Lord of the Flies is an eye-opening novel about what happens to a group of boys who are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Students always seem to relate to the plight of Ralph, as he struggles to maintain order in a place where anarchy runs wild. Students see first-hand how quickly the chaos escalates when there are no rules or boundaries to a society.
We all dream of perfection: the carefully honed physicality and skill of an olympic athlete; the perfect family meal, like a Norman Rockwell painting; the perfectly harmonious society, with everyone happily going about their lives. But perfection comes at a cost, and remains perpetually out of reach. This contradiction is just one of the reasons dystopias have captivated readers of all ages. The idea of a utopia, juxtaposed with the stark reality that it can never exist, makes a compelling setting for social commentary and critique.
Lord of the Flies Dystopia | Lord of the Flies by William Golding
LACK OF INDEPENDENT THOUGHT OR SPEECH
LACK OF FREEWILL
Initially, the conch was used to keep order, maintain outbursts at meetings, and allow every person a chance to speak. As Jack becomes more powerful, he uses it to silence others and amplify his thoughts and ideas.
Ralph was initially elected to be the leader. However, from the beginning it was Jack who truly had control through his dictatorial use of fear. He allowed Ralph to assume some power because the younger boys listened to him. However, by the end, Jack corrupted all the boys.
Jack is ruthless with anyone who disagrees with him. He punishes disobedience harshly, and even tortures two young boys until they submit to his authority. This brutality is what allows Roger to kill Piggy.
CITIZENS UNDER SURVEILLANCE/FEAR
As Jack claimed more control, he would celebrate the coerced boys who joined the warrior camp by painting their faces like savages, just like his!
In the beginning of the novel, Piggy and Ralph swim in a crystal blue lagoon, which appears to be an archetypal garden of Eden. There are no adults, no rules, a seemingly perfect place for young boys. As the story progresses, the beauty of the island is overshadowed by evil and chaos that overcomes the boys until order is lost permanently.
Jack rules with fear. The idea that the boys believe that they are being stalked by an island monster helps him maintain this control. Their fear causes more chaos as Jack vows to kill the beast, a tactic that he uses gain more power by providing protection.