“Lord of the Flies” pits power against power

This novel starts with a plane carrying a group of british boys – varying in ages from 6-12 – crashing on a deserted island in the Pacific. These boys are left stranded with no adult supervision. In most circumstances this might seem like a dream to any pre-teen, no parents to tell them to do, or not to do what they want to. But this is not the case with the boys that crashed on this little island. They need to fend for themselves. They have little trouble feeding off the fruits of the island, but they were on the verge of savagery.

When they first found themselves on the island, on of the older boys, Ralph, called them together using a conch shell. The other boys elected him as their leader, even if he wasn’t any more qualified than the rest; he was fair and just and had the courage to call them together. Alongside him was a boy named Piggy; despite his slight bulge and clumsiness, he was compassionate and clever and served as the leaders conscience.

The only boy that disputed Ralph’s leadership was Jack. With his own brigade of followers, he moves to take over. To be diplomatic, Ralph gives Jack a position instead of challenging Jack to keep his own. He tells Jack that he and his choir can be hunters and go out into the woods and try to find food for the rest. A section of Jacks choir is also used as well to keep a signal fire going on top of the mountain.

Days and then weeks passed and they survived. Soon the signal fire was what kept them from falling apart. The fire was their only way out. If they could not keep the fire lit, then they would fall into chaos. Ralph was mostly who kept them all in order, and he soon arranged for shelters to be built in case of a rain. However, not everyone was so adamant about following the order that Ralph had made. Jack was still jealous of his power and with his hunts he became increasingly feral. With his increasing resentment for Ralph, Jack splits from the main group of boys with his hunters in tow, offering a buffet to any of the others that decide to follow him.

At first they all stayed with Ralph; he was chief, he was the leader. But soon most of them left for a taste of the meat and to be part of his wild group of boys. All that was left was Ralph, Piggy, a boy named Simon and a pair twins that were so young it was best that they stuck with them.

This book only gets crazier and more wild as the story goes on, full of no small amount of murder and fear. Personally, I think the majority of this book is a metaphor. Ralph stands for the order, the law: for civilization. The rebellious Jack and his gang of hunters stand for the chaos. They are outlaws of sorts and they run about the mountains afraid of a monster that is really just themselves.