What are the internal conflicts in Lord of the Flies?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The most dominant internal conflict in Lord of the Flies concerns the boys' struggle against becoming savages.  Ralph, particularly feels the temptation and actively resists the urge to become a savage like Jack and the hunters.  In chapter eight, "Gift for the Darkness," Ralph and Piggy discuss the danger of the other boys' transformations into savages and how they had lost sight of the importance of rescue.  Ralph confesses that he fears becoming like them:

"What's more I don't [care] sometimes.  Supposing I got like the others--not caring.  What 'ud become of us?" (139)

Savagery represents temptation in the novel; it is, in many ways, the easy choice for the boys to make.  Becoming a savage had all the advantages of letting go of responsibility, forgetting the rules and restrictions of civilization, and being able to participate in the hunt; Ralph remarks, "being savages [...] must be jolly good fun" (142). 

The internal conflict in Lord of the Flies mirrors the external conflict between civilization and savagery; ultimately, all of the boys will be forced to choose between the two.

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