In the novel Lord of the Flies, how is social order depicted at the top of the mountain?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Social order relates to the various rules, regulations, institutions, and social structures that maintain and enforce a productive society. In the novel Lord of the Flies, the events that take place on the top of the mountain represent the decline of social order on the island as the novel progresses. At the beginning of the novel, the signal fire is built on the top of the mountain. The signal fire symbolizes civilization, rescue, and is a representative aspect of an organized society. The boys work together to build a shelter, maintain a signal fire, and create rules. The social order is intact and working efficiently at the beginning of the novel. In Chapter 4, the hunters leave their post which is located at the top of the mountain to follow Jack on an expedition. While they are out hunting, the signal fire goes out. Ralph looks up to the top of the mountain after a ship passes the island, only to discover that the fire is extinguished. Golding is suggesting that the social order is slowly decaying after the fire goes out. In Chapter 6, a dead paratrooper is shot out of the sky and falls towards the island, landing on the top of the mountain. While Samneric are struggling to maintain the signal fire, they spot the paratrooper and mistake him for the beast. Samneric quickly run down the mountain and tell the boys what they witnessed. The boys are terrified to go to the top of the mountain, and when Jack finally makes it to the top, he also sees the "beast." For the remainder of the novel the boys are terrified to climb to the top of the mountain. Their absence at the top of the mountain represents the utter decay of social order. The boys no longer abide by rules or regulations and chaos reigns throughout the island.

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Lord of the Flies

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