Adaption Means Survival in Elie Wiesel's "Night" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies"

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Charles Darwin, the famous evolutionist, once wrote: "In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.” It was this message that Elie Wiesel learned during his captivity in World War II and incorporated into his novel, ‘Night’. It was also this message that William Golding tried to express through the scenario of his magnum opus, ‘Lord of the Flies’. Though, in both their novels, there was another message, an idea first realized by the great psychologist and philosopher Sigmund Freud. The idea was that when man is taken away from civilization, his instincts (the id) will overpower his conscience (super-ego) and man will return to their original, primitive style of thinking. In common society, there is a word to describe the acts and feelings of a man in his primitive state, a word that takes on many different meanings depending on one’s belief, this word is evil. Both lord of the flies and Night portrays the nature of evil as something that naturally exists in the human soul which is only prevented from release by the chains of civilization. Though, once the structure of civilization is removed from the lives of men; ‘evil’ is unleashed and humans would return to their natural thinking process of the survival of the fittest. By analyzing the main characters in both novels and their experiences throughout the novels, it is proven that evil in its nature is nothing more than the acts and desires of a man in his primitive state of thinking. In order to understand what changes happen to twist the views of the 2 main characters in both novels, it is important to see the outlook of the two at the beginning of the novels in comparison ... ... middle of paper ... ...n idea about the human psyche and the nature of evil. Throughout the novels, we have acts that were dubbed as evil. Some of these were: the acts of the rabbi’s son, the killing of Simon, and even the joy Eliezer felt at the death of his father. All of these points and the many that weren’t mentioned all shared a singular idea. It was that the ulterior motive of these acts revolved around people reacting on instinct and desire. From these, we gain the final message of the novel that was proven time and time again. This message was that evil isn’t an act that just isn’t moral. Evil is the primal, instinctual, an animalistic rage that lives in the darker part of our heart, a part of the heart that is brought to light upon the moment the chains of civilization are broken..... A moment where we fall prey to our instincts and our conscience disappears into the darkness.

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