What are some examples of chaos in Lord of the Flies, by William Golding?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unfortunately, your original question was a bit vague, so I am hopeful this will meet your needs. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is all about chaos.

The chaos begins before the novel begins, as the boys are left alone on a deserted island after a plane crash. The boys are all over on the island until Ralph blows the conch and establishes some sense of order.

When, in their enthusiasm (and carelessness), the boys light a "small fire," it turns into an out-of-control conflagration which kills a littlun and destroys part of the  island. This, too, is an example of chaos.

Ralph has asked the boys to help him build shelters and they agree; however, the boys work for just a few minutes before running off to pursue their own interests. Chaos continues to rule.

The chaos intensifies when Jack begins painting his face to hunt, as this mask "liberated [him] from shame and self-consciousness." Soon the hunters are in full-blown opposition to Ralph's group and there is a figurative fight for control of the island. Chaos is rampant.

Simon's death is a horribly chaotic event. Storms, darkness, hunting madness, and a crawling boy combine to create an environment of chaos which results in Simon's death. 

Piggy is the next murder victim; when he is smashed, so is the conch. The conch is the only symbol of order on the island, so now disorder (chaos) reigns. 

When the naval officer arrives, he finds an island given over to chaos:

the whole island was shuddering with flame

"What have you been doing? Having a war or something?” Ralph nodded.

“I should have thought that a pack of British boys—you’re all

"British, aren’t you?—would have been able to put up a better show than that—"

Chaos reigns on this island, in some form, from the beginning of the novel to the end. Golding said he wrote Lord of the Flies in "an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature." The consistent motif of chaos affirms that theme in this novel. 

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Lord of the Flies

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