Metamorphosis into a Tribal Civilization


As the novel progresses, the struggle between Jack and Ralph represents the evolving government structure, from democracy using the conch to tolitarianism using fear. The fear of the beast aids Jack in his tyranny, dividing the boys and deteriorating law and order. Jack is able to use this fear of the beast to his advantage, hinting it might exist to promote his leadership “if there is a beast we’ll hunt it down”. (91) The boys fear is pathological, catching and without reason. This fear turns the boys away from law because order forces them to face their fear, Jack is able to convince them “ [they] don’t need the conch anymore” , for his chaotic ways distracts the boys from what they wish not to think about. (102) Jack provides an outlet for the boys’ fear. He says he will “beat and beat” (91) and kill the beast. Jack and the hunters become protectors of the community steadily gaining more value and importance. Jack’s growing power makes Ralph look exceeding weak and his rules insignificant. Ralph’s power is dwindling, fear has caused the boys to turn away from his logic and reason and replace it with chaos. The boys no longer respect and mind Ralph, they have turned to Jack who is now able to “[speak] against the rules”, and have the boys still respect him. The longer the boys remain separated from their past society the farther they depart from the old ‘civilization’. The boys are developing into more of a tribe and pack. This mob mentality is what causes the fear of the beast to be so igniting and what enables the boys to ignore Jack’s barbaric actions. This animalistic evolution separates the boys from their consciousness catapulting them from the order of the conch into the violent turmoil of what is yet to come.

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