Man needs civilization in order to control his savage side. William Golding elicits this theme in his renowned novel, the Lord of the Flies. At a first glance, the Lord of the Flies may seem to be a simple adventure novel about a group of boys marooned on a deserted island. However, if one gives more thought to the novel, one comprehends that this book is also an attempt to associate the obliteration of civilization to the defects of human nature.
Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Four major elements constitute it: economic provision, political organization, moral traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge. In chapter 5 (Beast in the Air) of the Lord of the Flies, Ralph, the protagonist, attempts to make the
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A stereotypical savage is described to be like a child: a person who is unable to speak or reason properly, who is cowardly and effeminate, and who is cruel and unable to control his/her lust. Savagery is mainly characterized by physical prowess and fighting skill combined with a fierce temper, and a sadistic nature. In the Lord of the Flies, Jack represents the savage, dark side of man. He is the spark of wildness in man that burns close to the surface. Due to the lack of order and the absence of rules on the island, Jack savage side overpowers him, and is mainly characterized by his obsession with hunting, and killing pigs. Savagery is the result of the demolition of civilization.
The terms civilization and savagery are two completely different concepts. The conflict of civilization versus savagery may be expressed in a number of ways: order versus chaos, reason versus impulse, law versus anarchy, or even good versus evil. Civilization is usually associated with order, reason, law, and good, whereas savagery is associated with chaos, impulse, anarchy, and evil. Civilization is the state of person living and functioning together. It involves social co-operation, and joint survival via joint action. On the other hand, savagery is usually a source of disharmony among people. It also results in the surfacing of negative and possibly threatening emotions, such as hate, and jealousy.