Benefit of the Doubt

Structure is the arrangement and relations of parts of something complex. Laws are made to keep order and get people to work together efficiently. People will follow the rules if they benefit, otherwise they would not see the need to follow the rules. Breaking laws would influence others to break them in order to achieve what they want. This kind of system is almost impossible to control, as it doesn’t benefit the larger population.

In the first chapter of ‘Lord of The Flies’ by William Golding, Ralph finds a conch shell, and uses it to call attract all of the boys together. This was how the conch became a symbol of power. Whoever had the conch during a meeting could speak aloud. The main antagonist Jack didn’t see the appeal to this system. That is shown in this scene between him and Piggy, ’Jack was up too, unaccountably angry. “Who cares what you believe-Fatty!” “I got the conch!” There was the sound of a brief tussle and the conch moved to and fro.’ (p. 90) Jack was given power to abate his anger of not being the leader. But here he is trying to take control over more that what he was given. The conch halted Jack’s intentions to take control, as it let others share their opinions. He wanted what was best for him, and used the other boys to follow him, not caring what happens to them. Jack did not care for anybody but himself, causing others to stray away from him and being fearful. Hoping that Jack would not get rid of them when he was done with using them for his benefit.

People have rules to keep society running. These systems may differ, but mainly benefit a one group over another. The people who are benefited less, will be more likely to break laws to survive. Other times people just want the benefits without having to qualify. An example of this is how two Rhode Island men lied about their regular income to receive food stamps. These types of people usually feel cheated by their disadvantages, and attempt to get what they believe they deserve. This ties into people wanting power to do what they want. But them taking food stamps from those in need, not caring what will happen to others, makes a character like Jack from Lord Of The Flies. Selfish people who want to be in control only for their own benefit.

The government's point of view of this outrageous case, is quite interesting. They are the ones who make sure people follow laws, and decide punishments if broken. They believe that this scandal was an impure action that could influence more people to steal food stamps. If this happens, people who really need the food stamps will not be available to them. Thus, creating a problem for more people who are starving, and people who have money for food are get away with this.  The government wants to charge these criminals to show that everyone has to follow rules in order to help those in need. The poor who need food stamps, will now have food stamps. And the government will prove to society that they are in power to keep order and peace, by not letting others do what they want.

Ralph and Piggy benefited from the rules the boys first created. Throughout the book Piggy shown to cling to the idea of the conchshell. The opportunity of speech it provided him was something he could not find in Jack’s. “I got the conch! Just you listen! The first thing we ought to have made was shelters down there by the beach." (Pg. 45)  Ralph and Piggy, who represent the Government in this situation, are trying to stick by the rules and show the other boys the benefits. The inexperience in the boys made them choose Jack’s world of no work, and constant hunting. They ended up regretting this decision as it led to death and destruction. In these situations, some choose to stick to the rules and suffer silently, while others blaze through the laws that are made to benefit the society.

In conclusion, the one who did not see the benefit, Jack, was feared and hated. He tried to forge the path that suited him, and did not look for the bigger picture. Those men that lied about the food stamps are hated and will never be trusted again. It is sometimes better to listen to those in charge rather than be persecuted.

Works Cited

  1. Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2003.

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