No Morality, Go Savagery

A civilized society is defined as civilized because they have a strong set of rules that are upheld, and punishable if not.  The rules are designed around safety and the people's well being.  Most people will not break the rules because they are indoctrinated into believing that the creation of the rules were based upon the correct moral values.  Furthermore, people should be scared of the repercussions.  However, there will be some who fall off course and disobey rules, and in turn, the morals they once believed before they broke the rules.  Straying from one's virtues constitutes savage behavior in any given environment.  

In the book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, a group of boys find themselves on a remote island, and quickly for a tribe.  A tribal meeting has been called.  This is one of the only times that everyone is expected to behave very civilized, and respectful.  They once felt as though they needed the meetings in order to organize and think out the best plan of action.  However, as they become less civilized, many do not feel the same desire for the meeting, and a huge turning point occurs.  During the meeting, the antagonist Jack, interrupts the flow by calling the whole tribe into a savage dance.  During this, the tribe acts wild, screaming violent things, and worst of all, killing one of their own.  “At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore.  There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws” (153).  The flesh the boys were were tearing up is that of Simon.  They were so into their dance which involves shouting savage things such as, “spill its blood” that the reality of what they are doing did not dawn to them them until the moment has passed.  Because of the savage behavior they had become accustomed to, they allowed themselves in their minds the right to kill one of their friends.

Piggy and Ralph have been outcasted from the others on the island.  They made a trip to where the tribe lived, and while they were there, Piggy made a speech.  He said, “Which is better?  To have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill” (180).  The former two things have been replaced by the latter, and the gradual decension into savagery has wiped away their morals.  The fact that the best way to escape the island, which was initially everybody’s main goal, now has taken a backseat to wild tribal activities, this shows how savage behavior goes hand in hand with the abandoning of ideas created at a time when the behavioral state was civilized.  Furthermore, after Piggy gives this speech, the tribe actually goes on to kill him.  Clearly, the boys that make up the tribe have lost the moral compass they went into the island with, and because of it are now committing heinous acts and reacting to them without remorse.  

People of numerous religions kill and injure others during war.  Religion comforts them before performing the life threatening actions they must complete to protect their people and themselves.  However, many religions state that it is wrong to kill and that violence should be avoided.  Religion is tied in with morals, and moral values are many times based off of religion.  Pope Francis, the Roman Catholic leader himself said, “War is never a satisfactory to right injustices”.  

He goes on to bash the idea of war and claim it only brings many negatives.  He is considered the leader and voice for a huge religion with followers all over, however there are obviously Roman Catholics who are enrolled within the military and who have and continue to fight in combat.  Therefore, some people who kill in the military are abandoning their morals due to the dangerous environment they are in.  Furthermore, killing is a savage activity, especially in war where people come prepared with weapons with only the intention to wipe out their opponent.  Therefore, during war people abandon their morals to kill, which is savage.  

Another example of people in today's world going against their morals and being savage can be seen within child labor.  In many cases, this is when people hire children to work in ridiculously low quality settings, for minimal pay, and treat them as slaves, that way their business can thrive financially.  However if it were their own children, or their children's friends were put in a position like those poor children doing labor currently, I am sure a protest from the same people who operate or own these work forces would be heard.  

Even if one were to ask these people, “Do you think children should be treated savagely, or overworked and underpaid?,” it would become a life journey to find someone who said, “Yes.  Yes I do.”

 A man by the name of Kailash Satyarthi, who knows the struggles of child labor due to his long experience as a child's right advocate and educator had this to say:  “Child slavery is a crime against humanity.  Humanity itself is at stake here.   A lot of work still remains, but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime.”

Clearly these children are suffering, but people are turning a cheek and going against their belief that children should be treated well, in order to make a profit.  Many of these children may work across the world in places like India, however the work they do is for large companies that many of us see or use everyday.  Therefore, by directly causing children's suffering, acting as if it is not important because these people live very far away, and knowing these things are wrong, business people who use child labor are going against their morals, and are acting savage.  

In book and our world, breaking rules constitutes savage behavior.  In each of the given examples, whose foundation is applicable to any others, the group or individual who goes against their morals, ends up committing a savage action.  This is because morals are supposed to guide decision making in a civilized and non rule breaking way.  However if one does not follow their morals, savagery will follow in suit.

Work Cited:

Golding, William.  Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2003.

"Pope Francis Says War Is Never Right Way to Stop Injustice; Distances Himself From Support of Airstrikes Against ISIS Read More at Http:// Read More at Http://" CP Wolrd. 8 Sept. 2014. Web. 5 Apr. 2016. <>.

Kailash Satyarthi. "Child Labor Quotes." Brainyquote. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

Comments (1)

Sopheary Sok (Student 2018)
Sopheary Sok
  1. I partially agree with your comparison. I agree with all of the example you presented, but in real life, I think that some people can still break off from their morals, yet be civilized like someone choosing not to be religious.
  2. Clearly, the boys that make up the tribe have lost the moral compass they went into the island with, and because of it are now committing heinous acts and reacting to them without remorse.
  3. I liked this sentence because it shows how much the boys have changed.