Traumatic events cause different reactions in people depending on their personality, but they have a higher chance of being detrimental to children. Think of a child getting lost in store for a second that child thinks they are all alone in the world, and that memory can stick with them. Some children refuse to speak after trauma, while others act out in destructive ways, and many children become numb to the trauma. In The Lord of The Flies by William Golding, one may see savages and boys reverting to natural, predatory, tendencies. But through a psychological lens, the reader can take a different view. The boys are not acting on savage instinct, but rather coping with the loss of adult figures and the stress of being on their own.
A group of boys ages ranging up to 12 get stranded on an island. They vote for a leader, Ralph, who remains the leader throughout the book. The boys create a character called the beast who one boy, Simon, says that the beast is just a man. After the boys behavior really gets out of hand and the boy, Simon, ends up dying. Piggy, who seems to remain a voice of reason throughout the book is comforting Ralph after the Murder of Simon and Ralph says, "I’m frightened. Of us. I want to go home Oh God, I want to go home." pg 157 I want to go home is a statement that shows the youth of Ralph. He was placed in a position of power and now we can see his weakness. Out of the loss of theadults they attempt to make their own civilization the death of Simon is the beginning of the fall of their society. They created the character of the beast to personify their fear and when that idea was challenged they lashed out. Now that Simon is dead, Ralph feels that he has failed as a leader and he now longs for home where everything is in order and he doesn’t have to run his own life. If he was acting solely on savage instinct this wouldn’t be part of his reaction. If he was only acting on primitive instinct he would feel guilt or be mourning Simon.
The boys behavior can be examined from a psychological perspective. In an article written about Children and Teens with PTSD. THe following was said, “They might also think there were signs that the trauma was going to happen. As a result, they think that they will see these signs again before another trauma happens. They think that if they pay attention, they can avoid future traumas.” The article is talking about how if a child initially saw signs of the traumatic event they may act out in order to stop another similar event from occuring. In Lord of The Flies the boys do just this. They are in a plane crash so their original social order failed them and in an attempt to create a new social order another tragedy, Simon’s Death happens so they readjust and moe more and more away from the systems that failed them.After the death of Simon the civilization aspect of the boys completely falls other than the conch. The conch is a tool the boys use as a talking stick. If you have the conch you can speak. In this moment Piggy has the conch and he is forcing the boys to listen to him. He is trying to stop the full transformation from civilized to savage. “Which is better - to have rules and agree, or tp hunt and kill?” pg 180. In this moment you can see the
boys have the ability to reason. They listen to Piggy which is rare occurrence. They listened to him which means they aren’t savages they are just looking for a leader. The last point of structure is the conch and they still see rules. The whole structure falls after the conch is destroyed.
When you were young did you ever lash out when you were scared? Traumatic events cause different reactions depending on who a person is, but they can be most detrimental to children. Some children refuse to speak after trauma, while others act out in destructive ways, and many children become numb to the trauma. On this island, the boys act out in violent ways. Through a societal lens, one may see savages and boys reverting to natural, predatory, tendencies. But through a psychological lens one may get a different view. The boys are not acting on savage instinct but rather coping with the loss of adult figures and the stress of being on their own.