The Island of Human Nature
The Island of Human Nature
When Lord of the Flies was first released, William Golding described the novel’s theme in a publicity questionnaire as “an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature. ” (Kennard) Since the island is a microcosm, Golding uses it to reflect our world and give comments on it and his view of human nature. In the novel a group of children are stranded on an island when their plane crashes. The freedom of having no parents while living in a society that does not enforce rules and laws are eliminated.
In this novel William Golding uses the objects, characters, and setting show that what happened in the story is just not a story; they help prove the author’s belief that humankind is savage. Each character signifies an important idea or theme from our world, and the statement he makes about human nature is that mankind will turn savage for supremacy. As the novel is an allegory, each character is symbolized clearly as someone in our society. “Piggy could think. He could go step by step inside that fat head of his, only Piggy was no chief. But Piggy, for all his ludicrous body, had brains (Golding, 71).
” Piggy is the scientific and intellectual aspect of society. He is a thinker, philosopher and someone who always advises for good. Similarities to Albert Einstein can also be seen in Piggy, because people did not care that he thought the atomic bomb was a bad weapon just like no one cared about what Piggy said or did. Another main character, Ralph, is like Franklin Roosevelt, who could not stop World War Two from breaking out. He signifies the confused that are always uncertain in the recognition between good and evil: The failure of the island society comes about because of an innate tendency towards violence in the boys.
Golding is, then, in opposition to the romantic notion of noble primitives knowing the distinction between good and evil. Human beings are not innately innocent, so human progress is unlikely. (Kennard) When the kids on the island are confronted with a choice between reason’s civilizing influence and animality’s self-indulgent savagery, they choose to abandon the values of the civilization that Ralph represents. Ralph in Lord of the Flies also represents democracy and is responsible.
He is the politician who relies on social order and government, and his political failures show that he cannot oppress the evil within the other boys. One of the most influential boys whose evil Ralph cannot control is Jack. Jack is a symbol of Adolph Hitler. He is a crazy leader who killed many people because he wanted dominance. ?Like Hitler, Jack is a dictator; he is ignorant. Jack is the hunter who is consumed by his own fear and the greater force of his own capacity for evil. Roger is even worse than Jack, even though he is not like that from the beginning. He is similar to Satan or even Dr.
Mengele who was Hitler’s worker and did horrific operations on people. Roger is cruel and has gone far beyond from being a savage because he purposely, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever, resulting in Piggy’s death. Struggles between moral conscience and a heart of darkness are symbolized in the conflict between Ralph and Jack. That also represents the struggle between the forces of civilization and anarchy. The tussle between Jack and Ralph for leadership is the allegory of our political leaders who always fight and kill for the sake of control.
In the same way that the way the boys are being lead astray by Jack, the leaders of our world take advantage of the masses. The impulses and the behavior of the boys are those of adults. Like adults, he boys realize that the only way that they will keep everyone alive and safe is through rule, yet the frustration of living apart from society tempts many boys to unleash the evil inside them. At last, when no one follows order anymore, the boys hand themselves to bestiality and surviving becomes a combat in between the two tribes.
This same choice is made constantly all over the world, all throughout history — the source of the grief Golding sought to convey. “Lord of the Flies is concerned with the fall of man to savagery with the loss of innocence. ” (Kennard) He places supposedly innocent schoolboys in the protected environment of an uninhabited tropical island to illustrate the point that barbarity is not confined to certain people in particular environments but exists in everyone. William Golding shows that the smallest boys acting out, in innocence, is the same as the cruel desire for mastery shown by Jack and his tribe while hunting pigs.
The adults waging the war that stranded the boys on the island in the first place are also enacting the desire to rule others. Many aspects of Lord of the Flies can symbolize the struggle for command. Our world is very fertile like the island, but in their ambition to get the supremacy the leaders destroy this world just like the boys who burn the whole island to ashes without realizing that they are destroying their own means of survival. The division of the boys in litluns and big’uns is the allegory of the classes in our world.
Litluns symbolize the common people, while the big’uns are the metaphor of the ruling, powerful and political classes. The island on which the boys find themselves is allegorically our world in miniature. Lord of the Flies was driven by Golding’s consideration of human evil, a complex topic that involves an examination not only of human nature but also the causes, effects, and manifestations of evil. Each character signifies an important idea or theme from our world, and the statement he makes about human nature is that mankind will turn savage for supremacy. Golding addresses these topics through the intricate allegory of his novel.
Subject: World War II,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 November 2016
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