Behold, the Conch.

What happens when morals are completely thrown out of the window? For many, this leads to quick and rash decisions. These decisions could impact an individual or a group as a whole. “Whoever holds the conch holds the right to speak.” The conch shell is used as a political symbol. It is the boy's way of holding on to the structure that was instilled in them as children. When faced with fear and irrational behaviors, people rely on symbols as a way to hold on to their moral structures.           
The book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is about a group of boys who survived a plane crash and landed on an island. The book starts with Ralph and Piggy discovering the island. They are ripped from their lives, and immediately try to rebuild their civilization on the island.  While doing this they find the conch.  When they see the shell, it already to them was a grand object. “The shell was interesting and pretty and a worthy plaything…”(16)  The shell was their way of rebuilding their structure and politics. When Ralph blew the conch, the sound soared across the island and brought all of the boys together.  “ Where’s the man with the trumpet?”(20). When immediately faced with the question of being rescued, the boys choose their leader. Who happens to be the boy holding the conch, Ralph.  He is now figuratively soaking in the power of the conch. The boys blindly follow the conch to mask the fear that they each collectively have. The fear of not being rescued, fear of the unknown. The conch is more than a shell to Ralph and the boys. It brought them together, they now know they are not alone. Now that they have each other the common thought process and morals. Which is to survive together and rebuild their own civilization. Given, all of them are children so there is no way they aren’t scared, or doubtful. Having the conch gives them faith. 
“Make America Great Again.” was shown all over the country during the presidential election. A symbol of hope and politics to Trump supporters. Flashed on hats and signs across America, by the president’s supporters. To them this slogan is not just what they think politics should be, it is way more than just words to them- even the president himself.  “It actually inspired me,” Trump said, “because, to me, it meant jobs. It meant industry, and meant military strength. It meant taking care of our veterans. It meant so much.”  These are trump’s morals, so these are also his supporters morals. It in a way is a movement. When they are confronted with “hate” from the opposing side these four words become a symbol.  A symbol of hope, and power that is soon to unfold in Washington. The hat has become a major part of his supporters lives. It was their support, for the man and ideals they believed in. Through the eyes of a trump supporter, the movement is morally right.  At the University of Maryland, when students wear their hat they feel strong and bold.  One student described it as making them feel proud. It makes them feel like America is the greatest country on the planet. When faced with discrimination they wear the hats, for a common purpose that they all believe in- a greater America. When asked about the discrimination, the same student responded, “I was expecting more of a resistance from people, and the most that have ever happened here is people saying some nasty stuff to us.”  Reading this, it seems like he is scared, but because he knows there are people out there with common ethics he is calm. Just like the conch shell, the hats and the Make America Great Again movement is a symbol that gets people through fear and chaos. 
Morality is an important key in life. Without it “right and wrong,” wouldn’t exist. When people are put in situations that will challenge the ideals that they have been taught all of their lives, they hold onto things that give them a sense of their morals. Or just to help them get through rough times. Similar to trump supporters and the boys. These tokens, being the conch and the hats made in honor of a movement.  There are examples of other things as well like the American flag which holds the belief of patriotism.  In America, during times of turmoil, the first thing that is shown is the flag.  The flag provides people with happiness and that whatever happens will not prevail. This is similar to the boys in the book and Donald Trump supporters. 


Works Cited:

Jeffries, Tara. "Some Trump supporters are afraid to speak out." PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

Goulding, william. Lord of the flies. New York:Penguin,2006

Merriam-ebster.moral definition.Merriam-Webster, INC, 2017

Appearance & Charisma vs. Qualifications and Experience

Choosing leaders in almost every way is some form of a popularity contest. Whether it’s  the presidential election or a dozen boys choosing a leader while they’re trapped on an abandoned island, what someone looks like and how likable they are almost always plays a role in the final outcome of the vote. The Lord of the Flies is a novel about a group of young British boys that are left to fend for themselves after they crash on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean. The boys in Lord of the Flies turned what was their most crucial decision in the entire book into a popularity contest without thinking too much about their decision and the consequences of it The boys did not choose the leader of their group based off of who was qualified but off of other criteria. These fictional characters are not the only ones who can fall victim to this -- it happens in real life as well. People choose leaders not based on their qualifications and experience but on their appearance and charisma.


After a short time on the island, one of the boys, Ralph, suggested that the boys vote for a chief so the group would have a leader that would be able to decide what the boys do next. The boys end up choosing Ralph but how they came to a conclusion so fast, considering everyone just met each other, is very interesting. A quote that captured this moment is “None of the boys could have found good reason for this; what intelligence had been shown was traceable back to Piggy, while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive personality, and most obscurely; yet most powerfully, there was the conch.” (22) At this point in time, none of the boys know each other well enough to know what the others are fully capable of doing and accomplishing as the leader. From the boy’s standpoint, it's obvious very early on that Piggy is intelligent and Jack seems fit to be a leader. However, it would seem as if they chose Ralph without much thought since the narrator says “None of the boys could have found good reason for this.” However, the narrator goes on to describe some of Ralph’s characteristics. “His size and attractive personality” are among the things “that marked Ralph out.” It would make no sense for the boys to choose Ralph over Piggy and Jack unless their criteria for choosing the leader was not based on who was qualified for it but on what they looked like and who they liked the most. Ralph was also in possession of the conch, who the boys associate with power when the voting process began. It is very clear that it was Ralph’s image that won him his role as leader. Also, the boys did not take Piggy very seriously because of how he looked. Piggy was described as the “fat boy” (7) after Ralph, who was described as the “fair boy” (7) for his British good looks and attractiveness. The boys also mistake his name for “Fatty,” (21) before Ralph tells them that his name is actually Piggy. Jack is not considered attractive either. According to the narrator, he is “tall, thin, and bony.” (20) He’s redheaded, and “his face was crumpled and freckled, and ugly without stillness.” (20) Considering the nature of the boys at the age they are, with most of them being twelve or younger, it is understandable to see why they chose Ralph over Piggy and Jack. In the mindset of an immature, pre-teenager, fat people are a joke and redheads are these evil, mean beings. Ralph is also a very good looking kid compared to the others who wanted to be the leader. Human nature explains why Ralph was chosen as it is normal for people, especially children, to gravitate towards who or what they consider attractive. Charisma is another one of Ralph’s traits and charisma is an important trait of a successful leader.


In the real world, attractive people, in general are more successful. Studies have proven that attractive people are hired sooner, promoted quicker, and are paid more than their co-workers than their less attractive co-workers. According to Daniel Hamermesh, professor of economics at the University of Texas, people who are considered attractive earn about 3 or 4 more percent than people who aren’t considered attractive with below average looks. A study published in Psychological Science showed that people played closer attention to people who are more attractive. One of the researchers said that this is because people are generally more motivated to pay closer attention to more attractive people because of curiosity, desire for friendship or a romantic interest, or social status. A quote from one of the researchers, Prof. Jeremy Biesanz, UBC Dept. of Psychology, is “Not only do we judge books by their covers, we read the ones with beautiful covers much closer than others.” This is similar to how the boys in Lord of the Flies chose Ralph as their leaders because it was not Ralph’s experience or intelligence that earned him the leadership role, it was his attractiveness that earned him the role.

Like attractive people, charismatic people are also very successful. Charisma is defined as “a personal magic of leadership arousing social popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (as a political leader) and “a special magnetic charm or appeal.” Successful people are usually leaders that possess the quality of charisma. Charisma is necessary for success because, without it, it is harder for you to get the people around you to help you achieve your goals. Leaders are essential for humanity, and charisma is what drives people to those leaders. While a good leaders possess intelligence, experience, and qualifications for the task at hand, this is not necessarily the case for every charismatic leader. Donald J. Trump, the 45th and current President of the United States is very charismatic. However, prior to becoming the President, he had never run for office in any kind of capacity. Nonetheless, he was a very successful business due in part to his very charismatic, and somewhat charming personality. Donald Trump is a very controversial figure, and although he lost the popular vote against candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump still managed to persuade almost 63,000,000 people without having the slightest experience in the world of politics. A similarity can be drawn to Ralph in Lord of the Flies when Ralph was selected as the leader without much experience as being a leader. However, like Trump, Ralph’s charisma was one of the reasons why he was chosen to be the leader.

In conclusion, there are many examples of people getting ahead of others because of their attractiveness and charisma. In the real world, people tend to favor charismatic and attractive people and this is why these kinds of people are very successful. At the beginning of Lord of the Flies Ralph is successful because he looks powerful, strong, and has an attractive personality. It is not uncommon for charismatic and attractive people to have intelligence and experience, but more often than not, people who display their charisma and attractiveness are more successful. Usually, they are chosen to be leaders over people who are not.










Golding, William Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin: 2006


Stanger, Melissa. "Attractive People Are Simply More Successful." Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/attractive-people-are-more-successful-2012-9


"Rice study suggests people are more trusting of attractive strangers." Rice News. http://news.rice.edu/2006/09/21/rice-study-suggests-people-are-more-trusting-of-attractive-strangers/


Staff, Elite Daily. "Why Charismatic People Are More Successful." http://elitedaily.com/money/entrepreneurship/charismatic-people-successful/


Minton, Tam Warner. "The Charismatic Appeal of Donald Trump." TheHuffingtonPost.com http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tam-warner-minton/the-charismatic-appeal-of_b_12406854.html


"Charisma." Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charisma


English Essay - Lord of the Flies


Caroline P.

Silver

3/31/17

The Environment Makes us Stranded


In William Golding's novel, The Lord of the Flies, there is a change from preppy schoolboys, to reckless and what some could say, dangerous, individuals. The british boys experience an unexpected plane crash together and land on a mysterious island. As time starts to disappear, their good habits start to disappear along with it. The boys scavenge through the island that they landed on, in hopes of a return to a natural civilization. The boys go through ups and downs, but can't these experiences change a person? This essay is going to take an inside look at how a change of environment can change a person's natural behavior into something different. Sometimes it could be good and beneficial, but others times it could be unacceptable, and a shock.

The conch shell is an important part of this book through the boys. It gives a person a right on whether or not they are able to speak and to say their opinions on a topic. This is one of the many rules declared in this book after constant difficulties with the management of their talking time. “If I blow the conch and they don't come back; then we have had it, we shouldn't keep the fire going. Well be like animals. We'll never be rescued”(page.5). The impact is causing them to act like “animals”, as said in the quote. This makes me think about their environment and what it is doing to them.  When the boys realized their situation, they started to discuss their next step. They understood that they were on an island that was off the grid.

Piggy has been known to not be a kid with great leadership skills, but on page (15), he says, “we got to find the others. We got to do something.” This was very unusual coming from Piggy. He relies on others in often circumstances. Piggy has been described as being the person to rely on everybody else. Leadership has never really been apart of his life, nor has it been in his interest. At this time, they were only on the island for a short period of time. The quick change of his personal behavior gives curiosity to how much they all developed over the time. Piggy is already doing things way out of his comfort zone.

