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Analyse how a character’s experience reflects the truth of society.
Novel: William Golding; Lord of the Flies
When threatened, fear often becomes masked by violence. William Golding’s action-packed novel “Lord of the Flies”, explores this through the development of one of the main characters, Jack. Jack consistently displaces violent and savagery behaviour, masking the fear that looms in the back of his mind. Throughout the progression of the novel, this fear is seen building up, and correspondingly the mask that Jack puts up escalates in violence. Writing techniques such as listing, juxtaposition and descriptive language, are utilised to display this contrast in emotions, as Jack’s characters fight the internal battle of conflicting emotions.

“The mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness”. This quote from Lord of the Flies demonstrates the author’s understanding of using Jack to display society’s flaws. By using descriptive language such as shame, and self-consciousness, which are all ‘negative’ words, William Golding highlights how our society frowns upon people who are not overly positive. People who display emotions that are not positive, feel the need to mask their true feelings with emotions that are accepted. Jack hides his fear with the contrasting emotion of violence and savagery. ‘Hid’ is also another descriptive word in the quote that reveals vulnerability in Jack’s character. To hide an emotion is to keep it from being apparent to others, to mask it with another emotion that contrasts. Jack hides his fear with anger, a violent hostile type of anger, so when viewed by other boys on the island, they are oblivious to the pain behind his actions, because anger is such a contrasting emotion. In society, if you are sad you act happy, if you’re mad you act loving and if you feel tired, you act energetically. Society has trained the human brain to perceive the best way to mask emotion and be accepted by others, as to appear as the opposite emotion to how you feel. Jack does exactly this

As Jack’s character develops throughout the novel, he shows a clear phase where his anger turns into cockiness. He starts to undermine fellow boys on the island and unconsciously places himself as the leader of his friends. A quote from the novel that shows this is when Jack’s character says “The thing is- fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream”. In this quote, William Golding utilises juxtaposition to highlight the contrast between what the boys think fear can do to them, versus what Jack says it can do. Fear is a word associated with many negative connotations, where dreams are associated with positive ones. This means that when William Golding places these two words in this quote, his intention is for the difference of opioids between Jack and the boys to stand out. Highlighting the clear confidence Jack has, this quote reveals that he hasn’t accepted his true emotions. He is talking as if he is not afraid of himself. As if his fellow islanders are weaker because they are showing their fear, and he is stronger because he does not feel it. Jack has been allowing his violence and savagery to mask his true emotion for so long, that he no longer can recognise his true feelings. He has been lying to himself for such an extended period, that he now believes his lies, and has masked his instincts with a facade that he believes the boys will accept. As a young boy in a group of boys, the stereotype that they are young and reckless and aren’t afraid is imprinted into many young minds. Jack is an example of a boy that focuses more on being cool, and more powerful than his friends than he does on his own real emotions.

You can lie about something forever, as long as you believe that lie, but as soon as the lie becomes too big for even you to believe, the lie must come out. This is what happens to Jack’s character as he develops, towards the end of the story. After covering his true emotions for so long, eventually the situation Jack is in becomes so scary, that even a mask of violence, so thick everyone believes he’s not scared, breaks and the truth comes out. A quote directly from the text that tells us this is “He forgot his wounds, his hunger and thirst became fear; hopeless fear”. Listing is used in the quote to highlight how many aspects of his needs and emotions that he was hiding by the rage. Not only was he hiding how truly scared he was, but also his hunger, thirst and wounds. The anger had become more than just a mask for his fear, but also a mask for his identity. Often when we lie to ourselves for a long period of time, or fake that we feel something we don’t, it becomes true. Humans believe what they tell themselves, and what the people and world around them tell them. Jack was pretending to be confident, so the boys treated and viewed him as if he was feeling confident. Jack became his lie, and when his mask was taken away, his fear overwhelmed him, and became him. “His hunger and third became fear; hopeless fear”. Everything that he was once hiding my anger, became fear. The biggest thing he was hiding, became everything he was.

“Fear is not an emotion, but a mindset”- Barack Obama. Williams Golding’s character, Jack, highlighted this mindset of fear, and through Jack’s development, William Golding showed how society plays a part in the moulding of our mindsets. Utilising writing techniques such as, listing, juxtaposition and descriptive language this carefully crafted character, undergoes a journey of hiding emotion. Representing society and how it impacts us; Jack shows a journey of a boy putting a mask on to appear strong and powerful. The mask begins to mold into him as he lives in a lie for so long he believes it, and finally when it is taken away, his whole life is consumed by fear. The one thing he was trying to run from in the first place

Kia ora - welcome to Studyit!

A nice intro here that conveys the idea well -

Your hook (first line of intro) - it does not quite make sense - when who is threatened? You could try, “When people are threatened, their fear often becomes masked by violence” - which also alludes a little more to the “society” part of the question.

Try to be a little more specific - what experience is it that you are talking about in body paragraph one? You have started with a quote rather than explaining the experience, so it is hard to tell - though your analysis of evidence here is good.

Strong conclusion

The thing that would most improve this essay is being a little more explicit about the key words in your intro and body paragraphs. The marker should be able to easily see what the experience is that you are talking about, and also how that experience reflects a “truth of society”. You do allude to both of these things but it is not as clear to follow as it could be. You talk for example about how "As a young boy in a group of boys, the stereotype that they are young and reckless and aren’t afraid is imprinted into many young minds. " - would you say here that this book reflects that this is not in fact a stereotype but a truth of society? Or is it that society molds people to be this way? Further unpack - this also is a part of getting “beyond the text” which can help you be more perceptive.

Overall - great understanding of text make sure you are really tailoring your essay to your chosen question.