What's Wrong With Merica

One could argue that structure is a key factor in not only the conservation, but for the advancement of humanity as a whole. The foundation of of all civilization comes from laws, which are meant to be a system of rules recognized to regulate the actions of members in a specific area. These laws by governmental viewpoint, aims for the protection of the people, as well as their desires. The very rules that people are almost manufactured to believe will be of help to society, can have significant impact on the people, and the system itself, even if they know this to be incorrect. This begs the question of whether people obey for the fact that one is expected to obey by law, or that it’s the laws themselves that influence people on whether they should follow. Laws are implemented with the intent to efficiently tend to a constant progression in society, and while not always effective, it’s up to the followers to decide. whether they should be obeyed

Throughout the duration of the book, Lord of the Flies, the boys made several rules they thought would be valuable in keeping the group civilized and calm until their eventual rescue. One of the  most important rules, was that of the conch shell. Shortly after crashing on the mysterious island, in uncertainty and disbelief concerning the actions that had just taken place, newfound companions Ralph and Piggy roamed in a confused state when after a short swim they found a shell. Ralph seduced by this new object carried it around, using it to signal the boys to come to the beach. After being appointed leader, Ralph claimed, “And another thing. We can’t have everybody talking at once. We’ll have to have hands up like school...Then I’ll give you the conch.”(page 33). The conch was used as both a source of communication where the boys could get their message across to the entire group, but more than that one of the most pivotal sources of power, as the person holding it was the temporary voice of the group. The conch was supposed to be a vessel to make the communication between the group better, and to create better group dynamic. It proved to be successful in the beginning of its implementation as Ralph was able to maintain order in the group as well giving everyone the opportunity to speak their opinions and offer suggestions. However, overtime it began to lose it power as the group increased into a more savage state. It was an object that the group highly respected when they were fresh and new to the island, but as the boys grew with time on the island, the conch couldn’t settle the boys who were no longer living in an immature state. The boys agreed to its terms, but once it became a hinderance to their plans, it would then be something they felt was unneeded. Specifically the boys on Jack’s who aimed to rebel against the rules, this was a core rule and the first one they chose to stop cooperating with.

This type of structure is not just something that takes place in fictional world, but very much so applies to the real world. A prime example of this would be the creation of the Jim Crow laws that lasted from the late nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century. The Jim Crow laws were a policy of segregating or discriminating against African Americans, in public places, public vehicles, or employment. Pbs states that they were put into place following “an incident where a black man in New Orleans attempted to sit down in a whites-only railway car, prompting the eventual 1896 Supreme Court which was founded on the scheme of equal but separate.” This is an instance where a law was meant to benefit a certain group of people, granting the thought of whether it actually worked. It was beneficial to prejudiced southern Americans as they did not have to have close interaction with blacks, and in turn maintained a firm grasp on the south as a whole. This very notion conflicts with the feelings and actions taken against Africans Americans during the very same time. Because of this law, blacks lost all of the progress they had made during the reconstruction period, and against their will once again settle as submissive. This also made it so where white americans could abuse the rights of blacks which created much friction in the south. This all came to head during the beginning of the civil rights movement when blacks began to fight back against their oppressors. Jim Crow laws came to an end in 1954, but proved that laws are not always meant to protect everyone. It showed that while a rule may help one group continue their ways of life, it can in turn force another to negatively change, which disrupts the entire system as everyone is not being defended. For a long period of time both African Americans and whites did in fact follow the law, but once the social injustice was really being pushed against by those oppressed, they did what they could to fight against it, which would then cause a change in the law or abolishment that would then be something that they could in fact follow because it suited their needs and wants.

