What are two major conflict scenes that, if cut out, would lessen the strong message of the book/movie?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several important scenes of conflict that are essential to the message of Lord of the Flies. These scenes strike a contrast between civilization and savagery, often pitting Ralph against Jack, or Ralph's priorities against Jack's. In order of how important they are to the message, here are the essential scenes:

1. Ralph confronts Jack at Castle Rock: In this scene, Ralph and Piggy make one more attempt to reason with Jack and show him that he has violated rules of order and decency in stealing Piggy's glasses. Piggy is murdered, Samneric are captured, and Ralph and Jack spar verbally and physically. Jack's response to Piggy's death shows just how far he has fallen into savagery because he shows no regret but uses the murder to further usurp control.

2. The murder of Simon at Jack's feast during the thunder storm: In this conflict, all the boys, even Ralph and Piggy, let themselves fall into savagery. This is a wake-up call for Ralph, who is horrified by what they did. Whether Jack realizes the slain "beast" was Simon is unclear, but he uses the event as a way to bind the boys of his tribe more tightly to him, reminding them of how the "beast" sneaked up on them. Ralph's group and Jack's tribe become fully differentiated after this event.

3. The stealing of Piggy's glasses: This conflict shows that Jack is willing to use violence against the other boys and steal something that will result in extreme hardship for another human. Jack's lack of morals becomes more blatant.

4. Simon vs. the Lord of the Flies: Although this is not a conflict with another person, this scene is essential for Golding's message. The Lord of the Flies explains to Simon that the depravity that is destroying the boys' society is "close" and "part of you." 

There are other important scenes of conflict between Ralph and Jack that lead up to these more serious conflicts, but since these four come closer to the end of the book, they are more important for conveying Golding's message. 

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

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