A State of Disarray

Fear, hunger, and lust for power have divided the group and thus transformed the majority of the boys from civilized human beings to savages. While Piggy has stayed connected to society both mentally and physically the other boys are in a state of disarray. Piggy’s position on the outside of the ‘circle’ allows him to see their transformation and he can’t tell if they’re “humans, animals, or savages.”(91) Their long hair, tan bodies, and tattered clothing show the de-evolution of their psyche. Piggy is the only boy “whose hair never seemed to grow” and doesn’t adapt to the island. (64) The threat of the ‘beastie’ is always looming over the boys’ heads, breaking them apart. Some of the boys believe that the beastie could take them at any moment, but others deny its existence. Another force separating the boys is hunger. Jack and his hunters are focused on killing pigs to feed the pack and their own hunger for violence. The other boys would rather gather fruit to focus on doing other things such as getting off the island, making sandcastles, and swimming. Jack’s need to catch and kill a pig is goaded by his longing to lead the boys. Since Jack and Ralph both want to lead, the group has been divided into those that support Ralph and those that support Jack. Jack opposes Ralph in that he thinks “[they] don’t need the conch any more” which further isolates them from society because the conch represents power and order. (102) The boys’ descent into madness is spurred by their trepidation, appetite, craving for control.

Ch 5: "Beast from Water" & Ch 6: "Beast from Air" small group mini-essay paragraph writing challenge (in lieu of the typical in-class essay):

Link: original quotations and assignment

Links to the specific student responses