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Lord of The Flies
Transcript of Lord of The Flies
THE BREAKING OF THE SOCIETAL CONCH
Connections in Literature
Chapter 11 Overview
Thesis: Without the order and control of law and the government to hold people to civility, all it takes is one small push to drive humans to their primitive instincts.
Basically, to sum up the events of chapter 11 (Castle rock) three main events occur. The first of these events is the march on castle rock. This is when Piggy, Ralph, Sam and Eric all march to Castle rock to confront Jack's crew about the theft of Piggy's glasses. Upon arriving the groups reach a pivotal moment of conflict in which the next two major events occur. The first of these is the breaking of the conch and the other is the death of Piggy. For our presentation, we will be focusing mainly on the breaking of the conch and the societal implications of how government and law is the only thing that keeps us civil.
The smashing of the conch and loss of control can be compared to "The Pirates Of The Caribbean, and Davy Jones' heart. In the pirate movie Davy Jones is a very powerful antagonist or the bad guy. The good guys, or the protagonists have Jones' heart and therefore have control over the bad and the good.The heart is much like the conch because whoever has it has control over everyone; however, like the conch the heart is lost and the voice of reason and control is lost to the bad guys.
The loss of control can be related to Gone (By: Michael Grant) where the kids get trapped under a barrier and have no adults. They are relatable because without the adults telling them what to do they loss every thing and kill each other to get what they need to survive. Ralph and Jack represent Sam and Caine who both want to control everything but for different reasons. Jack and Caine want to control the people because all they want is power and Sam and Ralph want to control them because they want to do what is right and what will keep them alive the longest.
Have you ever wondered what would happen to society if the government suddenly broke down? As humans we have a tendency to resort to our inner animal when the going gets tough, especially in times when the government is not there to support us. Take a look around, are we really that civilized in the first place. We fight, we kill, and we are certainly capable of much worse. So then, what is it that keeps us humain. The answer would be government. Without government humans would be incapable of retaining our kind nature.
All the proof of this you would ever need is apparent in the modern world around us. For example, think about some of the countries in the east that have a corrupt, inefficient or nonexistent government. Without the backbone and support of a strong government the people there undergo a sort of change. All it takes then is a small push and ordinary people become rebels who steal and kill as the line of morality becomes blurred. All that separates us from them is the fictitious construct of a secure government and all it takes to throw that off is one pivotal moment...
People resorting to their primitive instincts can be seen not only in "The Lord Of The Flies", but in the movie "The Purge" as well. In "The Lord Of The Flies" the smashing of the conch represents loss of all control and reason, and after it smashes the boys on the island turn to their primitive instincts in that they hunt to kill their former friend, Ralph. This can be compared to the removal of government in the movie "The Purge". In the movie government is removed and all crime is legal for 24 hours and the people resort to their primitive instincts. The removal of order and structure results in people killing others, rape, and stealing. Without order and control, people resorted to their primitive instincts in "The Lord Of The Flies" as well as in "The Purge".
"Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?"
(180) This quote spoken by Piggy shows that out of all the people there he is the only one that is currently sane and does not let his primitive instinct to take over because he believes in the conch and follows the "law and order" of the conch.
"We ought to take spears, because we may need them," (170). This quote spoken by Sam shows the boys no longer believe that they can talk in peace and order. It shows their primitive instincts take over and they feel they need weapons and violence to settle issues.
At the end of the chapter, the breaking of the conch represents that government and order on the island has been destroyed. This then results in the direct reversion of the remaining kids to savagery which in turn would lead to Ralph being hunted down in the next chapter. However, this change seems somewhat sudden so how on earth could something so small cause such a big change? The truth is that in our society, it only takes one small action to push our state of mind to its very limits especially when the order of government is nowhere to be seen. Take this analogy as an example say you are home alone with a sibling and you know your parents are going to be gone for a week. During that week you and your sibling will almost certainly fight and all it would take is a single word and a single deed to provoke this.
Golding, William, and Edmund L. Epstein. Lord Of The Flies: A Novel. New York: Perigee, 1954, Print.
"Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" () This quote shows the boys have lost all civility and now believe Ralph is the beast. They resort to violence and decide to kill him because of the loss of government and control.
Grant, Michael. Gone. New York: HarperTeen, 2008. Print
The whole theme of one small step towards chaos is the heart of this chapter in Lord of the Flies. However this theme can be found all over the world in different societies. We would like to take this time to get the class's opinion on the matter of humanity's reversion to animalism and the events that can trigger this dramatic change. The answer can be personal, impersonal or a connection to literature that has not been made already.
A conch is usually seen as a random shell that looks nice on a shelf but really has no use. However the conch can be seen as much more than a shell. In the novel Lord of the Flies they use a conch as a source of government and order. When the conch is broken, government is lost and all the civility of humans is gone. Therefore humans are forced into animal ism and are turned into there primitive instinct. All of humanity is controlled by one thing, government; it protects us, keeps us safe, and prevents us from turning to out primitive instincts.
This can be argued as the breaking point of the boys in the novel. They accidentally killed Simon already and when Jack and Ralph start their argument Roger pushes the boulder that kills Piggy and smashes the Conch. This is the one small push that can cause us to snap and do anything we need to to survive. When Piggy and the Conch get smashed every boy on the island has turned to the point where they don't care what they have to do as long as they survive.
Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest. Dir. Gore Verbinski. Prod. Jerry Bruckheimer. By Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Perf. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley. Buena Vista, 2006. DVD.
The truth is, in our society, all it takes is the smashing of one proverbial conch to throw us back into anarchy. This proverbial conch can come in many shapes and forms. It can be an action or a word or in this case even an item. The only reason we as a people are held in place preventing this pivotal moment is government. Think for a minute. If you take it from a psychological perspective, we naturally like to avoid punishment. If this were not the case, we would simply run around doing whatever we want. However, since there is always the looming possibility of punishment either through the law or by ones superiors, we tend to avoid poor behavior. The boys on the island were not under the threat of punishment and as such they reverted to their most animalistic state. A state of savagery and selfishness where their only concern was their own well-being.