Forest Hills High SchoolLaura YusupovaEnglish 5/14/04 Lord of the Flies by William Golding, shows how “evil often triumphs, but never conquers”.
Through out the novel, evil wins battle after battle, however, in the end it loses the war. Lord of the Flies is a perfect example proving this statement true. There are constant battles between good and evil in characters. The most obvious character that is frequently faced with these battles is Jack.
In the beginning of the book he is portrayed as evil, yet, there is still righteousness in him. The first time that he encounters the pig, he is not able to kill it; he has to use the mask to set him apart from civilization in order to be a successful hunter. The mask symbolizes savageness, which is why Jack is able to slaughter the pigs. The reason for hunting and killing the pigs is very rational. The boys don’t just do it for sport they use the pigs as a source of food. Jack gradually becomes more and more aggressive; his interactions with the other boys change dramatically.
An example of this change is his relationship with Piggy. He starts out by making fun of him; he then progresses to taking physical actions. He punches Piggy knocking Piggy’s glasses off and almost breaking them. Later in the novel he steals Piggy’s glasses leaving him virtually blind. The glasses symbolizes life; they helped the boys start a fire on the island.
The fire is very important because it’s a source of warmth, light, it could be used to prepare food, and a way of getting rescued. In addition Jack scares the little children into believing that there is a “beast” on the island. Being in charge of the hunters, he assures them that they would hunt down the beast on kill him. The fear of the beast lures the boys into Jack’s tribe. Another way Jack got their support, was bribe, he organizes a feast to tempt the boys into his tribe. These are all examples of evil triumphing in Jack’s character, but in the end evil never conquers.
Jack is returned into a civilized state. William Golding does a great job describing Jack in the end of his novel. Jack is the only one that is described standing with his black cap that is left from his uniform. He is left holding the remains of Piggy’s glasses. The cap and the glasses symbolize order and society. Jack and the rest of the boys are returned into a society where their new style of living would have to turn back to normalcy.
Another character that is faced with battles between good and evil is Ralph. Ralph and the hunters are attacked by a wild boar. Ralph is the only one who to has a chance to wound the boar, Jack on the other hand, gets out of the way. Ralph later tries to use this incident to get respect from the boys. The pride that Ralph takes shows evil slowly progressing in Ralph’s character. Another occurrence that shows evil triumphing in Ralph is when the hunting game turns violent and the boys attack Robert.
Robert is used to act out the pig. Ralph, like everyone else, wants to hurt Robert, luckily no one is killed. The next time that this game is played, the whole group, including Ralph attacked Simon. Everyone was aware that Simon was not the “beast”; nonetheless, they did not stop themselves from attacking him. Ralph was the only one to acknowledge that they Simon death was not an accident, but a murder, this one example that shows the goodness winning the war in Ralph’s character. In the end, evil never conquers the boys, ironically, it seems that evil is on the verge of winning.
The boys get rescued from the hell that the created and are returned to “normalcy”.