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Can the Society We Live in Determine How We Will Behve Based on the Lord of the Flies

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Can the society we live in determine how we will behave? The novel, Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding is an example of how human behavior is determined by society. Golding is able to illustrate how the boys appear and behave from the time they arrive on the island until they are rescued. In the beginning the boys are civil and seek leadership. As time passes they become carefree and unruly. Finally, the behavior of the boys becomes savage like. The Lord of the Flies demonstrates how circumstances in society can determine human behavior.

In a civil society there is always someone who is a leader, in the novel, The Lord of the Flies, the children look up to Ralph, because he looked capable of providing leadership. Ralph and Piggy decide that blowing the conch will get people's attention so they will come to the platform to figure out where they were, what was going on, and how many people were there. Following Ralph's lead, the children sit quietly waiting for him. This reveals that the children knew how to behave normally, because it has been drilled into them with their schooling. Another example of Ralph's ability to lead is when he states, "And another thing, we can't have everybody talking at once. We'll have to have "hands up" like at school". This shows that Ralph is able to take control and maintain the role of a leader. The statement made by Roger, "Let's have a vote.", also demonstrates that the boys are comfortable with the idea of having a civil society. To maintain a civilized society all members of a society need to conform to the rules and needs of the group.

However, when people's basic needs are not being met, and they lose trust and faith in their leader, their basic survival instincts come into play and civilized behavior gets forgotten. Ralph realizes that a lot of the things they had planned to do aren't getting done, or people were taking short cuts. He shows this concern when he says, "Things are breaking up. I don't understand why. We began well; we were happy. And then-". To ensure that things would get done, Ralph calls an assembly to re-enforce the rules that were being broken. He knew that if things continued he would lose control as a leader and the shelters would not get done and they would have no protection from storms or animals. Ralphs need for civilized behavior is evident when he says, "We've all got to use the rocks again. This place is getting dirty". Ralph wants the children to behave like civilized people, not like animals, but the children had dismissed the simple act of using the rocks and the rules. The children had lost the meaning of what it is to be civilized. Each day that they spend on the island they slip closer and closer to being savages.

Once people have forgotten how to be civilized, there is not much that can be done to



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