the months go by, the boys lose any scarcity of civilization that remained due to both Simon and Piggy's deaths and the hunting of Ralph. The fun and games that Jack first introduces, that once seemed relatively harmless, take a nasty turn and result in unnecessary bloodshed. Without any structure and rules, there is nothing to keep the choir boys from cruel and unjust behavior. While Ralph is being hunted by Jack and his group, he believes that he will die on the island. Piggy, the voice of reason, is dead. Simon, the image of poetry and spiritual connection, is also dead. Once the boys begin killing, they do not value life nearly as much as they did when they first landed on the island. After killing Piggy and Simon, it is no different than killing the sow. Ralph is alone, running for his life through the forest, completely desolate. The boys hunt Ralph like they hunt the pigs. Jack's group has no sense of civilization left, and they will mindlessly act upon his orders as brutes who are "...savage whose image refused to blend with that ancient picture of [...] boy in shorts and shirt" (203). The boys that the savages used to be are now hidden behind heavy facepaint and shocks of hair. Their fun and games overrule the moral code that they were taught in their old life. As Ralph is crawling on the beach in fear of his life, he stumbles miraculously into a naval commander. Behind Ralph stand the boys who were hunting him, holding spears in shock. Ralph "...[Weeps] for the end of innocence, the darkness of a man's heart, and the fall through the air of a true, wise friend called Piggy" (225). Had Piggy and Simon lived, the chaos that followed would have been alleviated by Piggy's logic and Simon's kindness.
The boys do unspeakable things on the island as they struggle to preserve any civilization. In the end, they lose many good friends and irreplaceable innocence within themselves. Although Ralph is determined to be educated and refined in order to keep the boys together as a unified group, in the end his efforts fall apart. The breaking point for any moral code is when Piggy is crushed under the boulder, which is released by the choir boys. When the naval commander saves the boys, they are bewildered that they are being rescued after everything they have been through. Much to the boy's astonishment, they are returned to England, where they must live with themselves and their actions for the rest of their lives. With such bittersweet tears the boys cry because they now know that they will be returned to civilization; England.