The He took a step, and able at last

The constant need for power is in one’s human nature but if used incorrectly, it will negatively affect others. This theme is shown throughout John Wyndham’s novel, The Chrysalids and William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies. Violence is a strategy that Joseph Strorm and Jack Merridew use to gain power over the powerless. Both characters are also prejudicial and intolerant of anyone who does not agree with their beliefs. Although Joseph and Jack have similar tactics, their views on laws are contradicting. Joseph is excessively strict while Jack is very lenient about laws. The use of violence, prejudice, and the inadequate amount of laws leads to the destruction of society and the downfall of humanity. The use of violence is a strategy that Joseph Strorm often uses to gain power over the deviants. Along with sending the deviants to the Fringes, he also sends mothers who birth three blashmepies. Joseph lacks compassion for others to the point where he brutally whips his son, David, for being friends with a blasphemy. However, Joseph does not know that David is a blasphemy himself. When David’s group is discovered as being telepathics, Joseph has the government capture Katherine and Sally, two members of the telepathic group. After they endure much torture, Sally admits they are deviants. This violence arouses fear in the group as Katherine has been unresponsive to their thought-shapes: “Well Katherine’s been unconscious for so long we’re wondering if she’s – dead” (Wyndham 143). Joseph desperately wants purity in Waknuk and is relentless in prosecuting those who are not considered normal. Similarly, Jack often uses violence to gain power over Ralph and Piggy. After Piggy rightfully blames Jack for letting the fire out while a ship was passing by, Jack slaps Piggy which breaks one side of Piggy’s glasses and punches him in the stomach:This from Piggy, and the wails of agreement from some of the hunters, 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…Ralph made a step forward and Jack smacked Piggy’s head. (Golding 71)Jack is also the reason for the boys turning into savages. Jack begins his route to complete savagery by painting the members of his tribes faces to show their “new faces” to eventually brutally murdering a sow and putting its head on a stick. When Simon was mistaken for the beast, he was mercilessly beaten to death by Jack and his tribe while they chant, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in!” (Golding 152) Jack’s complete loss of civilization resorts to violence and chaos within the island. Violence is the result of being intolerant and prejudicial against the blasphemies in Waknuk. Joseph punishes the citizens of Waknuk for not reflecting Nicholson’s Repentances’ idea of the “true image”. Joseph instills perfection in David’s head at a young age by having signs up in the house that say, “KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD” and “WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT!” (Wyndham 18) Joseph goes to extreme measures and has the people who are sent to the Fringes become unable to reproduce in order to prevent more deviants from being born. Joseph even has an inspector who distributes a Certificate of Normalcy to babies who are considered normal. The use of violence in Waknuk arises fear in the telepathic group and causes them to flee in search of a better life. Similar to the prejudice in The Chrysalids, Ralph and Jack assume that Piggy is useless due to him being overweight and having asthma. However, Ralph realizes that in order to get rescued, the boys have to work together. For instance, Piggy tries to express his concerns about being rescued and Jack responds with, “You’re always scared. Yah-Fatty!” (Wyndham 45). Jack continues to think that Piggy is useless solely because of his appearance and weaknesses. When Jack kills a sow, he refuses to give Piggy a piece of meat, “as an assertion of power.” (Golding 73) and because Piggy did not participate in hunting. Both societies do not allow the victim to reach their full potential and only focus on what they cannot do.   The excessive use of laws in Waknuk is to blame for unrealistic expectations and for the mistreatment of people. Joseph is a devoted believer in Nicholson’s Repentances and firmly believes that a just society requires perfection. One would expect that rules are more lenient regarding family, however, this is not the case in Waknuk as Joseph is a fundamentalist. Emily Strorm’s sister, Harriet, begs to borrow Emily’s daughter in order to receive the Certificate of Normalcy as her own child has a slight mutation. The Strorms refuse because they are devoted to the Repentances and do not care that Harriet is family: “You have the effrontery to bring your monster into my house, and tell me it’s nothing much!” (Wyndham 70). Likewise, David is punished for being friends with Sophie, a blasphemy. Joseph aggressively whips his son simply because of him not following the rules, not because he was concerned about his safety as it was late at night. The unnecessary use of laws causes madness and fear to arise in Waknuk. Contrary to the overuse of laws in Waknuk, the boys on the island lack necessary rules in order to survive. Jack believes that rules are not necessary for survival which ultimately leads to Jack becoming an absolute savage. Ralph and Piggy remain civilized because they care about being rescued, “Because the rules are the only thing we’ve got!” (Golding 91) The only thing that will prevent complete savagery is following and agreeing to the rules. Ralph attempts to maintain a lawful society, however, Jack is uncooperative as he thinks hunting is the main priority. Ralph’s ineffectual leadership is apparent when a meeting is held to discuss the issues of shelters. The boys reject the idea and continue to play and hunt. Jack fails to realize that laws are essential to prevent destruction and the downfall of society. The use of of violence, prejudice, and inappropriate amount of laws leads to the destruction of Waknuk and the island’s societies. The depiction of violence in both novels shows how Joseph and Jack use power to their advantage whilst lacking compassion for others. Both characters are prejudicial and intolerant against those who lack power. Although Joseph and Jack have similar tactics, their views on laws strongly differ. Joseph is unreasonably harsh while Jack believes laws are unnecessary. Civilians must learn to work together to prevent society’s destruction and the downfall of humankind.

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