Critical Lens Essay
In a well written sentence, Joseph Conrad wrote The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness. That statement means that we dont believe in made up things such as a beast or a devil, we the people are able to commit terrible actions on our own. In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, there is a perfect example of this statement. In Lord of the Flies the statement is said through characters and symbols such as Ralph, Jack, and the conch.
In the novel, British school boys are stranded on an unknown island due to a plane crash. The boys must fend for themselves with no adults or guidance from anyone. At the first gathering of all the boys on the island, Ralph is selected to be the leader of the group. Ralph is a civilized leader, and strongly believes in organization among the group. He also believes that if they work together, they can get off the island. Ralph brings many ideas to the table such as: building a fire, creating shelter, and making different groups like hunters for food, and people to watch the fire so it doesnt go out. Ralph is the good strong character that is there to help everyone and ultimately to lead them off the island.
Jack is not the nicest character in the story. He does get jealous at Ralph being declared the leader and he wants that power and control over the group like Ralph has. There cannot be two leaders unless there are two groups. So Jack decides to create his own group, mainly the boys in his choir. Jack runs off attention and power. Even after the two groups separate Jack is still angered at Ralphs group and his anger goes so far that he tells Roger to push a boulder off the cliff to kill piggy. Jacks group is all angry as they hunt and become savages more and more as the story goes on. The story begins with the hunters not being able to kill a pig, to kill a pig, slit her throat, bash her in Jacks group chant. All these horrible actions Jack does, proves that there is evil inside humans also.
In the beginning of the story, Ralph discovers a conch on the beach. He uses it to bring all the school boys together for the first meting where he was chosen leader. Throughout the story the conch plays a huge in role in symbolizing hope and civilization. The same methods Ralph brought to the island. When the meeting was in session, Ralph had the idea that only the person with the conch can speak. This creates organization among the group of boys. Since the conch represents hope and civilization you would not want to lose it or break it. Well when Roger kills piggy with the boulder, it just so happened to be that Piggy was speaking and holding the conch. So the conch broke because of Roger pushing the boulder on it. This shows that the boys crushed their hope and civilization themselves.
Ultimately in the end, we do not believe in made up things such as a beast or a devil, we the people are able to commit terrible actions on our own. In the book Lord of the Flies, the boys brought the bad on themselves. They crushed their hope and civilization because they were not cooperating and working together. By the time the boys learned how to cooperate with each other, it was too late. There were two boys dead, and it was rested on the shoulders of Ralph and Jack. What was done could not be undone.