Lord of the Flies
Civilization Quotes Page 2
How we cite our quotes:
[The boys] found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society. They were glad to touch the brown backs of the fence that hemmed in the terror and made it governable. (9.86)
The boys see themselves as a fence—but this isn't the white picket fence of civilization; it's a fence of their naked bodies, getting ready to reenact their savage pig hunt—before they rip Simon to bits with their bare hands.
"I just take the conch to say this. I can't see no more and I got to get my glasses back. Awful things has been done on this island. I voted for you for chief. He's the only one who ever got anything done. So now you speak, Ralph, and tell us what. Or else—"
Piggy broke off, sniveling. Ralph took back the conch as he sat down.
"Just an ordinary fire. You'd think we could do that, wouldn't you? Just a smoke signal so we can be rescued. Are we savages or what?" (11.19-21)
Piggy sees losing his glasses as the end of civilization; Ralph sees it as not being able to keep a signal fire going. Either way, they're really hanging on by a thread here.
Samneric protested out of the heart of civilization, "Oh, I say!—honestly!" (11.175)
Sam and Eric maybe be surrounded by painted boys, but there's still a little piece of civilization left—the part that protests when rules of a silly game get broken, or when someone flips over the Monopoly board.