Do We Need Rules, Law And Order?

Zineb Boulid

There are many rules and laws around us. We were raised to follow and respect them. Sometimes if we broke these rules we had consequences, but did you ever stop to think were we would be if we had they did not exist? We would be corrupted. Man kind needs rules, law and order and in William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies, we learn just that. We are controlled by our environment, duties and also our desires. This is why mankind must have rules, law and order to control our society and our savage side, thus staying civilized. Once on the island, the boys needed to work together in law and order more then before to stop chaos from occurring.

At the beginning of the book we see the boys being controlled by their environment. Piggy and Ralph find a conch and use it to call the rest of the boys for the first time. All the boys immediately follow the blow of the conch. The conch symbolizes their law and order and that they are still controlled by their environment and society even though they are far from it. They respond to the conch as they would to the school bell. During the first meeting that was called they choose to elect Ralph as chief “Him with the shell”, (say all the boys on pg.24) because he was they one who blew the conch. They naturally say that and elect him because since he blew the conch he is like the teacher calling them in. Sadly, Ralph only manages to lay down one firm rule. “We'll have ‘Hand Up' like at school”, (pg.36), meaning that the person holding the conch is the only one who can speak during a meeting. Like when you are at school and the teacher tells you to not yell out but put your hand up and wait your turn when you have a question. The boys still follow this rule with the conch because they are used to doing it in school.

The boys do not follow their duties when, Ralph tells them they must keep the fire going at the top of the mountain so that if a ship or plane passes by they will see the smoke and they will be rescued. He manages to enforce this rule for only a little while until one day he sees a ship pass by and the fire is not lit. Jack and his hunters were the ones who were supposed to keep the fire going but they decided to go hunting. “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood.” (pg.75). they were chanting this as they came back with the pig meat, having completely disobeyed Ralph's rules and because they have let their savage sides take over. Ralph becomes furious at them and realises that they could have been rescued, even Piggy says “You and your blood... we might have gone home-” (pg.77). “The job was too much. We needed everyone.” (pg.77). Ralph said this because the boys don't work together and Simon is the only one who helps him. The job to build the huts and fire and get the fruits and food is too much for just two people. The boys need to start working together if they want to survive on the island they can't just leave their duties.

We are controlled also by our desires. When jack chooses to take the boys hunting instead of making the fire it is the first time he chooses desire over duty. At the beginning, he saw a pig on the island when he was with Ralph and Simon and he wasn't able to kill it, instead he used excuses “I was choosing a place... I was waiting for the moment to decide where to stab him”, (pg.33). When shortly after he tells Ralph; “you cut a pig's throat to let the blood out...” (pg.33). Thus being caught in a lie. The reason he couldn't was because he didn't know whether he should be a savage animal or be a human being. In his society he was given duties, on of which was not to kill, he even says “We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages...” (pg.47), an ironic twist happens after that in the book because his desire was to hunt the pig. When he chose to leave the fire and go hunting that is the first time he truly steps out of society and chooses the desire (killing the pig) over the duty (listening to Ralph and making the fire). Sadly the other boys follow Jack and become lost and savage, even the twins near the end of the story tell Jack where Ralph was hiding because the loss of civilization made them lose all sense of loyalty.

If the boys had worked together with rules, respected the conch (signifies their law and order) and followed Ralph none of the chaos would have happened. Had Jack done what he and his hunters were told to do keep the fire going- they might have long been rescued and they wouldn't have lost; Piggy, Simon or the littlun with the birthmark on his face. It is because of defects in our human nature that the boys lost their civilization. Had Ralph been brave enough to lay down strong rules and punishments or had Jack been able to withhold his desire to disobey his duty, they would have remained civilised. This is also impossible because we as humans want to disobey, we are not all brave and we are not perfect which is exactly the reason why we need rules, law and order and punishment to cover the defects of our civilization.

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!