Monday, December 2, 2013

Reflection on Lord of the Flies

The end of Lord of the Flies was incredibly ironic. Seriously, Jack's big thing was that he would rather hunt than take care of the fire, and then in the process of hunting he set the entire freaking island on fire. Way to go, Jack. The fire even got the attention of the Navy, who then came and rescued the boys. Something else interesting was how Ralph didn't know what he looked like anymore. "He saw two littluns and, not having any idea of his own appearance, wondered why they screamed and ran" (Golding 189). His own appearance was so battered and bloody that he was practically wearing a mask of his own sort. He may think that it was different from Jack's, but really it wasn't. Another interesting thing that Ralph did was he found the Lord of the Flies, the resident devil, the fodder for the imaginary beast. Ralph had the same reaction to it as Simon, the fateful prophet. "The skull regarded Ralph like one who knows all the answers and won't tell" (Golding 190). Ralph may not have started talking with the head like Simon, but he did understand that there was something about it that was out of the ordinary, something bigger than him and more learned. When Jack starts the fire, it is Ralph that he is hunting. Ralph is so weak at this point that it is a mystery why Jack wants to kill him; it's not as though he can carry on being chief with nothing and no one to be chief of. But Jack attempts to smoke Ralph out like a pig, kill him the same way he killed the others. Simon died in a hunting dance, Piggy died by a spear and his name was already "pig". Ralph will be found and killed like a pig too, in a chase that can end with nothing but his death. "Hide was better than a tree because you had the chance of breaking the line if you were discovered...He [Ralph] wondered if a pig would agree, and grimaced at nothing" (Golding 202). Ralph knows how bad his situation is, and he even starts thinking like the prey he feels he is. But eventually he makes it to the beach, and there is a naval officer waiting there. And everything that had happened just melts away. "A semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with colored clay, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no noise at all. 'Fun and games,' said the officer" (Golding 206). They have been transformed by this clean-cut thing from their past, all smooth and shiny, while they were becoming rough around the edges, dirty, bad. They thought, on the island, that they were so important, but they were still just the little boys from their old life. And so they leave, and they cry, not for leaving the island but how it changed them.