Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

In his first novel, William Golding used a group of boys stranded on a tropical
island to illustrate the malicious nature of mankind. Lord of the Flies dealt
with changes that the boys underwent as they gradually adapted to the isolated
freedom from society. Three main characters depicted different effects on
certain individuals under those circumstances. Jack Merridew began as the
arrogant and self-righteous leader of a choir. The freedom of the island allowed
him to further develop the darker side of his personality as the Chief of a
savage tribe. Ralph started as a self-assured boy whose confidence in himself
came from the acceptance of his peers. He had a fair nature as he was willing to
listen to Piggy. He became increasingly dependent on Piggy\'s wisdom and became
lost in the confusion around him. Towards the end of the story his rejection
from their society of savage boys forced him to fend for himself. Piggy was an
educated boy who had grown up as an outcast. Due to his academic childhood, he
was more mature than the others and retained his civilized behaviour. But his
experiences on the island gave him a more realistic understanding of the cruelty
possessed by some people. The ordeals of the three boys on the island made them
more aware of the evil inside themselves and in some cases, made the false
politeness that had clothed them dissipate. However, the changes experienced by
one boy differed from those endured by another. This is attributable to the
physical and mental dissimilarities between them. Jack was first described with
an ugly sense of cruelty that made him naturally unlikeable. As leader of the
choir and one of the tallest boys on the island, Jack\'s physical height and
authority matched his arrogant personality. His desire to be Chief was clearly
evident in his first appearance. When the idea of having a Chief was mentioned

Jack spoke out immediately. "I ought to be chief," said Jack with
simple arrogance, "because I\'m chapter chorister and head boy." He led
his choir by administering much discipline resulting in forced obedience from
the cloaked boys. His ill-nature was well expressed through his impoliteness of
saying, "Shut up, Fatty." at Piggy. (p. 23) However, despite his
unpleasant personality, his lack of courage and his conscience prevented him
from killing the first pig they encountered. "They knew very well why he
hadn\'t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living
flesh; because of the unbearable blood." (p. 34) Even at the meetings, Jack
was able to contain himself under the leadership of Ralph. He had even suggested
the implementation of rules to regulate themselves. This was a Jack who was
proud to be British, and who was shaped and still bound by the laws of a
civilized society. The freedom offered to him by the island allowed Jack to
express the darker sides of his personality that he hid from the ideals of his
past environment. Without adults as a superior and responsible authority, he
began to lose his fear of being punished for improper actions and behaviours.

This freedom coupled with his malicious and arrogant personality made it
possible for him to quickly degenerate into a savage. He put on paint, first to
camouflage himself from the pigs. But he discovered that the paint allowed him
to hide the forbidden thoughts in his mind that his facial expressions would
otherwise betray. "The mask was a thing on its own behind which Jack hid,
liberated from shame and self-consciousness." (p. 69) Through hunting, Jack
lost his fear of blood and of killing living animals. He reached a point where
he actually enjoyed the sensation of hunting a prey afraid of his spear and
knife. His natural desire for blood and violence was brought out by his hunting
of pigs. As Ralph became lost in his own confusion, Jack began to assert himself
as chief. The boys realizing that Jack was a stronger and more self-assured
leader gave in easily to the freedom of Jack\'s savagery. Placed in a position of
power and with his followers sharing his crazed hunger for violence, Jack gained
encouragement to commit the vile acts of thievery and murder. Freed from the
conditions of a regulated society, Jack gradually became more violent and the
rules and proper behaviour by which he was brought up were forgotten. The
freedom given to him unveiled his true self under the clothing worn by civilized
people to hide his darker characteristics. Ralph was introduced as a fair