What Does Lord of the Flies Say About Human Nature?

In the novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding is able to use his outstanding writing abilities utilizing metaphors, symbolism, and other literary devices to establish a hidden message throughout the novel. The young boys in the novel are on an island all by themselves. There is no punishment for their actions, therefore allowing that evil to come out of most of the boys. All humans have an innate evil within them and that evil is brought out when there is a lack of civilization and consequence as seen in Simon’s murder, Jack and his tribe attacking Ralph, and Piggy’s murder.

Simon’s death revealed the innate evil within the boys of jack’s tribe. Jack’s tribe hosts a feast to celebrate the boys’ first kill. During the feast, the boys reenact the killing of the pig and also create a scenario where they pretend to kill the ‘beastie’.The hidden message that Golding builds on is that there is a natural evil inside every human being, which is suppressed in an organized society through laws, rules, and punishment.

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A normal boy at the age of 12 or younger would probably run away from a beast not tear it apart. Piggy’s murder was also a result of an innate evil inside Roger brought forth due to a lack of order within Jack’s tribe. Roger’s character, as any reader of this novel knows, is someone who enjoys hurting others. He is a “bigun” who thinks he is tough and picks on the “littluns.

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” The novel continues to illustrate the development of evil within Roger. For example, at one point in the novel, Roger throws rocks around Henry to scare him. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law. Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was in ruins (Golding 65). ” Back home, Roger was punished for any bad behavior. On the island, without parents, nor adult supervision, Roger is free to misbehave without any consequence. When Roger joins Jack’s tribe, he has more freedom, which led to his arm no longer being conditioned by civilization, rather through his own will. Roger wanted to kill Piggy, not merely to scare him.

This time Roger followed through with the murder by throwing a boulder directly at Piggy’s head, instead of around him. “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist. Piggy, saying nothing, with no time for even a grunt, traveled through the air sideways from the rock, turning over as he went (200). ” This ultimately led to Piggy’s brutal death. “His head opened and stuff came out and turned red. Piggy’s arms and legs twitched a bit, like a pig’s after it has been killed (201). Lastly, being in an uncivilized environment, without rules or consequences, the innate evil is revealed once again when Jack and his tribe attack Ralph. At the commencement of this book, it was one mighty group of young boys fighting for their survival and attempting to be rescued. As time went on, some of the boys got tired of rules and the amount of work has to be put into the group, so the group divided. After the death of Piggy, only Ralph was left from the original group. All the others deserted Ralph and joined the other tribe.

Jack decides to send his tribe after Ralph to kill him. Prior to the attack, Ralph notices the change in the boys. “He had glimpsed one of them striped brown, black and red, he had judged that it was Bill. But really, thought Ralph, this was not Bill. This was a savage whose image refused to blend with that ancient picture of a boy in shorts and a shirt (203). ” These young, polite, wonderful British boys had lost their original identity. This savagery and evil behavior increased as time went on and kept getting worse until murder became easy. These painted savages would go further and further (204)”. Also, Jack symbolizes Satan. That is why when he becomes the ‘chief’, bad things begin to happen. Ralph on the other hand symbolizes God. He does the right thing no matter what temptation comes his way. It is clear from Simon’s murder, Jack and his tribe attacking Ralph, and Piggy’s murder that there is an innate evil within us when left untamed rises to the surface. This leads to evil acts, savagery, and murder. Will these boys are evil forever or will that evil be suppressed once again when they return to civilization?

William Golding once said that in writing Lord of the Flies he aimed to trace society’s flaws back to their source in human nature. By leaving a group of English schoolboys to fend for themselves on a remote jungle island, Golding creates a kind of human nature laboratory in order to examine what happens when the constraints of civilization vanish and raw human nature takes over. In Lord of the Flies, Golding argues that human nature, free from the constraints of society, draws people away from reason toward savagery.

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What Does Lord of the Flies Say About Human Nature?. (2021, Jul 12). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-does-lord-of-the-flies-say-about-human-nature-essay

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