In the novel Lord of the Flies, what are some quotes/plot events that represent the fight for civilization?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


In Chapter 3, Ralph and Jack begin to argue over building shelters and hunting. Jack insists that the boys need meat, while Ralph continues to promote the importance of building shelters and maintaining a signal fire. When Ralph mentions that the best thing they can do is find a way to be rescued, Jack says, "Rescue? Yes, of course! All the same, I'd like to catch a pig first---" (Golding 74). Ralph then says, "So long as your hunters remember the fire----" (Golding 75). Jack replies by saying, "You and your fire!" (Golding 75). The signal fire is a symbol of hope and rescue throughout the novel. Jack expresses his affinity for hunting pigs and dismisses the significance of the signal fire. Ralph's attempt to remind Jack about the importance of maintaining the fire is ignored. This minor disagreement eventually leads to the conflict between civility and savagery.

In Chapter 5, Ralph holds a meeting to discuss why certain tasks and responsibilities are not being carried out by the boys. The boys then discuss the existence of the beast and Ralph says that they need to vote on whether they believe there are ghosts on the island. When no one raises their hand, Golding writes,

"The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away. Once there was this and that; and now---and the ship had gone" (128).

Piggy attempts to regain control by saying,

"What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages? What's grown-ups going to think? Going off---hunting pigs---letting fires out---and now!" (Golding 120).

Clearly, the boys are gradually descending into savagery. Ralph and Piggy try their best to argue for civility, but the majority of boys are beginning to neglect their responsibilities and follow Jack.

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Lord of the Flies

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