This is similar to when celebrities become famous. These shifts from their average lifestyle to a completely new one can do something to them that could be both mental and physical. There are constant examples of celebrities gaining a lot of weight and becoming depressed.  The change in lifestyle at times, makes someone go “crazy”. Like in the famous incident of Britney Spears back in 2007 of february 16th. Britney Spears reportedly shaved off all of her hair in a barber shop, by herself. Paparazzi was all around were able to experience it live. Nobody knows the real reason to why she decided to openly shave off her hair, but people think to believe that everything about publicity go to her head. That is what slowly is happening the all of the boys with the new adjustment to this lifestyle. Not publicity for them, but location and new adjustments.

A change in environment can change a person. It is usually never intentional, but when you have a routine and it breaks suddenly, it breaks a person's mind. This can go for many things like, school, relationships, food habits, and the list goes on. In the novel, The Lord of the Flies, there are many examples of this. I don't think that Goulding didn't want to get this message across. I think this message was very purposeful and has been shown behind corners for a reason. The author wanted you discover this on your own.


Bibliography:

10 Years Later, Britney's Head-Shaving Moment Is Still Unforgettable
By: Stephanie Marcus - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/britney-spears-shaved-her-head-ten-years-ago_us_58a5cff6e4b07602ad525d50

The Truth about the evil leader

When people think of leaders, they imagine fearless and caring people who strive to better the lives of everyone they watch over. In society, being an effective leader is solving conflicts while still doing the most for your people. William Golding shows the ideal leader in Lord Of The Flies in the form of Ralph, who embodies the characteristics of an effective leader. While he was elected leader he slowly loses how over the kids on the island and that they stopped following him and turn to someone that they felt that was better. As the book is presented in the eyes of the perfective of ralph’s side and that he we say thought the conversation with Piggie showed that he believes that jack is bad even when he went and organized the boys on the island and making everything run smoothly. Like most leader  Why are some of the most effective leader are considered evil?  

The boys went and had a meeting with each other to bring order to the group and to get people to work together. During the meeting, one of the youngest children on the island told the kids that he had seen a snake monster. Piggie, Jack, and Ralph tried to calm him down. Piggy and Ralph tried to say that it just didn't exist and yelled at him while Jack tried to settle his fear by saying that it doesn't exist and if it did they would hunt it down. "’Ralph's right of course. There use, the snake-thing. But if there was a snake we'd hunt it and kill it’”(36). The book tries to put the moral dilemma that it the book present Jack as the bad guy and as a person who doesn't care about anyone else and that Ralph and Piggy are the good people and that people will follow them, but before the quotation Piggy and Ralph were yelling at the little kid, saying that the monster does not exist "'He says he saw the beastie, the Snake thing, and will it come back tonight?' 'But there isn't a beastie!'". This reaction was not from Jack, who we are told is a bad person; it was Ralph and piggy yelling at a frightened kid who thinks he saw a creature that could kill him. On the other hand, Jack calmed down the little ones fear by agreeing with Ralph but also telling the little one that if they ever see the monster that they will kill it. This reaction cause the the little one to calm down from his fear from the monster and also it calmed down the other smaller boys who were afraid of the monster. While the boys went and and appoint Ralph as their leader because he had plan but this seen anthesis why people are willing to follow Jack, while people will call jack bad and evil as a little kid you are going to be afraid of someone that is yelling at you instead of someone that isn't yelling.

During the Cultural Revolution in China, the leader Mao Zedong started to change the structure of the Chinese government into a Communist government. Throughout his leadership he helped cause cultural change by forcing his people to get rid of things from the ancient world, because he did this taking away his country heritage to bring China into the 20th century. While he was considered to be terrible for getting rid of chinese history and the willingness to allow some of his citizen to die to allow himself to transformed China from a third world country to a manufacturing, electronic and agricultural powerhouse. Jack in the book goes thought the same situation and that thought out the book he went and use the basic need of food and salfy to take power over Ralph.  While the boys on the island killed and that the death of Simon was blamed on Jack because they were doing their ritual and Jack was leading to get the boys excited for hunting the beast and when Simon     comes out of the woods stumbling, hunched over, and looking like the dead pilot who they thought was the beast. While ralph believes that its jack felt that simon died but he forgot that all of the boys attacked and killed simion without know it was him. While this does not excused his from his punishment that he does to the other boys but Ralph never knew about the punishment later in the book and so Ralph ralfe anger and fear of Jack is from his his ability to rally the kids and make the follow order better than he can.

Thought out the book Lord of the flies there is a power struggle between Jack and Ralph witch cause the boy on the island to take side on what leader they believe in. Looking through the eyes of the character that are not named in the book you can see that Jack ability to use people fear and the ability lead over power Raph long term thinking because Jack allowed the boys to feel safe living on the island under Jack because he can calm or enhance their fear, while Ralph is trying to get off the island and trying to plan for the staying on the island he could not calm the boys fear of the beast and to take good leadership over the boys. While the leadership on the island is trembling at best in the real world leadership mirror the leadership and that thought out the world there are leader at are are put in hard situation that when they have to make the hard call. This becomes problematic when people who disagree with the action of the leader start labeling the leader as bad, evil, and  unqualified just because they did not like one or two action that the leader had to do instead instead of look at the leader as whole because people only really remember the bad what people do instead of the good.  

Work cited:

"Mao Zedong Biography." Notable Biographies. Notable Biographies, n.d. Web. <http://www.notablebiographies.com/Lo-Ma/Mao-Zedong.html>.

Golding, William. Lord of the flies. Place of publication not identified: Hodder Education, 2016. Print.


To get great leaders you need great voters.

To get Great Leaders you need Great Voters

In our home of the United States of America, we have a system that is trying to listen to American people’s voice as much as possible before making decisions that impact us every day such as who is our President. Are we as normal American citizens able to make the best decisions for us and other people? Do we as Americans have good enough education to be able to make logical decisions? In other words,  is our current system of voting for leaders the best system to pick great leaders? Our system of voting can get us people we like, but our citizens are not always educated enough to give us the leaders that we need for our country.


In the book “Lord of the Flies” many of the problems that happen in the books happen because of people voting for people as leaders that they know very little about though they could have made much better decisions by learning more about them before quickly deciding who they want as their leader based on very little information. On page 22 of the novel where Ralph is voted for chief, this is the reason giving for him being picked “Let him be chief with the Trumpet-thing.” And that was final he became chief because he was seen as a leader because of his ability to blow a trumpet even though he was not the one who originally thought of that idea… that person was Piggy of which pretty much at this point has given all the good ideas but got almost no credit for it. Now to give them credit, I doubt they understood the power that the people that wanted to be leader were going to have and the horrible things that they would do to get more of it/maintain it,but they decided anyway that they would put a lack of thought and understanding of who the people are before voting for a leader.


What happened here in the book could be related to a situation that recently happened in Britain since how they voted is similar to how we vote currently since they are also a Democracy. They voted to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016. The problem is that shortly after the vote was called for them to leave the European Union the second top google search in Britain was “What is the European Union?” The other ones do not get any better containing things like “What happens when we leave the European Union?” You have to admit that is pretty depressing that after making a huge decision that puts your whole entire country at risks you find out that many people in Britain were not educated on what the vote actually meant. Though this data is hard to ignore it may not actually mean much of anything because maybe those people that searched it did not actually go to the polls or maybe they were too young to vote but they wanted to learn more about what was actually going on. What I am trying to say that people should simply be educated enough to understand what they are voting for before they actually vote so they can make good decisions for their country.


Even after all the voting is done and a leader is choosing does not necessarily mean people will agree/follow the leader later on. This was seen in the novel in many chapters later on after the vote. Ralph was the leader but it ended up that most of the people that voted for him ended up betraying him because they ended up not agreeing with his ideas. One of the quotes that relate to this is on page 91 which is Jack which is Ralph’s enemy when it comes to who is leader, “And you shut up! Who are you, anyway? Sitting their and telling people what to do. You can’t hunt, you can’t sing-.” Which after Jack continues attacking him about how he is not a real leader and Ralph continues trying to defend himself which ends up not working very well. Maybe if Ralph did not get voted in and they picked someone that they ended up all liking (if that is possible) maybe none of the violence and drama would end up happening to them.


This is also seen in American History also not just in the novel. A lot of people (from his very low approval ratings of %22) saw our former president George W. Bush as a bad leader. He was voted into the office after winning by the Electoral College system by %2 in his first of two terms. People did not enjoy his decisions on the War of Iraq and the Economy most of all. The thing that really stands out is that even though he ended up getting very poor approval ratings throughout his presidency he was able to strike enough votes to get re-elected. Since I was too young during this time I do not really know what ended up getting him voted and what that time was like I could only assume there were reasons greater than the economy that people enjoyed about him to get him re-elected.


In conclusion, our voting system works best when people understand what they are voting for and/or who they are voting for. Our voting system may have flaws but it is the best way we currently have to get people’s thoughts on who should be the leader of their country.


Works Cited:

CBSNews. "Bush's Final Approval Rating: 22 Percent." CBS News. CBS Interactive, 16 Jan. 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

Selyukh, Alina. "After Brexit Vote, Britain Asks Google: 'What Is The EU?'" NPR. NPR, 24 June 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

Goldring, WIlliam Lord Of The Flies New York: Penguin, 2006.


Senior Art Q3

This quarter in art was far different from every other quarter. We had a new teacher in the class and learned about new types of art and experimented with each. We started off with painting using India ink which is used in traditional Asian paintings. We conducted personal studies or practice sketches before we created our final piece. My final piece was inspired by an OFF-WHITE t-shirt designed by Othelo Gervacio and Virgil Abloh. It signifies the struggle of the native people of America and their history. Next was printmaking and again, we created studies before creating our final prints. My final prints were of a Final Fantasy inspired character and the Grim Reaper. Printmaking was extremely difficult due to the fact that we had to make sure each print was in the same place on every paper. The final assignment was a sculpture with a twist. We could only use materials that we find or scavenge. This was the most difficult for me because I did not have access to certain supplies that I needed to put my original piece together, therefore I had to change my idea. My current idea represents technology that teaches kids. Today in age, we live in a world where technology is distracting kids from learning, and while observing how kids interact with technology, I thought it would be a great idea to make technology that pulls their focus back on learning.

PTSD ESSAY

In my essay about Veterans and PTSD, my goal was to create something that people could really learn and reflect from. I wanted to incorporate both my feelings and actual statistics about this real mental illness that people suffer from everyday.. I wanted to encourage people to dig deeper than the common negative connotations behind PTSD. I think that I accomplished these things well. 

Briana Harris


English 3


3.27.17


PTSD in Veterans




PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. The symptoms of PTSD are due to major trauma in a person’s life. In this case veterans go through a lot of mental distress by what they see and are exposed to. One of the veterans who came to SLA spoke about nightmares which was caused by his experiences of war, ultimately causing his PTSD. Almost 31 percent of Vietnam veterans come back with PTSD, it is extremely common. Going through trauma is not rare. About 6 of every 10 men and 5 of every 10 women experience at least one trauma in their lives.Many people are often mislead about PTSD, which leads them to make false assumptions about the person with it. It is important to educate ourselves and stop these false and hurtful stigmas.


