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Lord of the Flies - The Theme of Power

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Alison Tam

on 13 April 2011

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies - The Theme of Power

lORD OF THE fLIES tHE tHEME OF pOWER Power is the ability for someone or something to have control, authority and influence. In Lord of the Flies, two different types of power are demonstrated through the characters. Two types of power are authoritarian and democratic power. Democratic Power decisions are made through the people's beliefs and opinions leaders are chosen by the public in an election everyone is under the rule of law Authoritarian Power power is given to an individual or a small group the people have no influence on the government's decisions leaders often use fear and threats to control the public Power in Lord of the Flies Democracy Democracy is demonstrated through Ralph. Ralph is put into power, through an election. The boys choose their chief democratically. “’Let’s have a vote.’
‘Yes!’
‘Vote for a chief!’
‘Let’s vote – ‘
This toy of voting was almost as pleasing as the conch.”(18)
Ralph creates a system of government that is organized and based on laws. “’We need an assembly. Not for fun. Not for laughing and
falling off the log’ – the group of littluns on the twister giggled
and looked at each other – ‘not for making jokes, or for’ – he
lifted the conch in an effort to find the compelling word – ‘for
cleverness. Not for these things. But to put things straight.’
He paused for a moment.
‘I’ve been along. By myself I went, thinking what’s what. I
know what we need. An assembly to put things straight. And
first of all, I’m speaking.’ (84)
Democratic power is strongly represented through the conch. “But there was a stillness about
Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and
attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully,
there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had
sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing
balanced on his knees, was set apart.
‘Him with the shell.’
‘Ralph! Ralph!’
‘Let him be chief with the trumpet-thing.’” (19)
Authoritarian Authoritarian is demonstrated through Jack. Jack displays power, by defying the existing power of democracy in the island. “There was a moment’s struggle and the glimmering conch
jigged up and down. Ralph leapt to his feet.
‘Jack! Jack! You haven’t got the conch! Let him speak.’
Jack’s face swam near him.
‘And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting there –
Telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing – ‘
‘I’m chief. I was chosen.’
‘Why should choosing make any difference? Just giving
orders that don’t make any sense – ‘” (98)
The boys of Jack’s tribe are afraid of Jack, making them follow him. “’Has everybody eaten as much as they want?’
His tone conveyed a warning, given out of the pride of
ownership, and the boys ate faster while there was still time.
Seeing there was no immediate likelihood of pause, Jack rose
from the log that was his throne and sauntered to the edge of
the grass.” (165)
The theme of power in history Throughout history, examples of democratic and authoritarian power can be seen through different governments Since the beginning, Canada has enforced a democratic system of government Canada's history of democracy John A. Macdonald was elected through an election process Parliament system allows for opposing parties to input opinions Hitler's authoritarian regime Hitler had the freedom of control Used fear and manipulation to control his state Hitler was opposed to the democratic type of government The theme of power in modern day An example of a modern day authoritarian
government is North Korea North Korea uses fear to control makes decisions based on their own ambitions citizens are not allowed to freely speak their mind uses threats and force to get their way has a federal system of government An example of modern day
democracy is Canada the people's opinions matter laws are made to maintain order in society Kevin Huynh, Alison Tam & Aarti Goyal
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