Monday, September 3, 2012

Lord of The Flies


[conclusion in English is at the bottom of this post]

Sebuah pesawat yang mengangkut sekelompok anak-anak lelaki berusia antara 6 – 12 tahun mengalami kecelakaan, dan anak-anak itu terdampar di sebuah pulau terisolir. Ralph—anak bertubuh sehat—dan Piggy—anak bertubuh gemuk, berkacamata dan mengidap asma—menemukan sebuah keong besar yang jika ditiup bisa mengeluarkan suara seperti terompet. Dengan keong itu Ralph dan Piggy mengumpulkan semua anak yang terdampar dan mengadakan pertemuan mereka yang pertama. Ralph akhirnya terpilih menjadi Ketua, membuat Jack—anak sebayanya yang mengincar “jabatan” itu—mulai merasa iri.

Awalnya mereka semua hidup bahagia menyadari mereka boleh bertindak bebas tanpa pengawasan orang-orang dewasa. Ralph sebagai Ketua memikirkan bahwa membuat api adalah satu-satunya cara mereka untuk diselamatkan karena akan memberikan signal apabila ada kapal lewat. Sejak awal ia membuat aturan-aturan dan anak-anak lainnya mematuhinya karena ia Ketua dan karena keong besar yang menandakan kewenangan itu. Jack—sebagian karena dendamnya pada Ralph—mulai melanggar aturan, dan alih-alih menjaga api tetap menyala, ia mengajak anak-anak lain untuk berburu babi.

Hal itu membuat kelompok mereka yang tadinya saling bersahabat terpecah menjadi dua kelompok. Kelompok yang bertahan dalam keteraturan dan mempertahankan akal sehat mereka melawan kelompok yang bertindak sekehendak hati dan menunjukkan tanda-tanda kebiadaban khas suku-suku terasing. Bagaimana mereka semua bertahan hidup di pulau itu? Akankah mereka semuanya selamat?

Lord of The Flies menunjukkan kepada kita bahwa dalam diri manusia selalu ada dua insting yang bertentangan, kebiadaban dan keberadaban, atau singkatnya baik vs jahat. Insting mana yang selalu dipupuk, itulah yang akan menonjol dalam diri kita. Di dunia yang serba teratur dengan hukum, aturan, pendidikan dst. anak-anak yang terdampar itu tadinya anak-anak yang baik (sebagian malah aslinya anak-anak paduan suara di Gereja). Namun ketika aturan itu tak ada lagi, mereka mulai membiarkan diri masuk dalam keliaran, dan akhirnya insting kebinatangan mereka pun mulai nampak. Dan saat itu, hanya akan ada bencana dan kebinasaan, yaitu ketika manusia telah berubah menjadi primata tanpa akal sehat dan moral.

Novel ini membuatku berpikir keras setelah menamatkannya. Apa yang sebenarnya memicu mereka untuk memupuk insting kebiadaban itu? Perpecahan mereka bermula dari Jack, dan dalam diri Jack ada nafsu untuk berkuasa, ada superioritas yang amat kental. Dia tahu bagaimana cara menguasai orang lain, yaitu dengan iming-iming makanan dan kebebasan. “I’m a hunter….I give you meat” adalah apa yang berulang-ulang ia ucapkan. Dia jelas berbeda dengan Ralph yang terus-menerus menekankan bahwa mereka harus menjaga api tetap menyala dan membangun tepat berteduh. Ralph adalah lambang keteraturan dan demokrasi di mana orang yang sedang memegang keong punya hak bicara dan yang lain tak boleh menyela.

Mana yang lebih menarik? Tentu saja kebebasan dan makanan. Bukankah itu awal semua dosa manusia yang tak ingin dikekang melakukan apapun yang diinginkan? Nafsu-nafsu itulah yang gampang menimbulkan anarkisme di tengah kemiskinan atau kelaparan. Sangat sulit untuk tetap berpijak pada akal sehat, hati nurani dan moralitas, yang di novel ini digambarkan dalam sosok Ralph dalam perjuangannya mempertahankan akal sehat.

Lima keong untuk Lord of The Flies!

Judul: Lord of The Flies
Penulis: William Golding
Penerbit: faber and Faber
Terbit: 2002
Tebal: 225 p.

