Is Human Nature Good Or Essentially Evil?

Categories: Lord Of The Flies

Human nature is the hunger or obsession for all people to do as they feel is needed as if were an obligation. Golding believed that every man has evil within them and they can be brought to savagery. The human nature of every person may always vary between people who have experienced more negativity and violence in their life. Augustine’s doctrine of original sin proclaimed that all people were born broken and selfish, saved only through the power of divine intervention.

Hobbes, too, argued that humans were savagely self-centered. In the Lord of the Flies, the boys overcome many negative things while on the island and lose sight of civilization which caused the boys to become savage, evil and selfish.

Even though the group of boys started working together in the beginning of Lord of the Flies, Jack tended to become competitive towards Ralph. Jack soon started his own group so he could be the leader meanwhile the boys in his group would rather hunt than try and get the group rescued.

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The group does not listen to Ralph or Piggy´s ideas which were only trying to look out for the whole group instead of the separate ones. Jack just wants everyone to be in his group and does not have a problem hurting anyone to get his way. When Ralph and the twins make a trip to castle rock, Jack makes his hunters tie up the twins so that they have to join his group. ¨Grab them! No one moved.

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Jack shouted angrily. ¨I said grab them!¨ The painted group moved round the SamnEric and the twins were tied up.

The removal of civilization causes the evil to enter during chapter one when Jack appeared. When fear and doubt enter, the evil was able to take over the boys. ¨Maybe there is a beast. Maybe it is only us¨ Some of the boys started to be afraid of the ¨sea monster¨ but Simon was the only one to think they should fear themselves. Jack becomes keen for making his own rules and wanting to have the control, he ends up becoming a cruel leader. While Ralph and Piggy both try to keep the boys sane and sheltered, they end up being overcome by the evil and join Jack during his feast. Piggy had tried to ignore the fact they had a part in it, Ralph starts to think that he is no better than Jack. Overall the evil and the darkness that lurks is inside of them all.

In Lord of the Flies Golding portrays Ralph as the protagonist that always represents the ideal leadership. While Jack is believed to be the antagonist who shows us the first signs of savagery. Through Lord of the Flies Golding shows the reader's how the different groups of boys feel as they are exposed to different measure of savagery. In the novel, Piggy does not seem to show any desire for savagery meanwhile, Roger has been shown to be unable to understand what the meaning of civilization really means. Golding implies that savagery is the central idea of a humans instincts. When the boys are left with nothing but their surroundings they naturally lean towards a cruel, savage nature. Human nature being essentially evil in the Lord of the Flies, is shown in many symbols throughout the novel most noticeably when Jack and his group place the sow's head on the spear in the ground. Simon appears to be the only one that tried to bring the kindness. Golding does not let us lose the sight of Simon's innocence, in doing that it shows that the boys instinctively inherit the savagery that is within all people.

In the past 50 years we have faced many examples of human nature being evil such as in the word genocide which was coined in 1944 to name a shocking and horrific crime of violence.

Genocide is not a wild beast or natural disaster. It is a planned mass murder. There were eight known genocides in the 20th century. The last genocide was Paris, France - The recent publication of French judge Trevidic report on the assassination of President Habyarimana, which triggered the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis and the deaths of moderate Hutus in Rwanda in 1994, revives the debate on the possible role of France in the last genocide of the 20th century.

Another example of human nature being evil in the last 50 years, would be following the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin who exercised greater political power than any other figure in history. During the 1930s, many peasants were killed and or permitted to starve to death. Stalin brought about the deaths of more than than 20 million of his own people of his own people while holding the Soviet Union for 29 years.

Even though the human nature of every person may vary it can be concluded that it is essentially evil. Throughout Lord of the flies Golding stated many examples that made the boys sound savage, evil, and selfish especially by having the boys overcome the obstacles they faced and the negative things that made them seem to lose sight of their civilization.

Works Cited

Ward, Adrian F. “Scientists Probe Human Nature--and Discover We Are Good, After All.” Scientific American, 20 Nov. 2012,

Steve, et al. “The Dark Side of Human Nature.” World Mysteries Blog, 16 Dec. 2014,

The Fourth Dimension,

“Lord of the Flies¨ - William Golding

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Is Human Nature Good Or Essentially Evil?. (2022, May 23). Retrieved from

Is Human Nature Good Or Essentially Evil? essay
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