Chaos vs. Order


Why are laws obeyed? Some say they are obeyed because of the penalties imposed on those who break them. Others say because society’s influence to abide by rules and regulations is incredibly strong that we obey without second thoughts. Still others speculate that authority figures are the ones that ensure laws are obeyed. In actuality, it is a combination of all three. Laws, rules and regulations are put in place and are expected to be obeyed to maintain order in a civilized society. A society where things are done justly and fairly; where citizens feel safe and secure; where people are free and treated equal; and, most importantly, where peace and order prevail. If the laws, rules and regulations where not obeyed, then the civilized society would tumble into savagery – order would turn into chaos. It is for this reason that authority is established: to enforce laws and see to it that those who break them receive a just penalty, therefore maintaining the civilized society. Without authority, there would be no means of guaranteeing that laws are obeyed, laws would be broken and total chaos would take over. Chaotic societies and circumstances can be seen in the literary pieces Jekyll and Hyde, Macbeth, and Lord of the Flies. In Jekyll and Hyde, a doctor takes a potion and turns into a completely evil man that spreads havoc within the society. Macbeth is a play about a king turned brutal dictator who uses murder to maintain power and inflicts fear in his subjects. Lord of the Flies is a novel based upon a fictional group of boys that become stranded on an island and try to maintain a civilized society based on the society of their past. The society crumbles and chaos emerges as the boys see no need to follow rules on an island with no adults. The chaotic worlds of these pieces have many similarities to that of our own. Both worlds have the populations of their societies living in a state of fear, while those living in a world with order would be secure. The world uses violence to resolve conflicts that would otherwise be resolved with debates in a world with order. The chaotic world of today lacks control of the population living within the society, a sign of chaos; while in a world with order proper authority figures are in place. The similarities between our global society and the chaotic societies of the literary pieces (adv) shows that chaos is a more accurate reflection of this world.


The process of resolving conflicts in our world parallels that of a chaotic world, not of an orderly world. In an orderly world, when people differ in views or beliefs they engage in a discussion, allowing all participating parties to express their point of view. Ideas are exchanged and new ones are pieced together that will satisfy all of the involved parties, which will prevent future conflicts. When trying to convince an audience, a debate may be held so everybody can present their arguments. The audience can then make an informed decision about the subject at hand. A mediator may be used to ensure that each party receives equal speaking time and to make sure everything runs smoothly. Those who partake in these discussions or debates are courteous and polite when speaking to each other. Chaos, on the contrary, does not have these processes and is not so courteous. When two or more people try to communicate their problems, they yell and scream at each other. Some make a mockery of their opponents and belittle them, which is what happens in Lord of the Flies when the boys try to discuss a possible beast that could live on their island. “‘Maybe he means it some sort of ghost.’… ‘I don’t believe in no ghosts – ever!’… ‘Who cares what you believe – Fatty!’” (pg. 97). In a chaotic world violence is most often used to resolve conflicts. In Macbeth, Macbeth uses murder to ensure that he stays king,