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What are the main conflicts in Lord of The Flies?

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eager-to-know | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM via web

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What are the main conflicts in Lord of The Flies?

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luannw | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted May 7, 2008 at 8:02 PM (Answer #1)

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The biggest conflict is probably one of the most common and that is good v. evil.  Ralph, Piggy, Simon and their group of followers represent the "good" because they represent civility. Ralph's group are the builders, trying to build huts and to tend to the signal fire.  Ralph as leader has established necessary rules to help them all get along and survive.  Piggy's glasses help the boys create fire which is warming and cooks the food for the boys.  Fire also is their signal to any passing ships or planes. Fire also represents civility.  Jack and his group represent the "evil".  They are the hunters, but they go beyond simply hunting for food.  They turn the hunt into a game of savagery and this game gets out of hand as they kill Simon.  Jack wants control and he gets it through intimidation and promises.  At the end of the novel, Jack's group uses fire to destroy so that it no longer represents civilization; it now represents savagery.  Also present is the conflict of man v. man as Ralph and Jack oppose one another.  The reason the boys are on the island is due to warfare which is another example of the man v. man conflict.  There is also the conflict of man v. nature as the boys have to contend with the island itself and the problems of being stranded there.  Finally, there is the conflict of man v. self as the Lord of the Flies points out to simon that the real evil is the evil that resides inside each boy.

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