What is the major problem with the society in the setting of Lord of the Flies?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Identifying a single major problem with the "society" that exists in Lord of the Flies is tough.  I could probably list quite a few problems with the society, but I'll try to pin it on one.  

I think that the main problem with the society is that there is no system in place to hold people accountable to the rules being established.  Electing a chief is a good first step, but the problem is that the boys never really give Ralph any true power.  They don't back up his decisions, and he has no way of enforcing his decisions to make sure they're followed.  Boys like Jack and Roger go ahead and do what they please regardless of Ralph's wishes and decisions.  The society has no punishment system in place to make everybody "toe the line."  It's not just Roger and Jack though.  At one point Ralph calls a meeting to scold the boys about starting fires all over the place and not going to the bathroom in the designated places.  

“So remember. The rocks for a lavatory. Keep the fire going and smoke showing as a signal. Don’t take fire from the mountain. Take your food up there.”

Ralph is correct in calling the meeting, but no changes happen.  No changes happen, because the boys still do not see any reason to follow those rules.  There is no incentive to follow the rules.  No rewards for following the rules and no punishments for breaking the rules; therefore, the society quickly begins to unravel.  

vnessawong21 | Student

The society within "Lord of the Flies" has many flaws within the rulings of how their child government played out. No one in the community of children actually knew how to lead a deserted group, nor did they have the courage to. Ralph would have been a great leader for their group. However, everyone wanted to run or lead the group without the knowledge or understanding of how to actually manage the group. The conch did not help, as no one actually followed the rules of listening/respecting the one with the conch. All the conch did was split the deserted kids into other another group, where Ralph and friends were left behind. 

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Lord of the Flies

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