Lord of the Flies

By , Boulder, CO
Lord of the Flies: Natural rights in the movie
“We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all we’re English! And English are best at everything.” –Jack


Lord of the Flies is all about the decision between choosing to live by rules for the betterment of the group; and the decision to follow the sinister impulse to use violence to get what you want, for yourself. Civilization Vs. Savagery was the main conflict throughout the movie. Civilization and savagery tie into John Locke’s theory on Natural Rights. Where everyone is allowed to enjoy the rights of life, liberty, and property. How were the boy’s in the movie’s natural rights treated? I believe that the boy’s natural rights were continually breached and abused throughout the movie. The entire three main Natural rights Locke states were abused, life, liberty, and property. There are intermediary steps that gradually decrease the boy’s natural rights that John Locke attributes to the three virtues of society.

The first right that is breached in the movie is the right to life. The first instance of this occurs when Simon the first victim is killed by “accident.” The next more profound breaching of this right is when Piggy is murdered. Piggy in the movie is the symbol of order and civility. When he is killed it symbolizes that the boy’s have finally gone fully savage, in the killing of civility—piggy. The last instance of the breaching of the right to life is when the boy’s began to hunt Ralph. By this time you can tell that Jack’s group is fully savage. They want to kill Ralph since he is not in their group; they believe he doesn’t have the right to live. “ That was murder.” –Ralph

The second right that is breached in the movie is the right to liberty. This first occurs when Jack threatens the boy’s that if they don’t leave to join him the won’t be protected from the “beast”, and that they won’t have food. Jack in this instance is taking away the boy’s right to liberty by giving them an unfair choice. The second instance is when Jack’s group attacks Ralph’s; this is another form of intimidation from Jack’s group. The last instance is when Ralph, Piggy, and the twins go try to get Piggy’s glasses back. Jack’s group kills Piggy, and forces the twins to join their group. This is the last straw; the right of liberty is completely taken away when the boy’s have no choice on who leads them. “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” –Jack’s Group

The last right that is violated is the right to property. This occurs in the movie when Jack’s group starts stealing the fire from Ralph’s this shows no respect for the right of property. The next instance is a little more drastic, when Jack’s group steals Piggy’s personal glasses. This shows that now a single person’s property right is taken away. The final and most harsh instance is when Jack’s group destroys Ralph’s group’s home. They show here that since Ralph’s group was not part of their group that they don’t have the right to have property. “You're a beast, and a swine, and a bloody, bloody thief!” –Ralph

The boy’s natural rights were addressed, breached, and abused throughout the movie. Their rights to life were breached and destroyed during the lost innocence of the boy’s. Their right to liberty was taken away when they were forced to consent to new leadership. Last their right to property was stolen. They boy’s in the end let their impulse for savagery take over their decision to have civility. The boy’s were bloodthirsty and savage; all their natural rights were completely violated.





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