Sociological Paradigms – analysis of the movie ‘Lord of the Flies’
The movie ‘Lord of The Flies’ is based on the novel by William Golding set in the background of evacuation of a group of boys from England because of War. Anyone who has seen the movie can easily recall the plot – desperation and no supervision leading to savagery among a group of deserted boys stranded on an island after their plane crashes. In the end, the boys are rescued by a British Ship Captain but not before the failure of social teachings lead to the murder of Simon and Piggy.
Even though the movie might seem to project the normal regimen of tragedy and despair followed by hope and survival, it also highlights different aspects of the sociological paradigm. Especially, the movie has beautifully highlighted the fact that sociological beliefs and behavior are not always shaped by what is being taught by elders, but by circumstances and situations. It has been specifically suggested where in the movie; it has been shown that the group of boys land on the island after the plane crash, without any adults. Much of the sociological behavior is determined by the rules set by elders, which at very onset of the film is suggested. The film highlights another crucial aspect of the human sociological behaviour to follow – in this case Ralph is being made the leader by the virtues of his personal characteristics – being one of the oldest and biggest among the rest aged 6-12. Another aspect that has been almost immediately suggested in the movie is that power struggles, which is an important part of sociology develops early in humans.
Ralph successfully manages to get the attention of the boys on the island with the help of the conch – he states that whoever holds the conch gets to speak. It highlights the fact that just like in society, the urge to have authority becomes prevalent among human from an early age and it is determined who would be leaders and who would be followers by the virtue of personality traits and also physical characteristics. Jack, the other elder boy in the group comes close to being the leader on virtue of age but the boys decide on keeping Ralph as the leader – which symbolizes yet another important sociological aspect of consensus building. Speaking of leadership, this is where the rift among the boys emerges. In the film, it has been shown that from the beginning there is a talk among the boys about a pig or boar which would make a good meal for all. Even though Ralph tries to catch it, his failure prompts Jack to finally catch the beast with the help of his team of hunters which he builds.
Then the story develops into Jack and his team becoming successful in killing the boar and it is this instance which changes the power polarity among the boys on the island. Jack is perceived to be a greater and more efficient leader than Ralph due to his achievement of capturing the boar through teamwork and leadership – cornering the beast using fire across the island. Later, the aggressive behavior of the boys result in the deaths of Simon and Piggy, as Jack slowly gradually emerges to control the rest of the boys on the island. A striking parallel has been drawn here to society, which follows the leader to show more promise and greater achievements than others. For comparison, Jack’s success in killing a boar and Ralph’s discipline which only led to the capture of smaller animals and fish for food. At one point, Ralph, who was seen as the leader upon arrival on the island is shown running for his life from Jack and his ‘hunters’ which also symbolize the urge to oust the outdated and replace with the new. Throughout the movie other parallels have been drawn to society – for example the myth of the monster on the island which suggest the subconscious willingness of humans to accept and propagate rumors, often without knowing the truth. Most importantly, Ralph’s ideals are replaced by Ralph’s as they were more suited to the environment the boys were placed in – a shift in sociological paradigm. Finally, the movie concludes where Ralph is being chased by Jack and his hunters, and Ralph runs into the captain of a ship intrigued by the fire on the island which Jack and his boys set to the forest cover.
There are various outlooks to the movie and intended message that it wanted to send, of which perhaps the strongest is that sociology calls for replacement of the ideologies by habits and behavior, which is more suited to the environment one resides in.