Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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How does William Golding introduce the idea of community versus anarchy in the novel Lord of the Flies?

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How does there seem to be a conflict between the boys and Ralph in their different ideas about what is important in regards to keeping themselves safe? How does Golding portray the concept of community versus anarchy in Lord of the Flies?

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Golding initially introduces the idea of community when Ralph holds the first assembly and creates the rule about holding the conch while he addresses the group. Golding also portrays the idea of community by the boy's willingness to help gather wood for the signal fire. The conflict between community versus anarchy arises in Chapter 3 when Jack begins to argue with Ralph about the importance of meat over building shelters. The shelters are a significant symbol of civilization and the boy's willingness to participate in helping construct them demonstrates the conflict between community versus anarchy. Jack, a character who represents anarchy, values hunting which is an activity associated with bloodlust and savagery. He feels that it is more important to kill pigs for food than it is to build shelters. However, Ralph does not share his views and tries to encourage the others to help him build huts on the beach. Initially, all the boys help construct the first hut but soon abandon helping Ralph and Simon complete the other two. The condition of the huts and Jack's insistence on the importance of hunting illustrate the initial conflict between community versus anarchy.

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