Aspects of Human Nature in the First Four Chapters of ‘Lord of the Flies’ Essay Sample

Aspects of Human Nature in the First Four Chapters of ‘Lord of the Flies’ Pages
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In the first chapter William Golding presents human nature in Lord of the Flies by the descriptions of the characters and the way they act. Some of the characters are jealous of each other and savage and this shows their type of human nature. William Golding in the first scene introduces us to Piggy and Ralph but doesn’t reveal their names, he just refers to them as “the fat boy” and “the fair haired boy”. He does this so that we pick up on their actions and the way in which they react to things. This gives us an insight into their human nature.

In the first chapter; “The Sound of the Shell” William Golding describes Piggy in great detail. He is short and fat with specs and has “ass-mar”. The spectacles seem to suggest that he may be quite intelligent as glasses are seen as a sign of wisdom. However, none of the boys seem to thing much of Piggy and laugh at him because he is fat, wears specs and has “ass-mar”. This shows us the boys human nature, and that in society today we judge people by the way they look and sometimes this doesn’t fully reflect their full personality. Ralph is the head choirster and is looked upon as a leader by the other choir boys. They show him respect even when he bosses them about. This tells us that the human nature of the boys changes when they are in different situations. They may bully Piggy and cast him down but towards Ralph they show respect and are faithful. The boys only bully Piggy because they can but are afraid not to obey Ralph and their nature changes towards these two people.

In chapter two; “Fire on the Mountain” the word “fire” suggests: danger, survival, warmth or maybe a signal. This could be the chapter where they use the fire to survive, cook and keep warm or even use it as a signal to get rescued or they could get burnt and even die in the fire. The choir are starting to lose their self-discipline as they start to discard of their clothes, which shows a savage side to them. Ralph was voted leader in chapter one but the boys now are starting to follow their own rules and do what they want, Ralph’s orders don’t seem to matter anymore. The conch is a symbol of civilisation and democracy, it helps keep the group together and they talk when they hold the conch and everyone has the right to talk. Meetings were formed when they blew the conch and this carry’s on throughout the book which the boys respond to as they want to meet together to discuss problems or ideas. This shows us that the boys are responsible because they want to sort out any problems and put to practise new ideas to help them. But the boys start to act childish as they realise there are no grownups around to keep them in order and they don’t listen to Ralph anymore. Are they really so responsible after all, or do they just act childish to have fun and hold meetings when they feel there are problems? Maybe they just like to suit themselves as children normally do.

In chapter three; “Huts on the Beach” it shows us the two totally different personalities of Jack and Ralph. Ralph is concerned that they have no adequate shelter and so acts responsibly starting to build some huts on the beach, hence the chapter title. No one helps him apart from Simon. All the other boys don’t obey Ralph and just go off and play. Ralph is losing his authority as leader and the boys seem to just disobey him and do what they want. Maybe Jack is applying himself more as a leader now and the boys may be seeing him as a better leader. Jack is being less responsible and is showing a savage side though. He has discarded of his clothes and painted his face like tribes do in the wild. He starts to hunt and argues with Ralph that they need some meat and food but Ralph disagrees and prioritises the shelter. They argue for a few pages but there is a deeper meaning behind this argument. Jack is becoming more settled on the island and so are the boys. He is losing his civilised personality and becoming a bit savage. However, Ralph is still keen on getting rescued and wants to build shelter.

Chapter four is titled: “Painted faces and long hair”. The long hair suggests that some time has gone by, maybe a few months. Painted faces could mean that they have become settled on the island and realised that they are not going to be rescued any time soon. Also it shows a sign of savageness as tribes in the wild paint there faces and it doesn’t show any civilised behaviour. In a civilised society they prioritise their most venerable members. The title suggests that they aren’t being very civilised and if they aren’t they wouldn’t be prioritising the littluns and as they lost one in chapter two you would of thought they would of learnt from this but maybe they haven’t. Three older boys were playing where the littluns had built their sand castles. They trashed right through them and destroyed them. They aren’t looking after the littluns at all by trashing their little world.

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