"Lord of the Flies" begins with friendship and ends with death and violence. How does Golding present this change and what is shown by it?
essay type question, answered from the book lord of the flies by william golding
Golding presents the change from friendship to death and violence through a gradual shift in leadership. Ralph is the leader of the boys at first. He is the one who advocates collaborative effort to survive and get rescued. His method is one of working for a common goal and is based on the assumption that the boys all have a common goal. Jack is the leader by the end of the book. Jack, and his group, did not share in the common goal that Ralph had: being rescued. Jack's goal was to be the supreme leader of the boys on the island. He advocated fun and contentment through a tempting food supply. Jack's methods worked better with the young boys who were on the island. They weren't mature and wise enough to see that Ralph's methods brought them more in the end; being young and immature thinkers, they wanted immediate benefits and thus began to follow Jack. Golding even writes into the story something for the boys to focus their energies on - the beast. Whereas Ralph and Piggy try to reason with the boys, saying that there is no physical beast, Jack uses the beast to frighten the boys and to get them behind him as he puts on a mask of bravery for the benefit of the boys. Jack uses the boys' fear by offering sacrifices to the beast and then telling the boys that these sacrifices will keep the beast away from them, thus ensuring their safety. Golding, using the character of Jack, employs some of mankind's basic needs: food, desire for safety, and a sense of belonging to help win the boys to Jack's side. Golding is showing the reader through all of this that people need to be aware of this sort of manipulation and, being aware, then need to combat it.