Surviving the elements

White-hot sun searing innocent flesh, furious blizzards freezing the earth over, intense storms and hammering rain making us shiver. The restless wailing winds blowing against our weary faces. Spine chilling darkness scratching at our subconscious minds reminding us the unknown is alive and on the hunt, natural elements of our planet have set humans out to find safe havens since the dawn of time. We need shelters to survive. Humans are a fragile race; and a shelter is our only protection against the cruel environment.

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In the fictional novel, Lord of the Flies, Ritter by William Gilding shows Just how important shelters and homes are to our survival. He also shows that not only is our world cruel but also those who inhabit it. Inside us all there is a beast put down to slumber by the mere idea of civilization. We all have the logic in us to do whatever we have to, in order to survive. We know the importance of survival; it is our most primal instinct. But to live in, and build a community where civilization is intact there has to be equality, or else it will come to a devastating end.

When building a shelter people have to keep in mind all of these tactics in order to have a successful team. Everything and everyone on this planet has fears. It can be something as small as spiders, or something our imaginations conjure up, but then there is something bigger that we all dread. Some of us do not even admit it is there. Most will simply say it is a divine power that we are right to fear. Someday we shall find ourselves “looking into a vast mouth” scared out of our wits, we will see “blackness within, a blackness that spreads”(Gilding 144).

We will witness the horrid dark. This blackness is the night of the human soul, an unnatural, dark night. It engulfs us and figuratively follows us everywhere we go. Sometimes, it is like Mimi catch yourself feeling as if, there is something behind you all the time” (Gilding 53). But it is truly inside, not behind. Even if you are within the protection of your home. It is Just an uneasy feeling that we all have experienced, the feeling of being watched… And hunted. Frequently for us the houses we build block out a great amount of our fear.

We need protection from the outside world, each other, and ourselves. People know of course that we cannot escape the evil within us, yet we try. Sometimes we can elude this evil; though once we realize what we really are we weep, “for the end of innocence, the darkness of mans heart”(Gilding). We are the biggest threats in the world, and a shelter, a place where we are surrounded by walls somehow contains our humanity. Our mindset is, if we have something containing and protecting us from what is outside, than we are also protected from what is inside.

Though deep in our minds we know that is not the case. If we are put out into the world unprotected we snap. This is why when stranded on an island humans will loose all self control. In a way Shelters contain civilization. But why, if we have this physical form of comfort, are we still afraid; is it Just the fact of knowing what we are capable of, knowing what and who we truly are? Our natural instinct to survive has evolved miraculously over the centuries. If it meaner surviving we are willing to “crouch down in a thicket for hours, with a spear ready to Jab any wreath”(Gilding 191).

We will find a way to survive, though without the protection of our homes we are vulnerable, timid creatures. “There are few things that are as outside world, it protects our minds from going utterly insane at the thought of our evil twins coming out to cause destruction. If lost one goal comes to our minds an “acute need to get home, to get out, there comes an incredible ability to adapt and preserve. Our nature demands it”(Petersen). If we are placed in a life threatening situation we know to “Stay alive, that’s what it’s all about”(Petersen).

Most people would do anything to keep breathing, saw off an arm to escape… Revert to cannibalism to fend off starvation… Kill to stay alive. We become so extremely vulnerable, we will do absolutely anything to stay alive. Longing for our homes while we are away, people tend to tie themselves to their material items and places of protection. While homesick “one might dream of rescue; but when faced by the brute obtuseness of the ocean, one was clamped down, one was helpless, one is condemned”(Soldiering). We have created such a civilization where our homes are seed purely for our protection and minds comfort.

When away we go a little bit batty. Because we cannot protect ourselves, from ourselves though we try to; and we cannot even to begin to protect without our material comforts. We tell ourselves that we are good-natured human beings and we are civilized, but deep inside us we all know that our instinct to survive is stronger than any other force. All we have to keep our way of life safe and stable is our humanity, and sometimes in the midst of struggles our learned civilized behavior slips away. Because of the primal instinct we eve to solely survive.

We have been imprinted with one statement. Do whatever you have to, in order to survive. Our entire planets history shows that without equality our communities will fail. From the very beginning people will turn on those who are weaker than them, calling them mean names and bark “shut up fatty'(Gilding). In order to shut the person down when people are Judged and are considered unequal it sparks something inside of us. Our primal instincts come out and fight back to become equal. After all we are the same. Why should some of us be considered less Han others?

The most important aspect of civilization is having equality. Not meaning that we all would have to be good at the same things, but all Jobs in a community should be considered equally important. Once we put effort into equalizing people and their positions, our communities thrive. “It is impossible to be at the head of the table when you are sitting in a circle”(Hunt). Surviving by your self is a challenge but with the help of a community it becomes quite simple. Everyone has to feel welcome, comfortable being themselves, and equal. With this our civilized action is born.

We have prevailed through the intense heat of the sun, we have made sturdy walls to sway the wind away from our chilled bodies, and we have put roofs over our heads to protect us from the horrific thunderstorms and pounding rains. We have hidden our fears deep within the labyrinth of our minds, to amplify the comfort that our shelter provides. Our society has adapted and adjusted itself for centuries, so that we can better enjoy our time on this planet. As a people we have invented a nation where we all feel connected and equalized by something bigger than us all.

But we do not realize this thing that connects us, this invisible powerful force is the beast inside us. It truly does terrify us but it is one thing that we all have in common. Take away our man made shelters and you take away our humanity, our civilized nature. Without this little protection, our imaginations run wild with fear. We become them tranquil thoughts. From that point on what has been put to sleep awakens. From that point on we will do what we have to in order to survive. Shelter is essential to our survival, without it we are animals. Shelter tames the beast within.

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