Unlike the veterans who came to talk to us at SLA, many veterans would rather not speak of war. Mainly, because it was so traumatic and they would rather mask it and leave it in the past. The stigma behind PTSD of being insane and crazy, causes them to steer away from getting the help that they desperately need, due to unawareness and just the simple fact there is an extreme negative connotation behind any mental illness. From a person like myself who suffers from PTSD, including panic attacks, and paranoia, it is very important to realize that this does not make a person crazy, but also realize that it is serious and that the person should be seen for and treated for, as it can cause numerous issues for that person besides fear.


Veterans experience more than just combat violence but sexual violence as well. When people think of Veterans and PTSD, they automatically associate it with the trauma of the actual war, never associating it with the sexual trauma that some of these men had to undergo. There are many more male veterans than there are female veterans. So, even though military sexual trauma is more common in women veterans, over half of all veterans with military sexual trauma are men. Military sexual trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military.


Some people refrain from saying that PTSD has to do with the violence that some veterans commit as they arrive home away from war. It is important to know that PTSD contributes to the violence of Veterans. While it is inaccurate to say that PTSD causes violence, the unfortunate truth is that there is a link between PTSD and postwar homicide, and it’s far more than just a passing correlation. Serving in a war zone exposes people to very serious moral challenges, and the experience can serve as a catalyst, making some people less stable and more violent than they might have been otherwise. War is hell, and the hell rubs off.


Veterans risked their lives, so that we as Americans could live in a better country. This is why we should honor them and respect them. In order to help Veterans with PTSD, or anyone else, it is important to first educate yourself about the illness and to educate others so that they can too know that the negative stigmas behind PTSD are false.


   
Slate Magazine: PTSD Contributes to Violence, April 17, 2014

Respect the Disrespected- LOTF- Cynthia To

Why do people treat different  people unfairly? This usually happens because of miscommunications, misunderstandings, or just plain jealousy because of the different classes, race, and faith of others. In such a social society, being “normal” is the norm for our society and being special is deterring. Special needs people aren’t always treated with the same respect as people considered “normal” are. Special needs people are often looked down upon. In the book the Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, none of the other boys  would listen to Piggy when he had the almighty conch in his hand. This behavior shows that symbols are not as powerful as our society wants them to be. This is because the power ultimately lies with the individual and the social status of that individual and not the object itself.

In the chapter,5  , Beast from Water, Ralph set up a meeting about the beast and no one could talk unless they were holding the conch. That was their way for one person to talk at a time, but it didn't really work. When it came time for Piggy to have the conch in his hands, no one wanted to listen to what he had to say even though he had information. The boys treated Piggy like he was different, just because he had specs, ass-mar, and he was a bit heavier than most of the other boys on the island.“‘Sit down!’ ‘Shut up!’ ‘Take the conch!’ ‘Sod you!’ ‘Shut up!’ Ralph shouted. ‘Hear him! He’s got the conch!’” (89) The meaning of the conch is for one person to talk at a time and to show leadership and power. At the time, Ralph was on Piggy’s side and tried to enforce the rule no matter who the hand the conch in their possession. That rule worked until Piggy had the conch and then no one listened. This shows that people would rather listen to the patient with the normal appearance instead of the person with the special needs or different appearance. This shows that people that are similar to Piggy are not being appreciated but ignored.

The book is not the only time that example has happened. This social stigma has also happened in reality. In a middle school in Cleveland, Ohio, Shaker Middle School made it on the news for the wrong reasons. The broadcasting talked about a little kid with special needs was walking out of school and was targeted because he was different from the other kids. This just shows that no matter what scenario it is, different isn’t always. The people who are different are usually treated poorly through abuse and punishment like how in the book the Lord of the flies. Piggy was an outcast that had a lot of problems and no one would listen to him and would only push him around.

In our society today, people try and use symbol to indicate power. This shows that in order to get power, a symbol is needed to represent it and drive the meaning of power home towards others. Throughout history, symbol and power have been hand in hand with each other. Martin Luther King Jr., for example, stood up for people during the Civil Rights Movement. He didn’t use any physical symbols but his speeches that he wrote were emotional and vocal symbols. His speeches gave the Black communities. He gave them hope that things were going to be better. Martin Luther King Jr. never used violence or abuse to make people to believe him. He made people feel safe and comfortable. He was a great leader and very peaceful. When comparing Martin Luther King Jr. to the LotF leader, Jack, it is evident that they were two different types of leaders. Jack was similar to a dictator and used fear and cruelty to gain power.

Another example from the book showed that power ultimately lied with the individual, not the object itself. At the end of the book, the boys have no other hope in getting off of the island so they started to hunt one another and went against people, slowly killing the people that did not obey the leader. This happened until the officer came to rescue the boys from the island.

During the rescue, the boys reflected on what happened on the island and what they did was wrong. When approached by the officer, “Ralph shook his head. The officer looked past him to the group of painted boys. ‘Who’s boss here?’ ‘I am,’ said Ralph loudly.” (201) After everything that happened on the island, the boys left still wanting to gain the power that everyone so ruthlessly fought for. This shows that the kids to want to have power, even though they could be able to go back home and that they already lost two innocent lives, Simon and Piggy.

While Ralph was answering the officer’s question, he didn’t use the conch to speak. This signified the loss of the need for a symbol and power. Ralph was just glad to have this be over and that everything that happened started to sink in along with the guilt. Ralph had a greed of power and wanted to answer the questions about the island. He could not really answer to them because the only person who know the answers to the questions was Piggy, who was killed by Roger. Jack started to cry while the answering the question, “ He gave himself up to them now for the first time on island; great, shuddering spasms of grief that seemed to wrench his whole body.” (202) Jack and the other boys finally understood what they did to Simon and Piggy was wrong and there's nothing they can do to fix it. This made Ralph forget about having his power back and made him focus on how he lost true and wise friend, Piggy.

Overall, the  Lord of the Flies demonstrated that power and greed cannot be represented by a symbol but by the popularity status and normalcy of a person. In the end, readers saw that symbols mean nothing without the leader. In the book, the boys only realized that after two deaths and a rescue.


Works Cited:

Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.


Seymour, Chloe. Martin Luther King Jr. -- a symbol of courage. Communication Report. January 21, 2016. <http://www.tacomlcmccommunityreport.com/features/1.16featureMLKremarks.aspx>


WOIO.Family says boy with special needs was assaulted at Shaker Middle School. March 23rd 2017. Cleveland 19 Digital Team. <http://www.cleveland19.com/story/34982953/family-says-boy-with-special-needs-was-assaulted-at-shaker-middle-school>


The Reason People Don't Kill Each Other

What keeps people from stealing, murdering, raping, and other actions that most people find disgusting?  If asked this question, almost everyone would say they do not behave that way because it goes against their religious or moral code of ethics.  In other words, they just consider this type of behavior innately wrong. But, is that the real reason?  In a civilized world, these offenses are deemed crimes.  The government says they're wrong, and makes it against the law to commit any of these acts.  Members of society know that if they do something against the law, they will be punished.  This prevailing concept is what keeps civilizations running smoothly.  But, what if there were no laws or no government or ruling power to enforce laws?  Would people still have moral integrity?

In the book, “Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding, a large group of boys no older than twelve years old crash land on an island and have to survive by themselves. Without having a ruling power to oversee their actions, they start to misbehave.  When they first realize they are stranded on the island they state "We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages…(42)” The boys are trying to create some form of society that they are familiar with. They even go as far as saying they're not savages, acknowledging that only savages live in a ruleless society. They realize the importance of laws and law enforcers and elect a leader to create a form of ruling power, or government, to determine what is right and wrong in the island society. The leader acts almost as an adult, keeping the kids under control, but not restricting them completely. The leadership quickly falls apart due to disagreements, which causes cracks in the leadership. Trouble begins from the start. When they were voting for a leader, Jack stated, "I ought to be chief," right before another one of the boys, Ralph, got voted to be chief of the island society. These cracks cause the leadership to fall apart, leading to a constant struggle for power among the other boys. The lack of leadership allows for bigger crimes to be committed without consequences.  Because the boys do not have to accept responsibility for what they have done, their crimes become more frequent and more violent the longer they stay on the lawless island.

Throughout the book, the boys demonstrate less and less moral integrity and more insanity.  This is because there is nothing stopping the boys from running away from their morals and not taking responsibility for their actions. Since the boys are losing connection with a society, they are also losing connection to the power society plays in forcing its members to adhere to a moral code. When Jack, one of the boys that crashed on the island, starts hunting for pigs, he starts turning into more of a savage. The first time he hunts, he is unable to kill the pig.  The quote, “they knew very well why because the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh (31)…”  describes that Jack, though eager to hunt, was unable to kill the pig.  However, after a short time of living in a lawless society, Jack undergoes a drastic transformation. The book states, ¨The madness came into his eyes again,¨ before he proclaims,  "I thought I might kill." This quote exemplifies that he has changed from the boy he was when he first arrived on the island. Jack starts off trying to be a productive member of society, providing food for himself and the other boys.  The time Jack spends hunting causes, even more, separation between his previous life and his new life on the island. He has become more in contact with his natural survival instinct, something that is frowned upon in society.

Jack and the other boys’ descent into savagery isn’t just a fictional story William Golding made up. There have been documented cases of the same thing happening to people in real life. Pitcairn Island is a small island in the Atlantic Ocean.  In 1970 a group of Polynesian people were stranded on the island after their boat sank while they were trying to escape an attack. While on the island they started a small civilization.  Like the boys in the book, the society on Pitcairn Island quickly fell apart.  The stranded people suffered a very similar fate to the boys in “Lord of the Flies.”  They resorted to committing murder, thievery and rape.  After the people were found, they were tried on 91 counts of murder, thievery and sexual assault. This clearly demonstrates that people lose what makes them civil when they are separated from society.  

The men and women on this island and the boys in “Lord of The Flies” are one and the same. Both groups start as law-abiding members of society.  Both groups get stranded on an island that quickly becomes ruleless.  As the rules disappear, the stranded people become more savage.  They start acting less like civilized people and more like animals, exhibiting a “kill or be killed” mentality. This is proof that, contrary to popular belief, it’s not a person’s internal moral code or an innate sense of what is right and wrong, that guides our behavior. It’s our society, and the laws that are enforced by our society, that keep us civilized.  Without a society, we are no different than the animals we call savage beasts.













Works Cited-


Golding,William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Holloway, April. "Real-Life Lord of the Flies: The Strange and Violent History of Pitcairn Island." Ancient Origins. Ancient Origins, 7 Aug. 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.


Jack's Masks - Lord of the Flies

Sarah Berg

Ms. Pahomov

English 2

31 March 2017

William Golding’s Lord of The Flies follows the rise and fall of a civilization created by a plane full of stranded preteen boys. The downfall of the fragile society is when most of the older boys break off into a group of savages. They spin out into stealing, violence, and eventually murder. They completely abandon their values and never think twice about their actions. This is so easy for them to do as they hide behind new identities and painted faces. Their behavior illustrates that it is easy for people to harm others when they are hiding behind a mask because it limits their emotional connection.

