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Lord of the Flies
Children all over the world hold many of the same characteristics. Most
children are good at heart, but at times seem like little mischievous
devils. Children enjoy having fun and causing trouble but under some
supervision can be obedient little boys an d girls. Everybody, at one
time in their lives, was a child and knows what it is like to have no
worries at all. Children have their own interests and react to different
things in peculiar and sometimes strange ways. For example, children are
with Barney and his jolly, friendly appearance without realizing that he
is actually a huge dinosaur. In the novel The Lord of the Flies, by
William Golding, one can see how children react to certain situations.
Children, when given the opportunity, wo uld choose to play and have fun
rather than to do boring, hard work. Also, when children have no other
adults to look up to they turn to other children for leadership. Finally,
children stray towards savagery when they are w! ithout adult authority.
Therefore, Golding succeeds in effectively portraying the interests and
attitudes of young children in this novel.
When children are given the opportunity, they would rather envelop
themselves in pleasure and play than in the stresses of work. The boys
show enmity towards building the shelters, even though this work is
important, to engage in trivial activities. Af ter one of the shelters
collapses while only Simon and Ralph are building it, Ralph clamours, "All
day I've been working with Simon. No one else. They're off bathing or
eating, or playing." (55). Ralph and Simon, though only children, are
more mature a nd adult like and stray to work on the shelters, while the
other children aimlessly run off and play. The other boys avidly choose
to play, eat, etc. than to continue to work with Ralph which is very
boring and uninteresting. The boys act typically of m ost children their
age by being more interested in having fun than working. Secondly, all
the boys leave Ralph's hard-working group to join Jack's group who just
want to have fun. The day after the death of Simon when Piggy ! and Ralph
are bathing, Piggy points beyond the platform and says, "That's where
they're gone. Jack's party. Just for some meat. And for hunting and for
pretending to be a tribe and putting on war-paint."(163). Piggy realizes
exactly why the boys have gone to Jack's, which would be for fun and
excitement. The need to play and have fun in Jack's group, even though
the boys risk the tribe's brutality and the chance of not being rescued,
outweighs doing work with Ralph's group which increase their chance s of
being rescued. Young children need to satisfy their amusement by playing
games instead of doing work. In conclusion, children are more interested
in playing and having fun than doing unexciting labor.
When children are without adults to look to for leadership, they look for
an adult-like person for leadership. At the beginning of the novel, when
the boys first realize they are all alone, they turn to Ralph for
leadership. After Ralph calls the first meeting, Golding writes, "There
was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his
size, and attractive appearance, and most obscurely, yet most powerfully,
there was the conch. The being that had sat waiting for them." (24). The
b oys are drawn to Ralph because of his physical characteristics and
because he had blown the conch. The fact that there are no adults has
caused the boys to be attracted to Ralph as a leader. The physical
characteristics of Ralph remind the boys of their
parents or other adult authority figures they may have had in their old
lives back home. There is also the conch that Ralph holds which may
remind the boys of a school bell or a teacher's whistle. Finally, at the
end of the!
novel, the boys turn to Jack to satisfy their need for some much-needed
leadership. When the boys are feasting on the meat of a freshly killed
sow, the narrator says:
Jack spoke 'Give me a drink.' Henry brought him a shell and he drank.
Power lay in the blown swell of his forearms; authority sat on his
shoulder and chattered in his ear like an ape. 'All sit down.' The boys
ranged themselves in rows on the grass before him. (165)
Jack now has full authority over the other boys. The boys look to Jack for
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