In the novel Lord of the Flies, how does William Golding depict the idea that a just society requires strict enforcement of rules?

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In The Lord of the Flies, Golding presents to the reader a story of what can happen in a society when the notion of rules is resisted and when no one is able to enforce an organized system of actions and consequences.

The island on which the boys live while awaiting rescue is a lawless microcosm, a small universe in which no grown-ups exist to set boundaries and to enforce the limitations of those boundaries. Golding's depiction of this existence is dark, primal and violent, characterized by fear and confusion, and he paints a vivid picture of how badly things can go wrong with his chaotic imagery of the jungle and his characterization of boys like Jack who crave the wild disordered life.

Ironically, many of the boys at first glory in the freedom of making their own decisions, without the influence and pressure of adults to hold them back from doing what they like. Ralph and Piggy, for example, try to restore a sense of order to their community, but their efforts are ridiculed, and despite their well-meaning efforts to facilitate everyone's survival, they are punished for their attempts to create and run a just society for the boys. Golding's descriptions of Piggy's death and Ralph's futile attempts at maintaining civilization effectively communicate the consequences of a lawless society.

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One of the clearest expressions of the idea that mankind requires the strict enforcement of rules to maintain society is the quick breakdown of order on the island, even after Piggy and Ralph devise the scheme involving the meetings and the conch shell. Jack challenges Ralph, Piggy, and Simon and is successful in dividing the boys. From that point on, rules that could help preserve the boys' health and lives and improve their chances of rescue are flouted.

Disagreements erupt over when and by whom the shelters will be built, where the boys will relieve themselves, how they will get fresh water for drinking, who will maintain the signal fire, and how the boys will sustain themselves. Mostly due to Jack's unchecked egotism and influence through fearmongering, barbarity takes hold of the majority of the boys.

In chapter four, Roger gathers a handful of stones and begins to throw them near Henry, but he doesn't pelt him directly. At this relatively early point in the novel, there still exists

...a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law.

Once it fully sinks in that there are no adults enforcing rules and demanding adherence to behavioral standards, Roger and his cohorts descend into the depravity that results in the deaths of Simon and Piggy. It takes the appearance of the naval officer, an embodiment of law, rule, and discipline, to prevent Ralph's death.

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Throughout the novel, William Golding suggests that human beings, void of societal restrictions and regulations, will descend into savagery and succumb to their primitive instincts. The boys are abandoned on an uninhabited island and attempt to create a structured, civil society that will allow them to survive on the island until they are rescued. Unfortunately, Jack usurps power from Ralph and leads the majority of the boys on the island into barbarism by encouraging violence and manipulating their fears. One reason Ralph is unsuccessful as a leader is that he is unable to enforce rules effectively. Jack is quick to disobey the rules about the conch and suffers no consequences for his actions. Jack's followers witness their leader openly defy Ralph and realize that they can also disregard the rules of their "makeshift society." Without punishment or repercussions for their actions, the boys on the island freely engage in violent, immoral behavior, which results in the deaths of Simon and Piggy. The tragic events that transpire on the island are a microcosm of what would happen to civilized society if there were no rules or restrictions. One of Golding's messages is that a just society cannot function efficiently without strict enforcement of rules. Without strict enforcement of rules, individuals will freely engage in barbaric, savage behavior that will lead to utter chaos and anarchy.

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