What do you change without distorting everything and ruining something great? Those words come up when I think about my job. Today, I have to figure out how to cut parts of the book, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, to make the book shorter without ruining the books ideas and greatness. In the book, a group of schoolboys from England are shot out of the sky and land on a deserted island. Through trying to get home and off the island, many conflicts arise due to people in charge, building homes and fires, and their longing for meat and the killing of the beast.
Many themes across the book were done in subtle hints like loose teeth or a conch shell; for example, savagery and being born good or evil. My job is to cut sentences and scenes that are unessential to the book, but all I know is what scenes that are needed for the book to succeed. The three main scenes and details needed for the book, Lord of the Flies, are the conch shell, the battle cries or chants after a killing, and the rivalry between Ralph and Jack, the two main characters and the two main people in charge. For the cuts of Lord of the flies, the conch shell can not be taken out, because it affects the whole book.
For example, the conch shell symbolizes the civilized parts of the boys while they are on the island. The conch is used to call the boys together, to hold a meeting, to signify who is speaking, and to show some decorum over savagery. Specifically, on page 42, the author wrote, “‘I got the conch-said Piggy. Jack turned fiercely. ‘Shut up! ” (Golding, 1954, p. 42) This shows how the conch can be used to signify who is talking, but it also shows how fierce and ferocious everyone is. This proves that the conch should still be in the book because it rives the theme of being good and evil, along with savagery and civilization. Additionally, the conch is one of the only real ties to their humanity. When the group of boys split apart with one group led by Ralph and the other led by Jack, the group led by Jack symbolized all of the savagery they were drawn to. This group committed unprovoked beatings, hunting, and pure hatred and savagery. Ralph’s group was the group that relied on the conch to keep them in check; it symbolized their hope for rescue and their last few shreds of humanity.
If I take the conch out of the book, nothing will tie them to their hope and humanity and the boys will be driven to becoming heinous and savagely. Furthermore, in the end of the book on page 180-181, Piggy was killed along with the conch shell by a rock hurled down by Roger and the rest of Jack’s tribe. Golding wrote, “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. ” (Golding, 1954, p. 181). After this occurred, Ralph went into a frenzy and attack Jack and his tribe.
When the conch was crushed, along with Piggy, Ralph lost his symbol of hope and humanity and attacked. I can not take out the conch, because if | do, the group won’t have the final strike of loss and hopelessness. This greatly affects the book, so I was to take it out of the book, the book would lose its meaning and cease to be as good of a book as it is. In conclusion, the conch can not be taken out of Lord of the Flies, because it symbolizes their humanity and without it, they are just a pack of monsters.
Secondly, the chants and battle cries done by all the whole group are very important to the story along with the conch. For example, the chants are the words, “Kill the pig (or the beast). Cut his throat, Spill its blood. ” During a hunt on page 114, the boys all go on a hunt and find a boar. Each boy gets a stab at it but the boar runs away alive. After this, Jack and the rest play a little game where they are the hunters and Simon is the boar. During this game, the boar says this chant and the game turns into an actual hunt and battle.
Simon screams for them to stop and the only thing that stopped them was Jack stopping and then falling quiet to hear Simon and Robert ferocity. This shows how the chants are needed in the book because they are a channel for their inner savage to submerge. Furthermore, on the same page, the cheers caused everyone to get crazy including some of the more civilized inhabitants. Specifically, Ralph. During that scene, Ralph described Simon as meat and said, “Ralph too was fighting to get near, to get a handful of that brown, vulnerable flesh. The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering. ” (Golding, 1954, p. 14). Finally, on pages 152 and 153, there was a thunderstorm and a dance of both tribes, before the split. The boys all chanted, “Kill the beast. Cut his throat. Spill his blood,” over and over again. (Golding, 1954, p. 152). During the dance, the boys made 2 circles where one was made of the bigger and older kids and the other made up of the younger smaller kids. First, Roger was the pig in the middle being hunted, but he left to become a hunter on the outside. For a little while, the circle was empty until Simon came back and was about to tell everyone that the beast was just a dead parachuter.
But since there was a thunderstorm and the boys were chanting, they could not hear a thing Simon said; so when he come in the middle to get their attention, the boys thought he was the new pig. When this occurred, they beat Simon to a pulp like before, but the storm and chants consumed them. They tore him apart with their teeth and hands, then knocked him off a cliff to his death. This proves that the chants need to be in the story because it fully develops how savagely everyone is including Ralph and it helps uncover the main themes of the book.
In conclusion, the book need the battle cries, because they help show the savageness of the boys and how the theme of the line between savage and civilization can be blurred and you can easily cross over to the other side. The final detail that cannot be taken out of the book is the blatant hatred and rivalry between Ralph and Jack. For example, in the book, two people have always wanted power; one was driven from savagery and the other was more civilized and better to be a leader. The people first chose Ralph to be chief because of his smarts and his ideas.
But as the story progressed, the people were driven to Jack because he was able to get meat and he had contaminated the minds of the older boys and the others followed. Their rivalry caused many conflicts like the conflict between the hunters and Ralph’s group when they decided to let the fire out and hunt for meat. Along with the conflicts during their attempts to find the beast, where Jack said afterwards, “Who thinks Ralph oughtn’t to be chief? ‘ He looked around expectantly at the boys ranged round, who had frozen.
Under the palms there was deadly silence. Hands up’ said Jack strongly, ‘whoever wants Ralph not to be chief? ‘ The silence continued, breathless and heavy and full of shame. ” (Golding, 1954, p. 127). Additionally, their rivalry symbolizes the lines between savagery and humanity. For instance, Ralph and his group of boy symbolize humanity and logic. They are the ones who want to get off the island, who want to keep everyone alive and safe. Whereas Jack and his pack of savages want only power and the kill. They are tools used by Golding to convey one of the overall themes of the book. Finally, their rivalry caused so many conflicts that they even caused death.
During the final few pages of the book, Ralph, Piggy, Sam, and Eric came to Castle Rock to get Piggy’s glasses and their fire back from the other tribe who took it from them. After this altercation, Roger released a gigantic rock they pummeled Piggy and the conch shell killing Piggy and their hopes of being rescued. This would never have occurred without their rivalry. This all proves that their rivalry should be kept in the book, because this helps themes be recognized, set up conflicts, and helps bring the story to life without it being bland.