Individual Versus Community in Lord of the Flies

Satisfactory Essays
Just like the Ying Yang symbol, everyone has a good side and a bad side. The goodness always has some evil, and the evil always contains a bit of goodness. If the two are not balanced, conditions can go awry fast. The battle between the two was evident in William Golding's Lord of the Flies. The young and immature children stuck on an island fought between the morals ingrained in their mind by society, and their inner urge to be consumed by hate. Golding’s theme of good versus evil is exhibited when Jack encountered a piglet on the island, when Roger attempted to harm Henry, and when Simon came face to face with the “beastie”.
The first time Ralph, Jack, and Simon encountered a pig on the island, Jack’s attempt to slaughter it showed his inner good and evil. The boys found the piglet tangled up in some vines and Jack rushed forward with a knife. He prepared to strike, but found that he could not. Golding wrote, “The pause was only long enough for them to understand what an enormity the downward stroke would be” (Golding 31). The piglet escaped and Jack’s excuse for not killing it was that he was trying to find the right spot. The real reason behind his hesitation was the implications of killing a young and living animal. Without realizing it, Jack was swayed by a civilization that he was not a part of anymore. The good half of Jack knew there was a certain taboo associated with killing. He knew his actions would never have been acceptable in the previous world, but the malevolent part of Jack argued that no one could hinder him. He could experience the thrill of killing without being punished by the authoritative figures of his past. Later in the book, Jack left behind all his morals and triumphantly killed a sow....

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...e him over so he could successfully hunt a pig. Roger did not have any inherent kindness, but he did not let it show until the other children became evil. If he showed his true nature early on, the others would never have accepted him. The only one to realize the destructive force overcoming them was Simon. When he had a hallucination about the beast, he realized it was not something tangible, but a part of everyone. He realized the “beastie” was the evil inside of them. The children came to the island pure and free of sins, but at the end of their ordeal, they had experienced the horrors of humanity. Without the help of adults, they could not fight their fears and temptations. Golding’s theme of good versus evil raised interesting questions about the essence of human nature. Is the core of humanity truly good or is evil always lurking beneath the surface?
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