Lord of the Flies

Savagery versus Civilisation: Representations of Power in Lord of the Flies 10th Grade

Golding’s exploration of the human condition continues to be read, year after year, because it challenges the reader to consider notions that are fundamental to the human condition. Through a simple premise, Golding creates an environment in which readers are forced to confront the issues of power and authority. By stripping out every unnecessary distraction and reducing humanity to its simplest form, Golding accomplishes his task of opening the reader’s eyes to the flawed nature of humanity before they can put their guard up. We, as citizens of modern society, create defence mechanisms against the harsh and brutal nature of our species through our political ideologies, religious beliefs, and “justice” systems. When Golding takes away these defence mechanisms, the reader is confronted with the true nature of humanity, power, and authority. All of our current preconceptions and defences against human nature are replaced by symbols; democracy, and autocracy, the conch and the choir leader. As Golding utilises his array of literary devices to paint a picture of life without order, he effectively challenges the reader to enter the minds of the characters and consider how different we really are.

A world without authority and order...

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