Lord of Flies Essay Example

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1. Briefly summarize the plot of the movie and its relevance to Realism (300 words)

In the film “Lord of Lies,” it is clearly wartime. A group of boys wearing school uniforms are stranded in an island after a missile crashes their airplane. Ralph and Piggy explore the island and discover a unique spiral shell that they use as a horn to summon the rest of the boys. They decide to choose a leader. Ralph, rather than Jack, is selected. In return, he appoints Jack to mobilise a group of boys to hunt for food. At the outset, Ralph manages to steer the boys to be more cooperative. They devise a signal fire using Piggy’s spectacles. However out of frustration, Jack becomes more unruly and violent, as he is seen striking Piggy for chastising him.

Afterwards, some boys start a rumour about a beast in the sea. Jack departs from the group to start his tribe that has no rules. Eventually, only Piggy is left with Ralph. In one incident, Simon is killed in the night when mistaken for the beast. Piggy also get killed in the aftermath of chaos when Roger pushes a rock off a cliff. Ralph escapes from the boys who have turned into a tribe of savages. He eventually runs into a naval officer.

The film is relevant to the theory of realism. The impression of war and bombings by planes, as the film starts, shows an existence of anarchy and lack of order. Clearly, there appears to be lack of a world government. When Ralph was chosen as a leader, he tried to set up rules to bring order to the boys. However, Jack sets out to bring the theme or anarchy, by starting his tribe that is not guided by rules. Soon, the entire island turns into chaos and disorder, where boys eventually turn into savages and killers. These depict a situation where anarchy causes chaos and conflicts.

2. What function does the beast serve in Lord of the Flies? (150 words)

The beast serves to depict fear and propaganda in the film. It is effectively used to control and manipulate the young boys in the film. For instance, Jack used the beast as propaganda tool to manipulate the boys. He was aware that the beast embodies fear to the boys. The beast, therefore, brings about fear in the boys, and serves to control the boys when they cannot be convinced to be unruly. For instance, it appears Jack is aware that he cannot convince the boys. In return, he devises the myth of the beast and provides staged evidence to bring fear to the boys, and to influence the boys to follow him in the hope that he would provide them with protection in a manner that Ralph cannot. The beast portends fear to the boys while Jack, because of his malevolent image, is eventually perceived by boys to be more capable of providing protection.

3. How is the beast both a source of irrational fear and a mobilizer of fear? (150 words)

The beast is source of irrational fear, as in reality, it does not exist. Instead, it is Jack’s creation or myth intended to instil fear on the boys. In the film, Ralph and the hunters search for the beast and notice its dreadful form on the mountainside. It is at this time that Jack takes advantage of the boy’s fear to point out that Ralph is a coward and lacks the courage to hunt and the strength to protect the other boys.

The beast is also used as a mobiliser of fear, as Jack took advantage of the boys’ dread of a beast to shore up his value in the tribe. Jack uses the beast to mobilise fear in the boys and portrays himself to be more capable of protecting the boys compared to Ralph. In reality, Jack leverages the contentious issue of the beast to draw the boys to himself, and to cause them to defect from Ralph’s side to his.

4. If the fear that motivates conflict in Lord of the Flies is located in the beast, what are the implications of this for the realist argument that, “international anarchy is the permissive cause of war”? (150 Words)

If fear that motivates conflict in Lord of the Flies is located in the beast, for the realist argument, the implication of this is that it may lead to conflicts and wars. The beast led to a state where the boys were controlled by fear rather than rules. In a practical situation, sovereign states that lack a system of rules, and where these states judge their grievances and fears based on their desires and reasoning, then conflicts and wars may definitely happen.

In such situations, wars would inevitably occur, as there is no system of rules to prevent them. Instead, states will cash in on any opportunity to dispel their fears – as was seen when the boys killed Simon when they mistook him for the beast. Therefore, anarchy has a direct relationship with state actions and wars. As observed, Jack’s tribe had no system of rules to punish rogue members or foster cooperation. This made cooperation unattainable and conflict imminent.