Lord of the Flies: Civilisation and Savagery

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  • LOTF: Civilisation and Savagery
    • The shift from civilisation to savagery is a crucial theme, and the novel clearly traces a shift from one state to the other.
    • Initially, the boys try to create a civilised society: the conch symbolises this through its links to democracy and order.
    • The boys rapidly stop following civilised behaviour regarding eating and toileting.
    • They become physically dirtier and more dishevelled.
    • Violence increases gradually first and then more gradually.
    • Jack and the hunters deliberately paint their faces like savages
    • The hunters chant and dance and make an offering to the beast.
    • Simon is murdered when the boys are in a frenzy and mistake him as the beast.
    • Piggy is deliberately killed and Jack then gloats that "the conch is gone!"
    • Sam and Eric are tortured and forced to join Jack's tribe
    • Ralph is hunted like an animal by the rest of the boys, who are so focused on killing him that they destroy the island.
    • Finally, the naval officer brings civilisation back to the island and is astonished that the boys have descended so far into savagery

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