Comopassion's Veil

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Compassion has always been regarded as an insignia of humanity—the foundation of our very essence. Perhaps, however, we have inaccurately defined our true nature. Perhaps compassion is, in truth, a gossamer veil concealing our insatiable hunger for self-indulgence. As Hobbes suggests, perhaps humanity’s instinctive, primitive impulse is “the state of war,”—a struggle for the conch. In the symbolic allegory, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, the central characters Ralph, Piggy, Simon, Jack, and Roger betray their thin veils, demonstrating Hobbes’s outlook on humanity and exposing their true nature—savages struggling for power, ruled by fear, and dictated by survival. As Hobbes suggests, “The lifelong perpetual and restless desire for power is a fundamental quality shared by all humans” For Ralph, Jack, Roger, and Piggy this concept seems accurate for them in pivotal accounts embedded into the novel by Golding himself. Ralph, the central character, is constantly reminding the tribe that he is chief, indicating that even the protagonist is enticed by power’s seductive comfort. In an attempt to assert his power in the corruptive society on page 99, Ralph states “I was chief, and you were going to do what I said.” Jack on the other hand, representing dictatorship and monarchy due to his consistent attempts to steal the conch’s symbolic power, equates influence over morality and is willing to remove all threats that interfere with his goal, deeming power as essential as survival. In contrast to Ralph, Jack’s lust for power makes him neglect the need for rescue, causing him to prioritize the primitive impulse of power over the security of civilization. Towards the beginning of the story, Jack demonstrates his overbearing qualities a... ... middle of paper ... ... When they don’t even comprehend why the misunderstood creature would have any intent on killing? In sum, it is clear that Golding’s novel encompasses the theories of Hobbes’s ideas of our primitively immoral nature. In fact, society takes decades to weave a thin veil of compassion, to forge a delusion that will bury the undeniable truth from the innocent. However, it doesn’t take much to deteriorate a thin sheet of fabric and unleash a monster from the dilapidated chains of the darkest abyss of one’s souls. So when one egoistically wears their gauzy cloth of false humanity, realize that it doesn’t take much to betray a deceitful mask of “compassion”. That the evil of one’s inner beast will eradicate an ignorant optimist’s veil into shreds of misconception. Realize that no mortal is capable of escaping the inevitable damnation of their inner beast. Kyrie Eleison.

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