The reading the story, but its images

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The film, released in 1963, is the tale of a group of upscale British
schoolchildren who are being flown out of London to the supposed safety of the
South Pacific before war erupts. Their airplane crashes and the lads are left to
fend for themselves on a remote island. The storyline takes the boys from
innocence to savagery. The film did not receive rave reviews from critics.

The film version takes away some of the creative imagination that comes from
reading the story, but its images are as shocking as one might imagine
little boys turned into violent savages(Webster, Apollo Guide). The reviews
could be in part from the inexperience of the actors. The little boys were
almost all non-actors whose parents volunteered them for the job out of respect
for the book (Webster, Apollo Guide). However, Peter Brook did an excellent
job of depicting the possible outcome of the situation with which the children
are faced. This film shows human nature in its truest form. Society is faced
with people who are vulnerable to others, those who are capable of making the
right decisions, and some who feel the need to violate the rules. Piggy,
portrayed by Hugh Edwards, is the most vulnerable character. At the beginning,
he makes the mistake of divulging his nickname. Piggy seems to be intelligent
and sensible, but lacking the confidence in himself to put it to use. Jack
belittles Piggy throughout the film. He continuously calls him Fatty and
at one point slaps him in the face, which causes his glasses to break. Piggys
only hope is the friendship of Ralph, who betrayed him at the beginning, only to
eventually become his best friend. Piggy never succumbed to the savagery of the
others. In his last words, What is it better to be, a bunch of savages like
you are, or sensible like Ralph is, he proves that it is possible for someone
to remain themselves and not succumb to the pressures of others. Piggy is the
symbol of rationality and adult society. Ralph is the character who always tried
the orderly approach. Throughout the film, he tried to care for the others and
be the leader that the younger children needed. However, Ralphs leadership is
doomed from the start. Jacks resentment of losing the election is evidence of
the upcoming trouble that Ralph will face. He seems to notice signs of rebellion
after the first pig roast. When the plane flew over and the fire was out, his
encounter with Jack signaled the breakup of the group. Ralphs last appeal at
civility came after Jack took the conch away from Piggy and Ralph said, You
are breaking the rules. The rules are the only thing we got! Ralph continued
throughout the film to stand by Piggy and the younger children. Even after most
of the children left his group, Ralph still had respect for their well being.

Jack is the antagonist of the film. From the beginning, he is upset about losing
the election and resents anyone who did not vote for him. He continues to act as
if he is in charge. He continually belittles the other children and leads the
older boys towards savagery. Jack eventually splits the group and forms his own
tribe. They paint themselves like savages and begin to chant and have
warlike dances. Jack seems to become more violent as his power increases After
Simon was killed, he defended the slaying by telling the others that it was the
beast disguised as Simon. Jack seemed to have turned into a dictator toward the
end of the film. He is shown having the smaller children whipped; his cruelty
eventually led to the murderous search for Ralph. This film shows the viewer
several different personalities, all of which are in our society. It shows the
variety of people who are forced to live in the same world. Goldings novel
is the sort of fable that could shock only those who believe in the onwardness
of civilization, as some still did in those days. At the time of its publication
(1954), attempts were made to find political messages in it, but today it seems
more like a sad prophecy of what is happening in neighborhoods ruled by drugs.

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What week goes by without another story of a Ralph gunned down by a Jack?
(Ebert, Chicago Sun Times). It opens the eyes of the viewer for the necessity of
laws and the need for their enforcement. It would be a sad time when the Jacks
of the world could overpower the Ralphs.

Webster, Brian. Apollo Guide Review Available: (WWW)
Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times Available: (WWW)
Lord of the Flies. Director Peter Brook. Continental Distributing, 1963
Cinema and Television

Categories: Actors


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