Conclusion:

What will happen if a bunch of boys (ranging from 6 to 12 years old) were forced to live by themselves without adult supervision in an isolated island for days? After reading this great novel, I began to think that only in worst situation, that one’s consciousness would have the true trial. These boys arrived at the island (after plane crash) as good, innocent, civilized boys (some of them were choir boys) who were familiar to live in laws and orders. Having found a beautiful conch on the beach, Ralph—a fair hair boy, and Piggy—a fat boy with asthma and myopic eyes—called the others for an assembly. In this first meeting they acted like civilized people, they voted Ralph to be their Chief. Everyone agree except Jack, a tall boy who actually hoped to be made leader.

Soon Ralph instructed them to make fire to act as a signal so that is a ship should see it, they would be rescued. Through the novel Ralph emphasized the urge of keeping the fire on, and to build their shelter. Other boys obeyed him, but soon they were distracted by Jack who preferred to go hunting for pigs then to think about fire and shelter. The boys quickly divided into two groups, those who stuck to their senses in civilization, and those who fell in savagery. Things got worse with ‘the Beast’ issue, something few of them had seen in the darkness of the forest.

Lord of The Flies is an allegory to highlight two sides of human being, the kind and the evil. While we were born and grown up in a civilized world with laws and orders, there’s a dark side inside of us which in certain circumstances or influences would reveal itself and even overpower our common sense. I can see that in the boys’ case, Jack had been burned by his envy towards Ralph from the beginning. He had a strong desire to prove to the others that he was a better leader than Ralph by offering them food and freedom. Through the hunting activity, Jack’s group were then transformed into barbarian savages, with the instinct of killing, just like the chant they sang over and over again: “Kill the pig (later on became beast), cut the throat, spill the blood.”…..(imagine a tribe with paints on their faces sang that in a circle with their victim at the centre); believe me, those scenes really sent chill down my spine! There’s no beast more terrifying than evil souls!

I don’t want to give you any spoiler, so I would just say that William Golding has made me realized how difficult it is to keep our pure conscience in the world where morals had been degraded to a terrifying point, when religion is just accessories. Why must we keep being in the right side with all limitation, while the bad side offers so much of freedom? We can follow Ralph’s answer when he too, in a very crucial moment, was being forced to choose where to stand on: ‘Cos I had some sense’. When you lose it (or let it lose), then you lose everything.

Five stars for this thrilling novel, and for William Golding, the Nobel Prize for Literature laureate on 1983!   

10 comments:

  1. langsung masuk daftar wishlist, aku suka cerita dua karakter 'ditandingkan', ingin tau gimana konsekuensi yang mereka hadapi

    Seingetku buku pernah diterjemahin ya, cuman aku lupa penerbit mana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sama, aku juga selalu suka kalau ada sisi psikologisnya.
      Aku kok malah belum pernah tahu kalau udah diterjemahin ya?

      Delete
  2. I have been thinking about re-reading this one, and now I really want to, after reading your review! It's a frightening book, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! Especially to think that common boys could transformed to savages that easily...

      Delete
  3. I read this years ago, in school, but put it on my list as a reread. It is very scary! -Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Sarah, Lord of The Flies is indeed a book that needs re-reading after years! And yeah, it's scary, both the scene and what the scene reflected.

      Delete
  4. ahhh ini buku keren bangeeet =) aku akhirnya browsing2 lagi tentang perumpamaan masing2 tokoh, melambangkan sifat manusia yang seperti apa.. i wish i had read this book in school! bagus buat dibikin analisis ya mba =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, buku ini memang harusnya dibaca ketika kita remaja ya, untuk pembentukan karakter dan moral. Aku kayaknya kapan2 bakal baca lagi ini buku, mengesan banget buatku.

      Delete
  5. I tried reading this book when I was a young teen, but gave up in disgust. I'm going to try again in the next couple of months though. Hopefully it goes better this time! Good review! (At least, the part in English was good...I don't know about the rest of it.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand how you'd feel when you're teenage. I think this book should be for adult, for only when you've grown up then you'll grab the moral value (instead of reading it for the story only).

      I'm glad you like my review, the rest (in Bahasa Indonesia) is just the same in idea, but frankly speaking I like the English version much better :)

      Delete

What do you think?