Margaret Mead once said, “ Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive. ” (brainyquote. com) Evil and good are both in human nature. There are times when people show their evil side and later they show their good side. These two combinations make up someones human nature. Along with human nature is the loss of innocence. Clint Eastwood once said, “The innocence of childhood is like the innocence of a lot of animals” (brainyquote. com).
Innocence in a child’s childhood is very important because they want to be a child for as long as they can. No child wants to lose their innocence and grow up. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding uses examples of the boys loss of innocence to show evil and savagery as the nature of humanity. In the Lord of the Flies, the boys stop caring about the idea of being rescued and realize the need to survive which leads to violence. Being rescued is not a top priority for the boys right now.
They just need to survive for as long as they can. An example of their need for survival is when the narrator states, “Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law. ” Roger saw his past life in the taboo and he saw that he wasn’t himself when he visualized the authority in front of him.
Roger is bringing out his inner beast and becoming cruel to the boys. As he’s releasing the beast inside him he begins to realize that there is a force holding him back from trying to hurt the boys. This shows that he has some innocence left inside him. Another way that the boys show their loss of innocence is when Jack made himself look like a hunter. To show Jack’s loss of innocence William Golding says, “A sharpened stick about five feet long trailed from his right hand, and except for a pair of tattered shorts held up by his knife-belt he was naked” (48).
William Golding is explaining a visual of Jack and how he looks like a hunter. Jack is becoming savage and he quickly loses his innocence to the fact that he wants to be leader and form a tribe of his own. He’s not thinking about his childhood and how he’s suppose to be having fun and playing around with the other boys. Instead he wants to rule everything and make things his way. Jack doesn’t even care about getting off of the island anymore. The boys on the island begin complying with Jack’s dictatorship due to the structure that they need to maintain order to survive.
When Simon realizes the seriousness of being trapped on the island, he says, “‘ What I mean is… maybe its only us’”(96). Simon tries to get the boys to understand that there isn’t a beast and that they are being fooled by Jack. The boys are uncivilized and scared at this point. So Jack tells them that in fact there are beast and that they are not alone. He makes a deal and explains that if the boys join his tribe then they will be safe. After putting fear into the boys minds they join Jack’s tribe to feel safe. They soon rebels against Ralph, Simon, Piggy, and Samneric.
In addition, when Jack orders his hunters to tie up Samneric, he “turned to Ralph and spoke between his teeth. ‘See? They do what I want’” (179). This example of Jack’s dictatorship is show evidently through the boys of his tribe. Jack told them to tie up Samneric so they listened and tied them up. The boys do whatever Jack wants with no complaints because they know there will be consequences if they resist. As a result of the boys becoming savages, they manage to kill both Simon and Piggy along with an attempt to kill Ralph.
Within William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, he demonstrates that the loss of innocence, savagery, and evil are the nature of humanity. Because the boys were not worried about being rescued they became evil and loss their innocence to the chief, Jack, who not only stole their innocence but put fear in their minds so they could join his tribe. The outcome of this was the deaths of Simon and Piggy. As the loss of innocence, savagery, and evil have been exemplified in Lord of the Flies, William Golding teaches us that nature of humanity doesn’t just consist of evil and savagery.
Courtney from Study Moose
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