The theme of the death of the civilized society in William Goldings Lord of the flies

Essay Topic:

The analysis of what is opposed to the civilized characteristics of the society in the "Lord of flies".

Essay Questions:

How do the savages turn into civilized society representatives throughout the novel?

Why is the social transformation superficial and has no spiritual changes underneath?

In what ways a savage will always remain a savage, an animal?

Thesis Statement:

William Goldings throughout his novel and characters reveals to the reader how civilized people turn into savages and how social degradation occurs.


Introduction:  William Golding’s novel “Lord of the flies” is a very deep novel revealing how the society dies day by day and how civilized people turn into animals in the bloodlust for power over other people. The author depicts two opposing sides: Ralph who represent the peaceful leaving, respecting law, moral values and the notion that the desire of one is not as important as the wellbeing of many; and Jack, who is able to commit any violent and brutal act to get the domination over other people, promoting the society in which exists only the will of the supreme leader and the others are basically the slaves of his will.

The civilized characteristics of the society in the novel are opposed the savage and primitive degradation. It reveals how civilized people able to hold their impulses turn into primitive savages who are completely driven by those impulses. The civilized society taken as the “good” side it opposed by the “evil” side – the man driven by his primitive instincts. The novel reveals how many people within the society and the society itself faces degradation and it converts into a primitive tribe lacking intellectual knowledge, reinforced by emotions and worshipping totemic gods. In other words the novel is a call for people to stop turning into savages and remain civilized humans in the first place because children will suffer from this. Children learn everything form the society and the parents. So what can we expect from children if the only repeat what they see in their parents. William Golding in his novel “Lord of flies” tells the reader that the death of the civilized society is in progress and will lead to young people losing moral values and becoming barbarians.

Conclusion: William Golding’s does imply the fact that the death of the civilized society occurs due to natural cruelty of the man. It is only a truly civilized man who can put his consciousness and intelligence over the natural “animal” cruelty and not convert himself into a “beast” he will fear to see in everybody else. But at the same time he shows that the society has a slight hope for preventing further social degradation. If only people fight for this hope!


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