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A Separate Peace Case

Essay by   •  August 26, 2015  •  Coursework  •  357 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,215 Views

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The modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago, and what we call “Civilization” started only 6,000 years ago. Our time on Earth is a mere second compared to the age of the universe. So in our short period of time, why are we said to be more civilized than any other animal that has been alive longer than us? Without society and rules and without the boundaries of right and wrong, our primitive nature would reveal itself as it did with the boys in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. One of the most prominent literary devices used in this novel is symbolism. Symbolism of the conch, Piggy’s glasses, and the Lord of the Flies. In William Golding’’s novel, a central theme exists demonstrating the deterioration of civilization, and the overpowering of savagery, leading to the abandonment of moral thoughts and actions within a person.

The theme of this story always comes back to the struggle between civilization vs. savagery. Some people say that it is also good vs. evil, but which one is good? Which one is evil? Civilization is only a veil covering the primitive nature of mankind. But even with a veil covering savagery you can still see through to the other side. In other words, human society is based on human nature, so human flaws also become society flaws. Even with rules and morals, any civilization, given the right circumstances, can revert back to savagery, as demonstrated in this novel.

Ralph, the boys’ elected chief, attempts to establish rules to keep order, but as the time away from the veil of civilization grows, the boys start to revert back to their true instincts.

Instincts of chaos and disorder that take over the island. To try to cope with the newfound evil Ralph tries to bury it once more with more rules. Ralph’s rule-making has sparked agreement from Jack, saying, “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English, and the English are the best at everything”(Golding 40). Though, the more time spent on the island causes Jack to give in to the primitive behavior.



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