The Lord of the Flies Essay Example: Dependence and Separation


The Lord of the Flies displays the natural aptitude of dependence and how separation from the necessary object or person can result in the restoration of the base tendencies instilled in humans from birth. The overall aggression that the older boys are showing is what they are depending on to replace the dependence on their parents to which they had become accustomed. Ralph, who has been acting similarly to an adult, has steadily been loosing his control and leadership position over the children, who have begun to favor Jack. Jack offers the children an unexpressed freedom from the responsibilities that had been forced on them by Ralph. The smaller children are assumed to be with Piggy, who’s actions have not been actively expressed to the reader.

It can be assumed that Piggy has simply stayed with the younger children and has not lost his connection with society like the others have. Everyone’s hair has been growing, and at an alarming rate, the length of their hair represents their growing separation from civilization. While Ralph wishes he could cut his hair, it has been growing nonetheless. Piggy’s hair has never been mentioned to have grown long like the other’s has. Piggy has retained his connection to society and their ways. He has also kept his glasses, even though they are broken, helping him stay with civilization through all the unkemptness around him.

Now that Jack has become the assumed leader of the island, all rules and logical thinking have been eliminated. The glasses, which symbolized the freedom from the island that could of come from the signal fire, have been broken, and the conch shell, which called them all to order, has not been mentioned or used, assumed to still be seated on the platform, which also becomes unused. Jack abuses his power by leading a mock hunt of a pig, who they replaced with Robert. Jack shouted. “Make a ring!” The circle moved in and round. Robert squealed in mock terror, then in real pain. The chant rose ritually, as at the last moment of a dance or a hunt. “Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!” Page 164. The circle of mock hunting symbolizes how they surround, support, and encourage their idea of twisted freedom.

Ralph, because of his loss of leadership, tries to gain the attention of the other kids by repeatedly pointing out that his spear hit the pig in the nose. “I hit him,” said Ralph again,“and the spear stuck in a bit.” He felt the need of witnesses. “Didn’t you see me?” Maurice nodded. “I saw you. Right bang on his snout—Wheee!” Ralph talked on, excitedly. “I hit him all right. The spear stuck in. I wounded him!” Page 162 This is where Ralph begins to like hunting, and discovers that Jack’s ways might not be so bad. “He sunned himself in their new respect and felt that hunting was good after all.” Ralph is beginning to feel as if hunting might not be so bad.

Simon and Jack

Simon has not expressed a true belief in Jack’s ways, but has chosen to help out where he can. He often disappears to his own spot, but what he does there remains unknown. Simon offers to cross the island at night to tell Piggy what is going on. Simon could simply be seeking a respite from the aggression and primal urges to which Jack’s followers often return. “Someone’s got to go across the island and tell Piggy we’ll be back after dark. ...Simon pushed his way to Ralph’s elbow. “I’ll go if you like. I don’t mind, honestly.” Before Ralph had time to reply, he smiled quickly, turned and climbed into the forest.” Page 168-169 

As Simon sets off, the boys continue up the mountain deciding to check on the fire and look for the beast. When they begin to reach the top, Ralph begins to become nervous and is teased by Jack. “If you don’t want to go on,” said the voice sarcastically,“I’ll go up by myself.” Ralph heard the mockery and hated Jack.” ”There was silence. “Why don’t you go? Are you frightened?” Page 173 Jack continues on up the mountain, and eventually Ralph and the others follow too. They spot the beast, and turn back down the mountain to return to the shelters.

This is one of the last places in the story so far that both groups work together. The separation of the groups and base principals of each, leading to a disturbance in the balance of logic and survival, symbolizing the weakness of human nature. Humans have both logic and the natural instinct for survival that comes from our ancestors. When a person resorts to just one, the weakness begins. Humans need both the desire for survival, but also logic and rationalization; when the island splits, so does the chance of a peaceful survival on the island. Leaving human weakness to destroy the last hope of a balance on the island.

Eventually, there begins to be a definite divide of the island. This development is shown when Piggy suggests to move the fire from the mountain to the beach. When the wood gathering began, the boys loyal to Jack slipped away in the frenzy. Most of the older boys left, leaving Ralph with all of the littleuns, Piggy, Simon, and the twins. “Far off along the beach, Jack was standing before a small group of boys. He was looking brilliantly happy.” Jack now has become the true leader of the hunters, which he uses to his advantage. Jack leads the kids to forget about the beast, and proceeds to lead them on a pig hunt. The hunt ends with the death of a large sow, the head of which is erected upon a large branch and left for the beast as a gift. 

This head is soon recognized as the Lord of the Flies, who Simon, off in the woods with no water, begins to converse with in a hallucination. Simon is told to go off and play with the other kids and forget that he ever had a conversation with the pig head. What Simon does afterward is not revealed so far. The Lord of the Flies represents the savagery that is now custom and displayed as normal, once again proving that the island is reverting to instinct and survival instead of logic and reason.

Jack, soon after gathering his loyal subjects, offers the children of Ralph’s group a feast and a party. He also offers a chance at entry into his tribe as well. “Listen all of you. Me and my hunters, we’re living along the beach by a flat rock. We hunt and feast and have fun. If you want to join my tribe come and see us. Perhaps I’ll let you join. Perhaps not.” Page 201 This may result in the rest of the children migrating to Jack’s tribe, leaving Ralph all alone and without support.

The freedom that is offered with savagery shows the weakness that the children have when separated from their parents. With their parents, the dependence for survival was diluted because of the safety and comfort that was routine. When torn away from that comfort, the children got a taste of freedom and twisted it to be warped with savagery and bloodshed.  Leading all the children to Jack, the natural desire for freedom, an underlying part of human nature, shows how easily a definition can be mutated into something very different from its’ beginning.

 

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