essay by Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding the idea of savagery is displayed throughout the book. Yet, first we must understand its meaning and uses. Savagery; a word created by the “White Man” which (“derived from the French word Sauvage” The Savage: A History of Misunderstanding) in reference to African Tribes. Meaning (“fierce, ferocious, or cruel; untamed”, Dictionary. com). The “White Man” used the word because of their lack of knowledge between the African Tribes and themselves. But, what they didn’t know was that the tribes well being and characteristics that classified them as savages was just normal life to them.

As shown by Golding’s book we See as readers, that in Golding’s novel The Lord of the Flies the idea of a savage is not only normal but inside us all. Golding’s shows this idea in the characters, one being “Piggy”. His ability to keep his composure and civilized manner makes him vulnerable against the other boys that inhabit the island with him. He lacks the understanding that the idea of a savage being normal.

We eat Pig. Piggy! I got the conch! ” Said Piggy indignantly. “Ralph they ought to shut up, oughtn’t they? You shut up, you Lithums! ”) The character Ralph also is used by Golding’s creative genius. He falls victim to the savageness that is a part of him. Although he is a leader he cracks by natural instinct in an event of mere horseplay. Over time his actions become prehistoric and cavemen-like as he adapts to the new reality that lies on the island. (Lord of the Flies, 04 may2008. Pg. 129”I hit him”, said Ralph indignantly. “I hit him with my spear, I wounded him. ”) (Lord of the Flies, 04 may2008. Pg. 26 Ralph launched himself like a cat; stabbed, snarling, with the spear, and the savage doubled up. ) Golding’s character Jack is one who is a perfect example to my point. As the eldest of all the boys his lust for power makes him closer to losing his civilized ways. His rank as head choirboy means nothing to the rest of the boys when Ralph is chosen as leader of the group. As he realizes his second in command position to Ralph he starts to lose his conscious. Now as Ralph’s nemesis, he becomes the savage he was meant to be. With his new found power he is able to control more boys than Ralph would have had. (Lord of the Flies, 04 may2008.

Pg. 19 “I ought to be chief, Said Jack with simple arrogance, because I’m chapter chorister and head boy. I can sing C sharp! ”) The Lord of the Flies shows the characters savage behavior is developed due to day to day lifestyle and culture. The environment, in which they live in, is harsh and unforgiving which can lead them into daily acts that some may seem as barbaric and uncivilized. As we now see after the analysis of the characters of The Lord of the Flies we now understand that these characters acted just as the African Tribes would have. So how do I define a savage? But the real question how would you define a savage?

Is it one who is mentally incapable to act normally? Or is it someone who is of a lower class? So to answer the question, a savage is one whose actions are violent and different from their normal life because of an uncivilized situation. Now after researching this confusing topic to most, I realized that savagery in humans can be normal. I believe that no one can be classified as a savage. Why? Because many people have cultures and ways of life which many of us think are strange. Some of us don’t realize that there are other individuals around the world whose actions and way of life are completely different from ours, none the less normal.