Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

Lord of the Flies By: Travis Jones-O\'Rourke 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
disappear. However, the changes experienced by one boy differed from those
endured by another. This is attributable to the physical and mental differences
between them. Jack was first described with having an air 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 in 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 were repressed by 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 behaviour. This freedom along 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 show: "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