D - Band
In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, we see a rift and blur between the lines of civilized and savage. But when someone is pointed out as being the latter, what is it about man that becomes so violent? So upset and disgusted when a mirror is shined in their face? When humans are deemed savage by other humans, they go to extremes to convey their denia about being savage.No human likes to be looked down upon, we all would prefer to be looked at as civilized. But to mask their true nature is commonplace for humans, and we don’t just see it within Lord Of the Flies, but in our own society.
In the book, on page 156, after the murder of Simon, Ralph takes it upon himself to confront Piggy and tell him what it really was- murder. Piggy is disturbed, and lashes out at Ralph, blaming Simon for his own death. “It was dark....There was the lightning and thunder and rain. We was scared!...Anything might have happened. it wasn't --what you said…. "I was an accident…. He had no business crawling around in the dark... He asked for it." Then he changes, "It was an accident.""By Piggy saying that Simon was ‘asking’ for his own death when Ralph tells him that it was murder, Piggy knows that Simon ca nnot speak for himself, and they both know full well that Piggy didn’t do anything to stop the killing. Piggy still wants to distinguish himself as civilized and not savage, and is enraged that Ralph is now showing Piggy his true colors.
This instance isn’t lone in the world of the book, in fact, it’s not just in the world of William Golding. When it comes to savage acts, humans are not the only ones to blame. In 2013, a documentary by the name of ‘Blackfish’ took storm, earning rave reviews and a whopping 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a somber story of a killer whale named Tillikum, that after a long psychosis of being trapped in Seaworld, it begins ruthlessly killing its trainers. On February 24th, 2010, Tillikum killed a female trainer by the name of Dawn Brancheau by causing blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso before dragging her underwater and drowning her. Even though it tore through the nation, and media was quick to capitalize on the tragedy, Dawn Brancheau was blamed for her own death. When giving addresses, Seaworld stated that Dawn was at fault, due to her hair being tied in a long ponytail on the top of her head that Tillikum grabbed onto. This caused outraged among her friends and family, making them feel wronged that Dawn was being blamed for her own death, when she wasn’t even alive to defend herself. Seaworld was quick to defend themselves instead, and in turn by denying they had any involvement by abusing their whale, they blamed the woman who died for her own death.
It’s prevalent in society today for people, instead of owning up to their own guilt and moving on to be a better, more experienced person, they deflect blame childishly and opt to refuse to listen. This is seen in the book, on chapter 11, page 270. Golding writes, “The booing rose and died again as Piggy lifted the white, magic shell. “Which is better –to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?” A great clamor rose among the savages. Piggy shouted again. “Which is better –to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?” Again the clamor and again – “Zup!” Ralph shouted against the noise. “Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?” Now Jack was yelling too and Ralph could no longer make himself heard. Jack had backed right against the tribe and they were a solid mass of menace that bristled with spears.” This is insanely child-like, which while being simultaneously applicable to the boys’ level of innocence as children, but the extremes they go to in order to convey their denial. Jack is enabling the kids, and leading them to instead of listening to the rational concerns of Piggy and Ralph, but to heckle them and boo immaturely. It’s indicative of modern society, and very dismally, it’s not just applicable to children, but to grown people.
In 2018, an article came out about a college student named Heather Price, who was raped in her own dorm. After the incident, she stayed silent, as do a lot of rape victims, but eventually wanted to come out about her perpetrator. She soon found out that in her college, she wasn’t alone, and forged relationships and found solace in the other victims on campus. And while that sounds uplifting, there is a very harmful part of this story - which is, these women weren’t believed. When bringing up their accusations to higher authorities, not only were they not believed, but they were heckled by other students, saying that it was their fault for the crimes that were acted upon them, telling them that it was their fault for the clothes that they were wearing on the nights of their attacks. This goes to display the level of injustice, where innocent people are being blamed for crimes committed against them, and when they attempt to remind their attackers of their own guilt, they retaliate immaturely by blaming and heckling them. No better than a group of uncivilized schoolboys.
In Lord of the Flies, we see an abundance of varying cases involving the boys on the island being shown their true selves, and lashing out in their immaturity to display the denial of the acts that they are charged with. This specific happening is displayed not just in the world Wiliam Golding has created, though. Humans are capable of many incredible things, this we know. But humans, as products of our emotions, over time, have created ways to delude ourselves into an alibi while putting victims of actual crimes down. And while it’s been happening for a long time, this has become prevalent in our society as of late when heinous behaviour is more likely to be called out in the current political climate. And while it’s unfair that truly guilty people are able to walk free because of it, these unchecked acts of rage can come from a mask of denial to hide away guilt.