This theme is present in the novel. It is introduced in Chapter Four, Painted Faces and Long Hair, when choir leader and aspiring hunter Jack, is frustrated that he has not been successful in catching any pigs. He and Ralph have encountered a pig in the past, however Jack was too timid to kill it. Now, he has the idea to camouflage his face with charcoal, and sneak up on the pigs. Once he paints his face, however, Jack sees his reflection and discovers that the paint is more powerful than just concealment from the pigs. His reaction takes place in front of some of the other choir boys. “He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger. He spilt the water and lept to his feet, laughing excitedly. Beside the pool his sinewy body held up a mask that drew their eyes and appalled them. He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling. He capered toward Bill, and the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness (63-64).” This is the beginning of Jack’s transformation into a savage, which I believe is aided by his mask of paint. While he is not using violence against or harming other boys at this point, he exhibits signs of unusual behavior, including his snarling and dancing. This newly discovered mask allows him to do these strange things in front of other boys without feeling insecure; the mask gives him the power to act without thinking realistically about what he is doing.

Once Jack has begun to wear a mask, his personality and actions change harshly. He is successful at hunting pigs, and loves to talk about his strength and fearlessness. “Jack, his face smeared with clays, reached the top first and hailed Ralph excitedly, with lifted spear. ‘Look! We’ve killed a pig-we stole up on them-we got in a circle- (69)’”, and later, “‘Bollocks to the rules! We’re strong-we hunt! If there’s a beast, we’ll hunt it down! We’ll close in and beat and beat and beat-(91)!’” These situations show his changes before he falls into complete savagery. He is using violence against animals, which is not unusual, however the way he goes about it and discusses it surely is. The next time Jack and his hunters kill a pig, Jack decides to strangely rub the blood of the pig onto one of his hunter’s faces. “Then Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy and fulfilled upon her… At last the immediacy of the kill subsided. They boys drew back, and Jack stood up, holding out his hands. ‘Look.’ He giggled and flicked them while the boys laughed at his reeking palms. Then Jack grabbed Maurice and rubbed the stuff over his cheeks (135).” Until that point, Jack has been the only one to wear paints, now his hunters are masked in the literal blood of their prey.

Jack and some of his close friends decide to break away from Ralph’s civilized group. Jack is furious that Ralph has gotten all of the power and attention. He has been shamed from rejection. Jack decides to expand his tribe. “The forest near them burst into uproar. Demoniac figures with faces of white and red and green rushed out howling… Jack ignored him, lifted his spear and began to shout. ‘Listen, all of you. Me and my hunters, we’re living along the beach by a flat rock. We hunt and feast and have fun. If you want to join my tribe come and see us. Perhaps I’ll let you join. Perhaps not.’ He paused and looked round. He was safe from shame or self-consciousness behind the mask of his paint and could look at each of them in turn (140).” The most notable section of the nature of this speech Jack gives is that the author states that Jack is safe behind his mask. And no longer is he safe just from his insecurities about killing animals; he feels safe from the judgement of others. Safe to say and do what he pleases.

Next, Jack and his savages progress from killing animals, to killing humans. “The beast was on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face… the beast struggled forward, broke the ring, and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. 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 (152-153).” The death of innocent Simon was aided by the all the boys, however it was led by the savages and would not have happened if they had not started their dance. Later, the death of Piggy is caused by the savage boy Roger, and sparks Jack to attack Ralph. “Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned with all his weight on the lever… The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee… Piggy fell forty feet and landed on his back across the square red rock in the sea… Suddenly Jack bounded out from the tribe and began screaming wildly. ‘See? See? That's what you'll get! I meant that! There isn't a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone-’... Viciously, with full intention, he hurled his spear at Ralph (180-181).” Although Jack does not end up actually killing Ralph, he has that intention and acts upon it. Think back upon the Jack who could not kill a pig right in front of him. This is not the same person. His use of the mask has certainly aided his drastic transformation.

This phenomena is also present in the real world. A common occurrence on the internet, mostly through social media, is cyberbullying. The rise of cyberbullying is clear. It has been reported that half of teens have been cyberbullied, 1 in 3 experiencing threats online. According to EndCyberbullying.org, “Cyberbullies hide behind a computer screen and maybe even behind a false identity…giving them a further sense of control over the situation.” Cyberbullying eliminates the face to face contact of traditional bullying. This is part of its appeal and popularity. A bully can even create an anonymous or new identity to hide behind, masking their previous selves like Jack did.

Jack’s use of a mask is prominent throughout Lord of the Flies as it accompanies his descent into violence and savagery. This use of hiding behind a mask while doing harm to others is also an issue in real life, as it is present in cyberbullying.


Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Van Edwards, Vanessa. "Guide to Reading Microexpressions." Science of People. N.p., 14 Dec. 2016. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. ttp://www.scienceofpeople.com/2013/09/guide-reading-microexpressions/


"Cyber Bullying Statistics." Bullying Statistics. N.p., 07 July 2015. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html


"End to Cyber Bullying Organization." End to Cyber Bullying Organization (ETCB). N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.endcyberbullying.org






Power Struggles // Carolina Ortiz

Carolina Ortiz

English 2

Lord of the Flies Essay

31 March 2017

Power Struggles

Power, a word with only two syllables and the ability to give someone authority over many others. It can also show how easily people can fall for the temptation of manipulating what they have with an evil, not so civilized way of being. As humans we all have the ability to do things for the good of everyone or follow the inner instinct we have for being more harsh and in some cases inhumane. Such as was the case in an experiment that was conducted by Stanford University where ordinary people were put into a put into a “prison” as guards and ended up abusing their power to harm the “prisoners” of the experiment. A similar situation to when children in William Golding’s, Lord of The Fies, are stranded on an island and some of the leaders that emerge turn out to be abusive and unjust to those that they do not see deemed of their mercy. In the end, the abuse of power can be attributed to the lack of a greater power to control the people in power.

Such instance can be observed when looking at the outcome of the Stanford Prison experiment. The experiment took ordinary people and put them in a setting where they could choose how they used their powers. Some people having more than others, as was the case with the “guards” who seemed to adjust to their positions fairly easily and decided to not have mercy with the prisoner’s out of free will and not from the orders of the people conducting the actual experiment. This according to the official website for the experiment which states, “The guards were given no specific training on how to be guards. Instead they were free, within limits, to do whatever they thought was necessary to maintain law and order in the prison and to command the respect of the prisoners.” Additionally, they were made aware of the consequences that their actions could have and the dangers that they could/would face. Nonetheless, they started their treatment by humiliating and dehumanizing the “prisoners” as they arrived to the prison. This treatment escalated to the point where they woke the ”inmates” up in the middle of the night to do pushups and humiliate them even more. Unfortunately, this led many of them to start going crazy and scared of rebelling because they did not want to be hurt further. Leading to the conclusion that the guards took it upon themselves to abuse their power because the people in charge did not sop them and the inmates were too scared to do anything about the inhumane treatment.

Another moment where the abuse of power occurs can be seen midway through the novel, Lord of The Flies, when the boys find themselves in a situation where the carelessness of one of the leaders, Jack (leader of the hunter's/fire keepers), causes them to miss their opportunity of getting rescued. Since he starts to act more like a savage and with the impatient need for killing a pig disregards the fact that they have to keep the fire burning so that people could notice them if they were to pass by the island. This dilemma leads to a harsh argument where he is faced by Piggy with the truth and sparks a negative reaction within him and then leads him to expose his low tempered feelings, “... This from Piggy and the wails of agreement from some of the hunter, drove Jack to violence. The bolting look came into his blue eyes. He took a step, and able at last to hit someone, stuck his fist into Piggy’s stomach” (71). In this section of the book it is clearly evident that it is easy for someone to lose their patience, especially a person who holds some sort of position of power. In this case Jack makes the choice of being aggressive and thinks irrationally to the point where he does physical harm to Piggy. At this point, he has shown qualities of an aggressive leader, which allows us to come to the conclusion that a person decides whether or not they use their position of leader for the good of everyone or let it be manipulated by their lack of temper or tolerance for someone. It is also evident that Piggy does not have what it takes to protect himself from Jack’s wrath probably because of fear of the person who he sees as a holder of power. Furthermore, Ralph, another leader, gives up on trying to help Piggy which allows Jack to do what he wants because no other person of power is stopping him.

Unfortunately, in both of the situations people ended up getting hurt. In the case of the novel, The Lord of The Flies, things ended with the murder of one of the boys, which was sparked by Jack. However, in both of the situations the people that had the ability to take positions of power misused their positions to abuse of the people who they saw as inferior. One particular aspect to consider and analyze is the fact that there is a big age difference between the children stranded on the island and adults placed into a prison setting. It seems as if humans already have that natural instinct of being controlling in the wrong way or in a way where people can end up hurt either physically or emotionally. Which isn’t allowed to be expressed or shown since the people and morals around us hold us back or control us from being inhumane.

In conclusion, reading the novel The Lord of the Flies helps reveal the true nature of humans and their behavior when put into a situation where they have power or dominance over people. Of course, the characters in the novel are fairly young and inexperienced in many things, such as how to handle things in a fully civilized way. However, the Stanford Prison experiment comes to prove that as humans we will abuse the power we are given if we are not controlled by someone else. So in the end we can also become victims of the freedom that power brings when one is not given guidelines to follow.


Works Cited

Golding, WIlliam. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Zimbardo, Philip G. "4. Guards." Stanford Prison Experiment. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017. <http://www.prisonexp.org/guards>.


Dystopian Societies- Maciej Pokora

Maciej Pokora

English 2

Lord of the Flies Essay

Dystopian Societies

In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the boys are stranded on an island without any adults. This puts them in a position where they need to work together and get rescued. The older boys attempt to keep things organized, but the younger boys tend to stray away from work and instead just play around. They all wanted to try to build this perfect society with many plans they all had. William Golding placed the allegory within the book that humans always want to build an ideal society without flaws. The story of the novel shows that a true utopia is impossible to build yet it is constantly attempted, and the only way a community can progress and function is through a dystopia.  

In Chapter 3, we have Ralph and Simon struggling to build shelters for the island. Ralph starts to get more and more frustrated as all of the other kids are playing around. Jack then comes along looking for some water after another failed hunt. “Been working for days now and look! Two shelters were in position, but shaky. This one was a ruin. ‘And they keep running off. You remember the meeting? How everyone was going to work hard until the shelters were finished?”(50). In an utopia every person would have a role and they would all be happy. The problem that the island runs into is not what to do, because they all have plenty of ideas, but to do it. Having only 3 people do work clearly isn’t working out for the island. It is also brought up by Simon “You’re chief. You tell’em off”(50). which brings in the role of one leader having control. Dictating everyone's actions and manipulating the children on the island into work seems like the answer he is getting at. This proves the point that with a dystopia the island would function.