While the severity of these rules might not always be on as grand scale as an entire region of a country and affecting an entire race the way Jim Crow laws did, they stilled showed the parallel between the differencing in how laws can work, and if there needed. Soon after the assembly of boys appointed Ralph chief and established a weak social order, in sudden excitement all of the boys, lead by Ralph ran to the mountaintop where they attempted to make a fire in a frenzied state that nearly got out of control causing Ralph to utter, “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages.”(page 42). This is one of the first instances where Ralph commands control to almost set a law about following the rules so that they can progress and live accordingly. He thinks that by working together in a school like way they will be able to get rescued earlier. Being that it was the first day the boys, especially the little ones, did not oppose as they were just getting to know the island, and themselves. While Ralph was able to get this method to work as they constructed shelter and hunted quickly and efficiently, it proved to be a great flaw as the young boys were not in a state where the wished to be ordered around by a parent like figure, to do what they would consider to be uninteresting things. The modern mind would agree to this being a good vehicle to get things done, but being that Ralph’s audience was a group of younger boys to bask in the idea of no adults, did not agree with his style as they wanted to go have fun and quench their need for adventure rather than that of survival.

A means of survival can be the be what determines if people will determine whether it is in their best interest to take part in or support a ruling. The summer of June 26, 2015 saw the legalization of same sex marriage in all 50 states in the United States. This was a landmark moving to gay people all across America as they had been fighting for since the resurrection of the gay rights movement prompted by the Stonewall riots in the late 1960s according to CNN politics. The argument against same sex marriage has been fueled throughout years since the legalization by the Supreme Court that limiting marriage to only those of opposite sex does not violate the Constitution during the case of Baker vs Nelson in 1971. Or September 1996 when president Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act(DOMA) which would deny federal benefits to married same sex couples. For centuries, generations of same sex couples had to cope with the constant discrimination against them, applied in the form of many different laws, but with repeated opposition managed to achieve their goal. Despite having numerous road blocks they were not only able to prove that they should be granted the right to marry, but draw attention to a ruling that was unfair in their case. Not allowing them to wed, was only to benefit of those who had moral or political issues with the idea of same sex couples, but put those who were gay aside as they were forced out of their rights. They showed that a law can be discriminatory in itself, and can be something that does not prove worth in following.

Groups of people have the natural intuition to form rules to keep themselves and each other safe from a possible harm or things their uncomfortable with. It is the idea behind the laws, and the people who are affected to truly decide if the laws themselves are needed. It can be said that no one law can efficiently benefit every person, as the circumstances of people in America as well as across the world greatly vary. Despite this laws improve and decline society based on the group or person themselves. The point of laws in society are to effectively tend to a civilization that is always growing, and while they might not be considered the best functions originally, it’s the result of the people to decide so. Whether it’s a fictional book about boys discovering their inner savagery on an abandoned island, or real people fighting for their rights in modern society, laws are a staple in the interacting of people, and the way the system works. Controversial, acceptable, wonderful, and ludicrous, almost every law can be described in one of these ways, just depends on who you are.

Work Cited

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

Wolf, Richard. "Timeline: Same-sex Marriage through the Years." USA Today. Gannett, 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

PBS. PBS. Web. 06 Apr. 2016

"Supreme Court Rules States Must Allow Same-sex Marriage." CNN. Cable News Network. Web. 06 Apr. 2016.

Comments (2)

Sopheary Sok (Student 2018)
Sopheary Sok
  1. I agree with your comparison because laws can be taken a lot differently by people and definitely does not benefit everyone.
  2. Controversial, acceptable, wonderful, and ludicrous, almost every law can be described in one of these ways, just depends on who you are.
  3. It shows how laws can be so controversial even though the intention behind it may be good.
Gabriel Copeland (Student 2018)
Gabriel Copeland

I do agree with the comparison being presented. It is organized and formed in a cohesive manner. However if your point is to prove that laws are to show the progression of society, why were there no mentions of maternity leave laws (that are progressive) in Europe that are very progressive and helpful? Or am I missing the point

"Controversial, acceptable, wonderful, and ludicrous, almost every law can be described in one of these ways, just depends on who you are. "

I like the openness of the statement. the mention that it depends on who you are to see a law is a good way to leave it up to an individual to determine what is "progressive" and what is not.