Does William Golding see regression as a good or bad thing in Lord of the Flies? I need useful quotes or examples to suport the question. Please and thank you! :)

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In Lord of the Flies, Golding views regression, at least in the sense of a deviation from the norms of society and civilization, as extremely dangerous. 

At the beginning of the novel when the boys are first stranded on the island, they still wear or carry the full garb of their schoolboy outfits and try to adhere to the rules and conventions from England: "shorts, shirts, and different garments" and a "square black cap with a silver badge on it" (19).  Using the conch, Ralph sets up rules on the island like, "We can't have everybody talking at once.  We'll have to have 'hands up' like at school" (33). 


As the story progresses and the boys' savagery increases, the reader also witness the lingering vestiges of civilization fade away.  Violence and blood-lust overtakes the boys' original well-meant rules.  Paint replaces the boys' uniforms.  The conch, the symbol of law and order on the island, shatters. At the end of the novel, Jack only bears "the remains of an extraordinary black cap" (201).  The naval officer remarks: "I should have thought that a pack of British boys [...] would have been able to put up a better show than that" (202).  He is disappointed in their lack of organization and effort in maintaining discipline on the island.  Savagery has overcome civilization. 

Through the boys' adventures on the island, Golding proves that regression from civilization leads to savagery and violence. 

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je12321 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

well definitely not because most character end up and dying. the author did an amazing job showing how humans can break down without rules.

obviously the author doesn't support it at all.

i'm pretty sure there's many times when the main character thinks to himself how without stepping up and being the right leader, nothing goes right. u can find many quotes in the book.

hope this helped.

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