Lois Lowry’s The Giver also explores the concept of utopias and dystopias. The entire community is basically brainwashed and has very limited knowledge of life and how it works. They also had one leader who kept all the memories. They were also governed by a council which removed everything that would be considered unique and just tried to create an equal society with no real superiority. Within the book, people were assigned roles/jobs and they had to be executed. These children were being watched very closely by a powerful council. The protagonist was able to see past that; he saw the bigger picture of what was happening. What people thought was a utopia and a perfect society turned out to be a dystopia with people’s life being predetermined and the joy and originality being taken out. This proves that a pure utopia cannot possibly exist because, in order to achieve equality, there needs to be a greater power to control that, and that means some privileges and creativity needs to be taken out. People will always have their opinions and, because of human nature, people will cause conflict. An ideal state of nature is that if two men want a common objective they will fight for that. That creates a dystopia, as people need to be censored and controlled in order to make them believe they are living a good, purposeful, life with

The connection between Golding’s novel and Lowry’s is evident. In Lord of the Flies, Simon brings up the point that, since Ralph is leader, he should tell them what to do. Later on in the book, when we see Jack arise to power, he places himself in a throne for all to respect all of his wishes and commands. Jack gives the kids on the island a new identity with the paint and they are under his control from that point on. The Giver does this as well; they limit the people in the community from emotion and opinions and then assign them tasks. In both books, they aren’t their own people, as they are now under the power of either an individual or a council. They are under this dystopia, where they brainwash the victims without them even knowing do they have complete control and have these people at their disposal.

In Lord of the Flies, the leadership role on the island eventually switches up as we progress throughout the book. It began with the role being in Ralph’s hands, as he was voted in by the majority of the island. After some time, Jack arose as the leader, something he had wanted to have for a while now. The way Jack uses his power is very different from Ralph. In the following quote we can see that he uses his power for the benefit of himself, “Jack spoke. ‘Give me a drink.’ Henry brought him a shell and he drank, watching Piggy and Ralph over the jagged rim. Power lay in the brown swell of his forearms: authority sat on his shoulder and chattered in his ear like an ape”(150). The contrast between the two different leaders is very noticeable, and you can even say that Ralph represents a Utopian leader while Jack represents a Dystopian leader. Ralph used his power to get the fire started and strove to get rescued, as well as looked over all of the kids on the island. Jack, on the other, hand uses his power to have people bring him drinks. Breaking down that last sentence, “chattered in his ear like an ape.” shows the reader how far it got to his head that he has control over these kids and that they will actually listen to him. People with power tend to abuse it, especially when they’ve craved it for so long. Since the island has no idea what checks and balances are, Jack’s tribe ran as a pure dictatorship, which was bound to get abused. With a group of kids that fell to the control of Jack, the island can now progress and strive toward any task Jack orders them to.

In The Giver, the community has an overseer who holds all the memories, and is the all-wise. The role of this overseer is to hold all the memories and experiences of time. For example, the community removed snow, and only the overseer has that memory, along with all of the good memories of happiness and all of the bad memories of pain. The main character is selected to be the next overseer and he now he to receive all of the memories, after which he realizes that he doesn’t want to be trapped there and that it really isn’t what is right. He sees that all of the people were stripped of their emotions just to make society run. The previous overseer thought it was for the best of the community while the protagonist, the new overseer, didn’t really agree with what was going on, and that people deserve to know.

Once again, both of these authors did a really good job at creating at the ways the leaders functioned within their own individual communities. In both novels, the leaders, Jack and the overseer, themselves didn’t exactly realize that what they are creating is a dystopia. Leaders tend to not realize how they act and if they are ruling in a bad way, especially if they are cruel under their rule. Another question that leaders have to ask if how much happiness they are willing to sacrifice for the people. They themselves don’t exactly get affected by the decisions they make, but they control the entire society under them. They made the choice to either take out the emotion from the citizens or turn them into new people with masks.

In conclusion, it is natural human instinct to always try to build utopias, but in the end only a dystopia will allow the society to advance. This is an important contribution to society because it shows how human behavior affects the foundation of society. It also shows how humans always strive to build these perfect societies, which cannot occur in the current day and age as emotion play a huge factor in that.


Works Cited:

Golding, Williams. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.


Why Are We Violent?

Marcin Czapla

3/30/17

Why Are We Violent?


What causes violence? Most of the time it is conflict, or maybe even jealousy. Other times violence can be a product of fear, like in the novel “Lord of The Flies.” But is fear really what caused the boys to act out in violence? Maybe it was just the desire to hurt something that drove the boys to beat another human being to death. Humans can often have violent outbursts for many reasons, but it’s usually something small like maybe breaking something or hitting a wall. Small or not, though, these outbursts are still violent, and can be harmful. This raises the question, what causes humans to have the desire to hurt and destroy? Humans naturally have a desire to hurt things because it is in their nature.

The novel “Lord of The Flies” is about a group of boys whose plane has crashed on an isolated island, stranding them there. In Chapter 9, "A view to death", the reader gets to experience the first death so far. Simon goes to explore the mountain and try to find the beast. He finds out it's a human corpse that fell from the sky. The journey is exhausting, he gets very dirty and gets covered in blood from his nose, so when he gets back, the boys think he's the beast. "Now out of the terror rose another desire, thick. urgent, blind. “‘Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!’ Again the blue-white scare jagged above them and the sulfurous explosion beat down. The littluns screamed and blundered about, fleeing from the edge of the forest, and one of them broke the ring of begins in his terror. ‘Him! Him!’ The circle became a horseshoe. A thing was crawling out of the forest. It came darkly, uncertainly. The still screaming that rose from the beast was like a pain. The beast stumbled into the horseshoe (152).” This scene shows how fear can cause people to change, but is it really fear that did this to the boys? The boys could have run away from the beast or simply captured it since it wasn’t trying to attack them. They, of course, didn’t know that the beast was actually Simon, but still most likely saw that this beast looked awfully similar to a human, unless they were so struck by the fear that they didn’t notice. That doesn’t make sense, though, because when they first saw the beast fall from the sky, they didn’t want to go anywhere that night, or during the day for that matter, because they were so scared. Why didn’t they hurt the beast then or try to find him and hurt him out of fear? It’s because fear isn’t what drove them to attack the beast, but the desire for hurting something was.

In today’s society, we see people being hurt and murdered all the time, but recently the cause of a lot of it has been the police. Police brutality has been a serious issue over the past few years, with many innocent African Americans being murdered in cold blood for no reason. But what is the police’s justification for this you may ask? Fear. They claim they were in fear of losing their lives. They said they were in fear of the suspect being armed. But were they really in any danger? Evidence in most of these cases has proved that the victims were unarmed, and most of the time not even doing anything wrong. An example of this is the murder of David Sal Silva which happened in 2013. David was beaten to death by four policemen that claimed he was drunk and trying to fight them. Witnesses say that this isn’t true and there have been recording posted around the internet. That is exactly what the boys did, they murdered someone in cold blood. They took the life of an unarmed and harmless human being who was no danger to them at all, and why? Because they had the desire and thirst to do so, like animals. That is exactly what they acted like when they murdered Simon, not humans, but animals. Except that they were worse than animals, since animals most of the time kill for food, but what purpose did the boys have for killing Simon? That’s simple, they didn’t have one.

The boys have been showing signs of this desire earlier in the book as well. If we go back to the chapter titled “Painted Faces and Long Hair,” we will see many of them. The specific scene I’m talking about is when the group of hunters comes back from hunting the pigs and describe what they did to Ralph and the others. Jack then steps in and describes what he did to the pig in a sadistic way. “‘I cut the pig's throat,’ said Jack, proudly, and yet twitched as he said it (69).” The twitch that happened makes it seem like there is something wrong with Jack, yet he shows he can process decisions easily throughout the book and be mostly logical about everyday things, so why the twitch? It’s a sign he wants to hurt more and that he liked the feeling of killing the pig. This makes Jack a sadist and proves furthermore that the boys had a hunger for hurting and killing things in the book. If the boys have this lust for hurting that we see in the pig scene, that should be a foreshadowing of the fact that it’s a matter of time before they hurt another human being, like they did to Simon and then Piggy.

It has even been scientifically proven that violence can be caused by many other factors other than fear. Some of the factors that can cause violence are exposure to it, frustration, overcrowding and even heat. There’s also something else that can cause violence, something called “terror management theory” shows us that people tend to act out in violent ways when they feel worthless or unimportant. This can explain why Jack acted out in violence a lot. Early on in the book, he was denied the role of being the leader by the other boys, which made him feel weaker. This could have made him feel the need to savagely hunt the pigs down and kill them. The more he did this the more enjoyable it started to become, and as my earlier example shows, even after the first hunt he already loved the feeling of hurting things. The fact that there was probably lot’s of heat on this tropical island and the human instinct to hurt things, especially when feeling threatened was what made the boys act out in violence and ultimately kill Simon.

The reason the boys killed Simon is not because they thought he was the beast, but because they have a hunger for hurting things and enjoy it. The fact that Jack also felt unimportant made him act out in violence to avoid that feeling. The boys also looked up to Jack, and just like humans naturally have the urge to hurt and hunt, we also have the urge to follow so they listened to Jack like he was their Alpha-male. The reason it is human nature to feel the need to hurt things or kill them is because humans are natural predators. When hurting something our minds can also learn to enjoy it, which is what made the boys kill Simon, the thrill, and joy of hurting something. The only thing that keeps us all peaceful and following the rules are the consequences that are there if we break them.

Works Cited:

Natasha Lennard / Salon. "Police Beat Man to Death With Batons, Confiscate Witness Video." Alternet. N.p., 13 May 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

Golding, William. Lord of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Kirk Schneider / AlterNet. "Why Are Humans Violent? The Psychological Reason We Hurt Each Other." Alternet. N.p., 30 July 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

"Violence." Pardon Our Interruption. American Psychological Association, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

Jack, Ralph, and Thomas Hobbes -- How Lord of the Flies and Leviathan Connect by Jack Sugrue

“Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in a condition which is called war…” Thomas Hobbes’ concept of bellum omnium contra omnes, or “war of all against all”, states that people will inherently result to war and warlike traits. There is nearly no better model of his ideologies than William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, a story about a group of deserted English boys who resort to savagery and brutality. The lack of a strong authority among the boys of Lord of the Flies leads them to make many savage and uncivilized decisions, which model the concepts of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan.

Thomas Hobbes and his writing strongly advocated for a system of government that involves a strong central figure. His most famous work, Leviathan, speaks in-depth about this. His beliefs involving the state of a group without a leader are informative: “...continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” In Hobbes’ mind, a warlike state comes about easily without authority, and society falls apart. However, a strong power would hypothetically balance this issue, and create a system where people act differently. Hobbes’ belief in this warlike state is exemplified in an isolated system where there is no government, such as that of the island.

The final scene of Lord of the Flies is a hunt of main character Ralph. This hunt is brutal and real, until Ralph finds his way onto the shore, where he and the other boys run into the first adult in the book, who is their ticket off the island. The mood suddenly switches: “The ululation faltered and died away… A semicircle of little boys, their bodies streaked with colored clay, sharp sticks in their hands, were standing on the beach making no noise at all (200).” The juxtaposition between this scene and the previous is strong. Where the previous scene featured an intense chase with the savages and Ralph facing almost near-death scenarios, this scene features all the boys frozen and awkward. The presence of an adult, the only real change in the scene, establishes an aura of authority and peace, while simultaneously forcing each boy to question their actions. This strong power changes the state of each of these boys drastically from that of war to that of peace.

