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Social order entails the use of organizations and structures to enforce rules and regulations that are designed to improve the functioning of a society. The novel The Lord of the Flies is about a group of youngsters who have been stranded on an island and are obliged to create some sort of social order in order to prevent anarchy from erupting. In the story, William Goulding also makes effective use of imagery to convey the concept of social order, how it works, and the various elements that might influence it. In this paper, I am going to write about several of the scenes in The Lord of The Flies that shines light on the idea of social order.
An example of things that depict social order is the actions that happen at the mountain top. Examples of this include when the writer described a lip of circular hollow (Goulding, 37). Goulding (1954) describes the place as filled with flowers that are blue in color, butterflies, rock plant and the presence of a vent. He proceeds by saying that the children were soon beyond the lip of circular hollow and were now standing on a square top of the mountain. This can be taken to be a figurative representation of moving from a state of disorderliness to a state of social order (square top of the mountain). Also, the writer describes the place as Ralph mentioned to his friends that they should go to the mountain top and make fire (Goulding, 51) which could be interpreted as the presence of an organized society. Jack also tells his counterparts that the conch doesn’t count on top of the mountain (Goulding, 58) which could be a figurative meaning of certain behaviors are not allowed in the state of orderliness.
Another way in which social order has been figuratively represented in the novel include Piggy’s glasses. Piggy’s glasses are mentioned as misted again (Goulding, 32) which shows that the social order had stopped working properly for a while again. In page 94 of the novel, Ralph is depicted to have looked at the horizon then up the mountain and wondered if it was still viable to pick up Piggy’s glasses or if it wasn’t worth the effort any more. This could be taken to mean that Ralph was contemplating if he should try to bring back order to the society as the order was slowly deteriorating. It is important to take not that Ralph looked at the horizon then to the mountain, mountain that has been widely used to represent social order. Ralph made a step forward and Jack slightly hit the head of Piggy resulting into her glasses to fly off and tinkle on the rocks (Goulding, 100). This depicts the fatal break down of societal order in the island.
As we have seen, throughout the novel, there has been a profound use of imagery to depict various themes of the novel. One of the themes of the novel was social order which was represented by use of Piggy’s glasses and the mountain top. The things that happened to these objects could be directly related to what was happening in the lives of the boys in the island. First there is setting up of social order as depicted by setting up fire at the top of the mountain followed by the boys slowly drifting away from the order as the boys moved down the mountain. Piggy’s glasses has also been used figuratively to present the things that the children were facing in the island. There are occasions when the glasses became misty, which represents the partial breakdown of law and order, there are also other occasion when it breaks completely, signifying the complete breakdown of law and order in the society formed by the children.
Goulding, William. (1954) The Lord of the flies.
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