Lord of the Flies is a novel written by William Golding, it was published in 1954. It is an allegorical novel in which Golding uses many powerful symbols to present his ideology about human nature. In this novel human nature is seen as a theme which runs through the entire novel. In this essay I will give examples of how Golding presents Human Nature in Lord of the Flies. The quote “where’s the man with the megaphone? ” connotes Human Nature. When the boys land on the island after greeting one anther they ask for others.
This shows Human Nature because naturally they are curious about their surroundings; this is developed in each human from a very young age. Looking for other people when you are lost is a common thing to do. Human Nature is presented through the pronoun “where” because as most humans would do when they are lost, they are questioning things. “We’ve got to have rules and obey them. ” When Ralph starts to desire rules it is the beginning of civilization on the island. Rules are a way of keeping everything under control so that everyone behaves and all rights are equal.
The noun “rules” represents Human Nature. It connects with the principle of Human Nature where naturally rules are desired to keep everything in line. Rules have been made dating back to biblical times to restore law and order. Without rules there is chaos, the fact that this boy has recognized that rules are needed to be made and obeyed shows the impact not only human nature but society has on all of us. The conch is a strong symbol of rules and rules relate to civilization. The conch was one of the first set of rules made on the island.
No boy may speak unless he is holding the conch and once he is holding it, he cannot be interrupted. The boys have imposed this “rule of the conch” on themselves, and thus the conch represents society’s rules. We have rules so that we act civilized, desiring to be civilized is simply part of our Human Nature. Human Nature is presented through the event of Jack killing the pig. “His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge….. taken away its life like a long satisfying drink” this quotation gives the reader chance to explore the mental state of Jack in the aftermath of killing his First Pig.
Jack is overjoyed by kill and is unable to think straight as his mind is “crowded with memories”. A flaw of Human Nature is the feeling of power it’s something all humans desire unfortunately the lengths some people will go for power can be extreme. Golding explicitly connects Jack’s exhilaration with the feelings of power and superiority he experienced in killing the pig even If it is not a good thing. Jack’s excitement stems not from pride at having found food and helped the group but from having “outwitted” another creature and “imposed” his will upon it.
“Ralph Wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart” this is at the end of the novel when Ralph realizes that although he is saved from death on the island. He will never be the same again. He as well has lost his innocence and learned about the evil that lurks within all human beings. The phrase “darkness of man’s heart,” talks about the presence of evil instincts lurking within all human beings, no matter how civilized you may be. This connotes Human Nature as it talks about something that is within all humans naturally just that some people are able to suppress the evilness.
The question that rises in this novel is whether these boys where evil all along or whether it was the effect the environment had on their nature. Human Nature is presented in the novel as the protagonist Ralph and the antagonist Jack. It is clear that when they both land on the island they both appear as immature kids who wanted to get back home. It is part of their Human Nature to return back to where they came from, which is what they try to do. “You’ll get back to where you came from” here Simon talks and acts almost as if he was a prophet, as if he knows truly that they were going to go home.
It is in their nature to go somewhere knowingly that eventually they will go back to where they came from. Golding’s use of words in the novel and the way he presents Human Nature through different techniques makes us question Human Nature. The novel mostly focuses on Humans Nature being the cause of Society’s Flaws. The novel makes you think about Human Nature as a whole and whether these boys were capable of killing each other from the beginning or whether it was due to their surroundings.
It also makes you think about yourself; someone who is affected by human nature; if you were left on an island at a young age to tend for yourself what would become of you. In this novel Jack the antagonist has his first experience of killing a pig at first he couldn’t do it, but eventfully he did. This urge then took over his innocence and turned him into a murdering savage. It is clear in Lord of the Flies that Golding believes Human Nature to be evil.
Courtney from Study Moose
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