Another important belief of Thomas Hobbes, as seen in Leviathan, is his defense of why people who are not in the presence of a greater power fight amongst themselves: “And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies...” This belief not only shows a valid reason for why man will result to a warlike state, but also shows the competitiveness of a group of people. People in contention for the same thing, be it material or otherwise, will immediately spark conflict. This conflict will, in most cases, be single handedly responsible for the warlike state of everyone involved. The connections to Lord of the Flies here run deep.

The largest divide among the boys comes from direct competition between Jack and Ralph over who will become the leader. While Ralph was democratically elected and had his mind set on being rescued, Jack had his mind on hunting and savagery. His envy of Ralph’s leadership is obvious, especially when he finally breaks off from the main group: “‘Hands up,’ said Jack strongly, ‘whoever wants Ralph not to be chief?’ The silence continued, breathless and heavy and full of shame… ‘I’m not going to play any longer. Not with you (127).’” Jack’s constant vying for power creates tension between him and Ralph, the official leader. This fight for leadership is what establishes the main conflicts, and subsequently some of the least humane parts of the book: Simon’s death, Piggy’s death, and so on. Jack and Ralph’s conflict results in the most warlike parts of the entire novel, and affects so many others besides just the two of them.

Much of both Hobbes’ ideals and those of the boys on the island come down to moral code. Hobbes believes, in general, that a moral code is strengthened by an authority figure. The reverse of this is explicitly seen in Lord of the Flies: the morals of each boy fade away as their memories of civilized life do as well. This is, inevitably, what separates Lord of the Flies’ boys from any other group of people:  their distance from civilization. This disparity not only causes them to act the way they do, but also brings out the Hobbesian state of nature. This can prove to humanity that having some tangible sense of civilization is the only way we can avoid Hobbes’ “war of all against all.”



Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin, May 2006. Print.

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. London: Pelican Classics, 1968. Website.

<https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3207/3207-h/3207-h.htm>.

Can Unity be Defined by a Specific Object or Event?- Aysha Siddiquee


Imagine yourself being stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere with a group of people you’ve never met in your entire life. Trying to keep everyone alive and under control. There is no order on this island since no one listens to anyone, no authority. So what do you do, you find something that gets a hold of everyone's attention. Something that is a collective ideal bringing everyone together. In our society, we have this exact system that is in place, where we use one object or event to bring together a numerous amount of individuals where no one knows anyone. We have multiple groups of people come together in an unknown area only to cooperate with one another based off of a collective belief in the object or event. People are united by a belief, object or idea.

   Another example in the  Lord of the Flies is a story about a group of boys on their way to a choir recital whose plane crashes on an island. The boys were disconnected from civilization and had no option but to provide and take care of themselves. They were not associates of each other and were completely new to one another. So it was very hard for them to communicate with one another. Until they found the conch shell. In this scene where they find the conch shell, it states "By the time Ralph finished blowing the conch the platform was crowded. On his left were most of the choir, on his right the larger boys. Who had not known each other before the evacuation; before him small children squatted in the grass" (32). There are many ways to determine what this quote means. The conch shell was the reason that all the boys came together as one and were united. It was as well the reason they all listened to one another. The power of the conch shell is what brought all the boys together, even though they did not know each other. So the Conch shell was what brought all the boys together as a functioning community.

    The job of the conch shell was to bring the boys together, this is exactly the role that the Olympic Games have themselves, the purpose of the games is to bring everyone together from every corner of the world, every continent. The games have a major role in our world to unite all the continents. Every year we meet in a different place to indulge ourselves in different cultures as well. The Olympics Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart. It is an international event in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. So thousands of people that have never met one another come together due to one event. This is what is represented by the 5 rings and 6 colors of the official symbol of the Olympics. The 5 rings are what symbolize the 5 continents and the 6 colors are what appear on all the national flags of the world at this current moment. In the Olympics,  Africa, Asia, America, Australia and Europe are all the continents that come together from all parts of the world to compete. They have no contact with each other in any way or form, yet they still cooperate with one another and make it together. The Olympics are one of the most popular symbols of unity that exist in our world today.

   Another example of a  clear representation of the impact that the Conch has on the boys is when it breaks.  In this scene, the power of the conch is portrayed through the text in another perspective. The conch plays a different role, the complete opposite of unity, it shows there being separation and chaos. It states “ I got this to say. You’re acting like a crowd of kids. The booing rose and died again as Piggy lifted the white, magic shell.”(180). In other words, when the Conch wasn’t present in the situation there was chaos and there was no unity. But once the Conch was present again, it established order amongst the boys. So the Conch was the power that made everything sane and orderly. But once the Conch broke the bond and unity between the boys was broken. Everything was in chaos due to the loss of the Conch. The flame that is lit for the Olympic games is what symbolizes the beginning of the games and the nations coming together as one. For the Olympics as the flame goes down, the unity dies down just as if there is no use for the Conch the unity dies down amongst the boys. So the Conch is what holds the boys together as a whole, keeping them all together just as the Olympics do.

   In conclusion, in Lord of the Flies, Golding uses the Conch, a symbolic representation, to express the unity of a group of individuals. The Olympics in our present day world is what was represented through the role of the Conch in the Lord of the Flies.  In Lord of the Flies, Golding uses the Conch, a symbolic representation, to express the unity of a group of individuals. But then he also presents how powerful the Conch is based on how once the Conch was broken the individual's bond had broken they too were then separated, everything was in chaos. So the Conch is the symbol of unity for them and the Olympics is the symbol of unity for us. The Olympics are just on a different spectrum for us, since it is on a larger scale.



        Works Cited


William, Golding. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.


Ski Jumping: Stoch does the double, as Vogt leaps into history." International Olympic Committee. 27 Mar. 2017. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.


Olympic Games." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. Web. 30 Mar. 2017.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Imagine that you are in a school or workplace. Suddenly, a fight takes place and someone goes to break it up. Then what? Where would the people who participated in the fight go?  Your immediate thought may be that they would be brought to talk to a person in a high position of authority. Afterward, a meeting with the teachers or other workers would happen. During these meetings, usually what occurs is a discussion of what happened, the consequences, and what to do to prevent it. People would run to a meeting in hopes to resolve what has happened. This shows that humans think the best way to solve conflict is in groups because a voice and opinion from everyone could be shared and contrasted.

The book “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is about a group of boys who survived a plane crash and landed on an island. Two boys named Sam and Eric discovered a dead corpse which they described to be a beast. They ran to tell the chief, Ralph, about what they saw. Their distress resulted in a meeting called by Ralph. “They (Sam and Eric) became motionless, gripped in each other’s arms. ‘We saw the beast.’ Ralph peered cautiously around him. ‘Call them to an assembly,’ said Ralph” (98-99). This portrays that immediately after Sam and Eric told Ralph about the problem that they encountered, Ralph wanted to gather the group to make everyone aware of what was happening. So, do meetings always resolve problems? Meetings can sometimes lead to solutions, but in other cases, it just ends up right back to where it started. Whether or not it is solved, having a meeting always makes people aware and feel supported. So, from that quote, I could tell that even though they’re not completely sure what to do, what’s important for them to tell everyone.

Since harsh situations are inevitable to avoid, President Obama would too, have to find a way to discuss things. Although, bad situations do not only have to be ones caused by people, they can to be ones that are caused by nature. For example, when Hurricane Sandy came and destroyed many homes, something had to be done. Where will these families live? Who will pay for the damage? Many more questions will spiral back to back after those. With a need of ideas, President Obama would have to gather a group of people to a meeting in order to discuss what the best thing to do would be. In an article from the White House, it stated, “President Obama and his cabinet discuss ongoing response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy and making sure that taxes don’t go up on middle-class families.” Even though the situation is very large and difficult to resolve, just hearing about what everyone’s opinion about the situation is would serve as a sense of support, being the best way to counter the situation.

Similar to the situation of gathering a group of people, in the beginning of the book, the boys wanted to choose a leader of their group. ”’We’re having a meeting. Come and join in. Let’s have a vote. Vote for the chief’ said Ralph” (20-22). From that, we could see that just because someone thought that there should be a leader, one wasn’t randomly chosen by one person. Instead, Ralph called a group meeting to discuss and choose who would be the best fit. So, many situations require a meeting to happen, especially ones where a choice would have to be made. This could connect to the situation with Obama and his cabinet discussing what to do after Hurricane Sandy because they were in a troubling situation. This scene in the book is similar because everyone shares the same confusion of the question, who should be the leader? The question would have to be answered by gathering everyone and asking for their opinions to finally make that choice.

Even if there is not a conflict, the purpose of a meeting is to also give support. To pinpoint onto one situation, there is a whole website created by teachers who are trying to share a good classroom practice. They would call it a classroom circle where all of the students would sit and have a conversation. Even though there was no problem, having this would decrease the chance of one happening. According to the website, having daily classroom meetings would “promote community, acceptance, and belonging in a safe environment the works at strengthening relationships and repairing them”. What the teacher is saying is that this would make everyone feel more comfortable and more open to talking to one another. So, from that I could imply that they think the best way to resolve and prevent problems are to speak in a group to hear everyone’s opinion.

   In conclusion, meetings are one of the main automatic responses when it comes to learning what others’ are thinking, discussing a bad situation, finding out what to do next, spreading information, or just to check up on one another. There are many different variations of meetings and it one can take place almost everywhere. Since meetings keep occurring, doesn’t it meant that it is doing something right? The fact that so many people would rely on a group discussion and think of it as a solution, shows that it is seen as one of the best conflict resolving techniques. Just to get a sense of what everyone else is thinking leads up to new ideas.





Works Cited:

  • Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

  • Slack, Megan. "President Obama Holds a Cabinet Meeting." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, 28 Apr. 2012. Web.

          https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2012/11/28/president-obama-holds-cabinet-meeting

  • Lister, Christopher, and Suzanne Bartel. "Philosophy Of Restorative Practices." Restorative Classroom Practices - Philosophy Of Restorative Practices. N.p., 4 Dec. 2011. Web.    

          https://restorativeclassroomcircles.wikispaces.com/home







Rules to Downfall, James Adams

From Rules to Anarchy


Are all societies based upon the need of a leader? Or can they exist without one? More importantly, what happens when a society goes from having rules to being one where rules are non-existent? The answer to these questions could simply be that humans biologically require a form of leadership, if that is true then does that justify that humans need a leader and a set of rules to follow in order to keep them in line. Otherwise, they resort to acts of violence

In the novel Lord of The Flies by William Golding, a group of kids gets stranded on an island because their plane crashed. In the book, they have to go through the struggles of founding a society and they try to work together to survive. In the beginning of Chapter 2, the boys start to create a society with rules. This is directly after Ralph called all the boys with the conch after he was declared a leader. In the quote, the boys become really excited at the prospect of rules and they have a minute of cheering because of it. ”’That’s what this shell’s called. I’ll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking’... ‘We’ll have rules! He cried excitedly. Lots of rules!’”(32). The reader could gather from this quote that the first things humans lean towards in a society are rules and order, but it could also be considered the first step to its downfall. Rules have to be there before a downfall because for their to be a society there has to be rules in the first place. It is also interesting to look at how excited the boys were to make rules and how fast they did it, but they still ended up breaking them later on, turning their society to rubble.

Early in the book, two boys are coming back from a hunt, and they come out of the forest wanting to take a swim in the ocean, and as they head towards the water, they kick down all of the sand castles the smallest kids on the island made. “Roger led the way straight through the castles kicking them over, burying the flowers, scattering the chosen stones...In his past life he and Maurice received chastisement for filling a younger eye with sand. Now though there was no parent to let fall a heavy hand,”(60). This shows the beginning of people trying to break the rules, while it might not have been a rule to be nice to people it should be common sense. The most important part of the quote is the last part, which states that Maurice wouldn’t have done it if there was a parent around. The example shown in the book can be related to the conflict that happened in Somalia during the 1990s because the people in Somalia also lost rules and leadership, leading them to have increased harassment.

According to “The Daily Sabah” (a Somali news website), Somalia even after the war is still faced with the lack of a functional society and leader. Currently, in Somalia, there are millions of people who are displaced and 70,000 kids at the risk of death. The situation that arose in Somalia wasn't because of natural occurrences, but instead was caused by human action. It was a perpetual cycle of having no food and killing to get it so there was no one that produces food. What happened was a prime example of human nature at work. To the reader of the novel, it might seem like the things that Maurice and Roger do aren’t as severe as this but the problem in Somalia is just a scaled up version of the one that took place in the book.  The fact of the matter is that no matter what type of violence happened these are both still examples of humans losing control of reason when society crumbles.

In Chapter 11 Jack and his tribe start to hunt the other boys who are Ralph and Piggy. Their fight turns into something that is very real and no longer the fun and games that occurred before. In a previous chapter there was a catapult and in this scene, they ended up using it. Jack hit Piggy in the head with a rock and Piggy fell down into the ocean with the conch. “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore!”(181). This is Jack's reaction to Piggy dying, he shows no remorse and instead ridicules Jack. Unlike the other quote that is somewhat excusable, this one is not, Jack legitimately meant to kill Piggy for the purpose of furthering his goal. Even after Jack killed Piggy he tried to kill another when he threw a spear straight at Ralph “Viciously with full intention, he hurled his spear at Ralph”(181). If Jack was truly sorry about Piggy he wouldn't have tried to kill another person right after, and because he did it without repercussions the first time he had no problem doing it again if he wasn't going to get punished. This situation of crime can be comparable to the crime rate in Somalia.

The Somali crime and safety report states that the Somali average crime rate is high above the US national average. There are many differences between the US and Somalia but the main one is the lack of leadership. With a lack of leadership, violent crimes are commonplace in Somalia and the infrastructure of the country has fallen into ruin. With no society and leader the criminals, there have no repercussions. Just like Jack in the book people with no rules will continue to perform these violent acts.

Human nature strives for leadership, and when it's not there humans strive and lean towards violence and crime. Even if it seems like humans want rules at first when there is no ruler with support from the people, society will eventually collapse. When society does collapse people will act out violent acts for whatever reason when there is no punishment later on. But why is human nature like this, is it reinforcement from society or something ingrained within our DNA?














Works Cited


Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.


Paksoy, Yunus. "Scars of Civil War, Terrorism Still Visible in Somalia." DailySabah. N.p., 28 Mar. 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017


"Somalia 2016 Crime & Safety Report." Somalia 2016 Crime & Safety Report. N.p., 2016. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.


Do We Benefit From Traumatic Experiences?: LoTF Essay (Amaris Ortiz)

Amaris Ortiz

Ms. Pahomov

English 2

31 March 2017

Do We Benefit From Traumatic Experiences?

In the novel Lord of The Flies by William Golding, Golding tells the reader a story about a group of schoolboys that end up stranded on an island without adults. Throughout their time on the island, the boys must find a way to be rescued. In the real world, some people put their children into this type of situation as a learning experience. William Golding is trying to show the reader that although this experience may have been scarring, it brought the boys knowledge that has helped them mature faster. This suggests that humans benefit from difficult and even traumatic experiences because they begin to have a greater appreciation for life and often have the motivation to act for the benefit of their future and others around them.

At the end of the novel, a naval officer arrives on the island. He begins to question Ralph on who is with him and who is in charge. “And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy (202)”. At this point, Ralph snapped back into reality. He begins to cry because he knows that he is no longer the same 12-year-old boy he was when he got involved in this situation. Ralph associates his time on the island with bad experiences as he thinks about what he has lost rather than the knowledge he has gained. The words used in this scene show Ralph’s distress from the outside mentioning his “filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose.” The word filthy is also used once the naval officer arrives on the island and Ralph becomes “conscious of his filthy appearance (200)” now that there is an adult present.

Similar to the novel, there is an initiation in the Maasai culture of Kenya and Tanzania known as Enkipaata where a large group of boys approaching manhood travel to the woods to camp out. These boys are sent to a village wrapped in a blanket with minimal supplies. The blanket will become filthy throughout their time in the forest so the boys receive a new one at the end of the four months as a symbol of their manhood. They wear white clay on their faces to show that they must fend for themselves, similar to the masks the boys in the novel made. This part of the initiation is not only used as their recovery from the circumcision, but as a way for them to learn how to provide. They must work together to choose a leader, which is considered to be an unfortunate role since they must “shoulder all of his age group’s sins”. One point that stood out to me was the fact that the boys had to approach the situation with the “attitude of a raider.” In Lord of The Flies, their way of acting as a raider was titled as being a savage. For the boys approaching manhood, it was seen as a good thing to make them more prepared, while for the schoolboys, the savage attitude made them seem barbaric.

This human behavior could be seen as barbaric just like the boys from Lord of The Flies. There is a cultural pressure for boys to undergo this possibly life-threatening journey. This stay in the woods is also seen as a break for them to recover from the circumcision, but is it really any better than staying with your tribe while you recover? More than 400,000 boys have been hospitalized for complications throughout their circumcision healing process. Those who have refused to take part in this initiation have been severely beaten or even circumcised by force. This ceremony has even gone as far as ending in death. It was a common occurrence for someone to die of dehydration, blood infections, or heart failure.

Before the boys were rescued by the naval officer, there were various ways they reacted to the trauma, which could have been the cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This includes hyperarousal, reexperiencing, and avoidance. The boys reacted to the trauma through hyperarousal and being very impulsive or angry. They resulted in violence many times whenever they felt betrayed or like they were in danger. In chapter 11, there was a big argument between the two newly separated tribes. They were arguing over who was the real chief until Roger struck Piggy with a boulder. This caused the conch, their form of unity, to break into a thousand pieces. Because of this, Jack said “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone―(181)”. Jack has felt threatened by Ralph ever since he decided that he wanted to be chief and now that the conch is broken he feels as though Ralph no longer has power over the tribe. Simon in particular, dealt with hallucinations in Chapter 8. As he was sitting across from the pig’s head on a stick, he began to have a “conversation” with the pig, and the pig said “There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast.” This pig symbolizes the power of evil that evokes the way people act. It is often compared to a Satanic figure that brings out the beast in people.

Lastly, after they get past the struggle of trying to make their life the same as it was before the traumatic experience, they have to understand that their mindset is going to be completely different from what it was before. The boys in the Maasai culture learn about this idea of getting over the trauma to be able to begin to have a greater outlook on life and take this as a learning experience. The schoolboys from Lord of the Flies are in a very different predicament because they weren't able to prepare their minds for the plane crash and learning to survive on the island although they still took away many life lessons. As for Ralph and Jack, they took away leadership skills. It may take a while for them to recover but they will know how to provide for their future families if they were ever put in a difficult situation.  

 

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Gregoire, Carolyn. "The Surprising Benefit Of Going Through Hard Times." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 06 Jan. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/post-traumatic-growth-creativity_us_568426c0e4b014efe0d9d8e8>.

"Maasai Culture | Ceremonies and Rituals." Maasai Culture | Ceremonies and Rituals. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <http://www.maasai-association.org/ceremonies.html>.

"12 incredible African tribal traditions." CNN. Cable News Network, 05 Dec. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/africa/incredible-tribal-traditions-africa/>.

Fogg, Ally. "The death and deformity caused by male circumcision in Africa can't be ignored | Ally Fogg." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 25 Aug. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/25/male-circumcision-ceremonies-death-deformity-africa>.



Do We Benefit From Traumatic Experiences?: LoTF Essay (Amaris Ortiz)

Amaris Ortiz

Ms. Pahomov

English 2

31 March 2017

Do We Benefit From Traumatic Experiences?

In the novel Lord of The Flies by William Golding, Golding tells the reader a story about a group of schoolboys that end up stranded on an island without adults. Throughout their time on the island, the boys must find a way to be rescued. In the real world, some people put their children into this type of situation as a learning experience. William Golding is trying to show the reader that although this experience may have been scarring, it brought the boys knowledge that has helped them mature faster. This suggests that humans benefit from difficult and even traumatic experiences because they begin to have a greater appreciation for life and often have the motivation to act for the benefit of their future and others around them.

At the end of the novel, a naval officer arrives on the island. He begins to question Ralph on who is with him and who is in charge. “And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy (202)”. At this point, Ralph snapped back into reality. He begins to cry because he knows that he is no longer the same 12-year-old boy he was when he got involved in this situation. Ralph associates his time on the island with bad experiences as he thinks about what he has lost rather than the knowledge he has gained. The words used in this scene show Ralph’s distress from the outside mentioning his “filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose.” The word filthy is also used once the naval officer arrives on the island and Ralph becomes “conscious of his filthy appearance (200)” now that there is an adult present.

Similar to the novel, there is an initiation in the Maasai culture of Kenya and Tanzania known as Enkipaata where a large group of boys approaching manhood travel to the woods to camp out. These boys are sent to a village wrapped in a blanket with minimal supplies. The blanket will become filthy throughout their time in the forest so the boys receive a new one at the end of the four months as a symbol of their manhood. They wear white clay on their faces to show that they must fend for themselves, similar to the masks the boys in the novel made. This part of the initiation is not only used as their recovery from the circumcision, but as a way for them to learn how to provide. They must work together to choose a leader, which is considered to be an unfortunate role since they must “shoulder all of his age group’s sins”. One point that stood out to me was the fact that the boys had to approach the situation with the “attitude of a raider.” In Lord of The Flies, their way of acting as a raider was titled as being a savage. For the boys approaching manhood, it was seen as a good thing to make them more prepared, while for the schoolboys, the savage attitude made them seem barbaric.

This human behavior could be seen as barbaric just like the boys from Lord of The Flies. There is a cultural pressure for boys to undergo this possibly life-threatening journey. This stay in the woods is also seen as a break for them to recover from the circumcision, but is it really any better than staying with your tribe while you recover? More than 400,000 boys have been hospitalized for complications throughout their circumcision healing process. Those who have refused to take part in this initiation have been severely beaten or even circumcised by force. This ceremony has even gone as far as ending in death. It was a common occurrence for someone to die of dehydration, blood infections, or heart failure.

Before the boys were rescued by the naval officer, there were various ways they reacted to the trauma, which could have been the cause of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This includes hyperarousal, reexperiencing, and avoidance. The boys reacted to the trauma through hyperarousal and being very impulsive or angry. They resulted in violence many times whenever they felt betrayed or like they were in danger. In chapter 11, there was a big argument between the two newly separated tribes. They were arguing over who was the real chief until Roger struck Piggy with a boulder. This caused the conch, their form of unity, to break into a thousand pieces. Because of this, Jack said “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone―(181)”. Jack has felt threatened by Ralph ever since he decided that he wanted to be chief and now that the conch is broken he feels as though Ralph no longer has power over the tribe. Simon in particular, dealt with hallucinations in Chapter 8. As he was sitting across from the pig’s head on a stick, he began to have a “conversation” with the pig, and the pig said “There isn’t anyone to help you. Only me. And I’m the Beast.” This pig symbolizes the power of evil that evokes the way people act. It is often compared to a Satanic figure that brings out the beast in people.

Lastly, after they get past the struggle of trying to make their life the same as it was before the traumatic experience, they have to understand that their mindset is going to be completely different from what it was before. The boys in the Maasai culture learn about this idea of getting over the trauma to be able to begin to have a greater outlook on life and take this as a learning experience. The schoolboys from Lord of the Flies are in a very different predicament because they weren't able to prepare their minds for the plane crash and learning to survive on the island although they still took away many life lessons. As for Ralph and Jack, they took away leadership skills. It may take a while for them to recover but they will know how to provide for their future families if they were ever put in a difficult situation.   

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Gregoire, Carolyn. "The Surprising Benefit Of Going Through Hard Times." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 06 Jan. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/post-traumatic-growth-creativity_us_568426c0e4b014efe0d9d8e8>.

"Maasai Culture | Ceremonies and Rituals." Maasai Culture | Ceremonies and Rituals. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <http://www.maasai-association.org/ceremonies.html>.

"12 incredible African tribal traditions." CNN. Cable News Network, 05 Dec. 2016. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/africa/incredible-tribal-traditions-africa/>.

Fogg, Ally. "The death and deformity caused by male circumcision in Africa can't be ignored | Ally Fogg." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 25 Aug. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/25/male-circumcision-ceremonies-death-deformity-africa>.



To be alone (Lord of the flies essay)

Are humans naturally extroverted? Do they crave to be with people even if they claim they want to be alone? When you are left alone and you're just sitting with nothing but your thoughts. That feels like human nature to want to be alone but being alone has been proven to drive people mad. It's uncanny to be left alone just with your thoughts. The show samurai jack revolves around him being all alone and stuck with his thoughts. Truly man's greatest fear is to be alone and hunted.


Comparing the scene in Lord of the Flies where Piggy dies and Ralph is kind of kicked out of the group and left all alone. In the new series of Samurai Jack (Season 5) it picks up where Jack left off trying to find a way to a portal back home except since the evil Aku rules the world in the future and wants Jack dead. So Aku sends assassins to kill Jack but Jack usually finds a way to defeat them. I’m comparing this to the scene where Ralph is hiding from the boys and says “He jerked his head off the ground and listened...He knew he had heard it before, somewhere but had no time to remember.”(196)


In the novel, during this encounter, Ralph is scrambling around running away from Jack’s evil possible because they are trying to kill him. While he’s hiding and trying not to get caught, the boys still look for him. The reason why this part is so very intense is because it shows how alone Ralph is and how scared he is, in this point in time. He’s all alone and no one can help him, everyone is against him and there is nothing he can do about it. It’s very interesting how things changed to when everyone was on at least ok terms and the next thing you know Ralph is running for his life filled with fear that he’s going to end up like Piggy and Simon. What are you supposed to do if everyone you know is trying to kill you? Just like animals, when people are cornered they’ll do anything to get out.


Many other characters from different stories and movies go through this kind of thing where everyone is trying to kill them. Mostly with strong characters like John Wick, who is being hunted by all the assassins in the area, or as I said Samurai Jack who’s being hunted and he’s seen as a criminal and no one is on his side. It’s a very interesting change of pace when you don’t have a person who can take out millions of people or is virtually untouchable, and you replace him with a small child, who has never fought a day in his life, is physically average for his age, then send a bunch of people to hunt him.


You see this in the hunger games when you have a moment where Katniss is hiding from Cato just after she blows up their stockpile with mines. In that moment where Katniss is just watching this unnamed character get yelled at and then killed for something he didn’t do, I can compare this to how Ralph felt like when he was all alone, and watching the boys run around looking for him with their sticks sharpened at both ends. In general there are a lot of parallels between the hunger games (the part with the actual fighting) and the events where Ralph is running and hiding from the boys. Even Katniss in the first part of the hunger games struggles with the idea being alone, when she first starts and is sleeping in a tree, she has to find her own way. The thought of her being alone scares her but she does it anyway because what other choice does she have if she want to survive.


“Someone cried out Ralph Jerked his cheek off the ground and looked into the dull light”(198). I think this is an excellent moment because it adds to the fact that Ralph doesn't even have time to inspect who cried out or lift his face off the ground softly he just gets up and books it, he’s in instinct mode and what I think why he’s in such a panicked mode is just apart how humans react in general to dangerous situations. For instance back when there was early man there was no reason or talking you either fought or ran away.


A real life example of people panicking because they feel alone and the world has betrayed them. A case study in 1989 talks about how they had two young adults put in a room, no windows, no people, just a bed and what happens was the 2nd patient after nine hours he started to experience hyperventilation, and starting acting violent in contrast to his cool demeanor at the start of the experiment “It’s been a day now let me out!” a quote he says when it's been in the 9th hour. They let him out early and is surprised to see that it hasn’t been the full 9 hours yet. “I’ve never been alone for that long in my life, I started to panic thinking I would never get to see society again”. This proves my point even more in the novel during the last chapter Ralph starts to get more desperate and is at a showdown on page 198 when he is debating what should he should do. The quote is “What could they do?, beat him? So what? Kill him?”. You can tell how broken a character is, if they are debating to kill them by the end of the book.


At the end of the day, no one truly wants to be alone forever no matter what they say. Sure brakes are needed from time to time with people, but if you are the last person around and there is no one to talk to or challenge you or anything what's the point of living. Also, humans seem to be able to go one-hundred percent when they are alone and being hunted. My reasoning for this is because they either have nothing to lose or you have so much to lose. Like Ralph if he were to die on the island he would lose his family and hope. In Samurai Jack, our protagonist Jack talks to himself a lot and thinks everything would be easier if he was dead, but he realizes that if not him, who else will stop Aku.

Work cited

Golding,William, Lord of the flies. New york: Penguin 2006.


Tartakovsky,Genndy “Jack is back”  Tonami: 2017. http://www.adultswim.com/videos/samurai-jack/


Collins, Suzanne “The Hunger Games” New york, Scholastic 2010: https://www.scholastic.com/thehungergames/media/TheHungerGamesExcerpt_Ch1-2.pdf

What Aggression Can Do

Is there a person you know that is popular? Why are they popular? Is it because they’re attractive, intelligent, kind, or aggressive? Do you ever wonder why or how that person is so popular? All of those traits above have a positive connotation, except for aggression. Aggression is something that anyone can have. Surprisingly, it can make someone more popular, whether their aggression is used as entertainment, or simply to set a standard.  Although aggression is usually seen as a negative trait, it is actually the most important quality for a person who is seeking to gain power.

In chapter eleven of Lord of the Flies, there was a scene with a conflict between the group of boys where it ended up with Ralph and Jack fighting each other. Then, Roger decides to pull something up his sleeve resulting in Piggy’s death, and the conch being smashed to many pieces. “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone -”... “I’m Chief” (181). The cause of this was the aggression between the two sides: popular vs. unpopular. Studies done by APA concluded that popular teens or kids seem to be more aggressive compared to their peers. In the beginning, the conch was what lead to Ralph being chief and the most popular. Also, Ralph was pretty aggressive during the beginning of the book, especially towards Piggy. As time passed, Ralph grew to his senses and became more understanding towards Piggy. Jack used that opportunity to become more aggressive towards them both, which ended up to him gaining more power and popularity, leading him to make his own decisions. With Ralph starting to stick up for Piggy and the conch being smashed, he drops in popularity and lost possession of the one thing that could’ve help him in his status. Words like viciously, fiercely, and wildly were used because of the fact that most of Jack's popularity comes from his aggression(181-182). Also his desire to hunt and have fun ends up winning over the boys.

Donald Trump shows a displacement of aggression all throughout his campaigns. He made all kind of statements and comments, but his intentions were clear and bold. Many of his speeches consist of the wildest and craziest ideas, over and over again, especially about building a wall. “I will build a great wall - and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me - and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” Everyone knows about Donald Trump and his intentions of building a wall. People took this information in many ways, but it all makes him more known, talked about, and overall popular. With his aggression towards making a wall, a lot of people could look at it in different viewpoints. Many jokes were made about this and things just went around. The more they went about it, the more his popularity grew. So with his aggression towards certain things, it will help him in getting power with popularity.

Jack is pretty violent and aggression in many situations. In LOTF, Jack had taken the boys watching and fire and added them into his hunting crew. That ended up in a disaster because they were watching the fire and a ship passed by. Ralph was frustrated, but when Piggy said something Jack beat him up. All Jack really want to do is have fun and hunt. “Jack stood up as he said this, the bloodied knife in his hand. The two boys faced each other. There was the brilliant world of hunting, tactics… Jack transferred the knife to his left hand and smeared blood over his forehead as he pushed down the plastered hair” (71). Even tho being rescued was important, Jack still stuck onto hunting, providing food, and having fun. He was pretty straightforward about it. With this because of Jack’s obsession with hunting and his aggression towards it. It gives him power because the hunters, or kids would look at him with admiration. What he is trying to do is have fun and survival which wins over the kids.

During one of Donald Trump’s speech, he spoke about Mexicans. He talked about what he thinks they are and what they’ll do. This relates to why he suggested we build a wall. It’s mainly to keep out immigrants and most of them are from Mexico which is why he threw flame at the Mexicans. “Mexicans are bringing drugs, they’re bringing criminals, they’re rapists,” said Trump. The aggression he puts towards them is very violent and like bullying. This form of bullying is formed into a  way where people will joke about it. Through research, it’s said that bullying can be a form of popularity. Some people take bullying as a joke or as a source of entertainment which leads to them being popular. So trump being aggressive ended up him being in more position of power.

Overall there are many characteristics that can result in popularity throughout the society. Aggression being one of the characteristics has to lead to people becoming new leaders, like Trump and Jack. Their display of determination and aggression towards a certain goal has won over the people in many different ways. It made these new leaders more popular, known and spoke about. Even tho aggression towards something would usually be concerned as negative, it can be used in many different ways especially for people who want to gain a certain goal or become a leader.


Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord Of The Flies New York: Penguin 2006.


Winerman, L. "Among young teens, aggression equals popularity." Pardon Our Interruption. American psychological association, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun04/among.aspx


"'Drug dealers, criminals, rapists': What Trump thinks of Mexicans." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-37230916