Lord of the Flies

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For centuries, philosophers debating human nature passionately have been all trying to reach a concise conclusion when faced with certain questions; Are we nothing more but civilized savages bearing ill will that lurks beneath the surface? Or do we enter this world as gentle spirits who become lost and corrupt along the way? They are questions that have yet to be answered, yet their themes are still heavily explored throughout human history and appear in many of man kind’s artifacts, such as art and literature. One of these examples lies within the context of Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a story in which a band of young boys survives a plane crash and is marooned on a deserted island without adult supervision. They eventually form together under a chosen chief, named Ralph, and attempt to govern themselves, with ultimately disastrous results. The novel evokes the themes of two philosophers- Thomas Hobbes, who believed that mankind is essentially in a constant state of war and requires laws and government to dictate his behavior, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who believed that men are “noble savages” corrupted by civilization and the laws and government inherent in it. Based on the characters and plot in the Lord of the Flies, Hobbes’ belief is the correct one, as Golding depicts the boys slipping further and further away from civilized behavior and turning into savages.
Hobbes’ philosophy is evident throughout Lord of the Flies because of the boys’ withdrawal from civilized behavior and authority, which result in their transformation into savages, which can be shown by their desire to hunt and kill. Nearly the moment the boys land on the island they begin to hunt for meat, actively seeking to kill pigs for their meals, al...

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...nity. The paint leads the boys to capture Samneric, murder Piggy and crush the conch, and then actively seek to kill Ralph. Overall, the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes can be proven within Lord of the Flies through the paint.
In conclusion, Thomas Hobbes was correct in his philosophy that mankind is in a constant state of war and in need of government and laws to keep itself under control. Through Lord of the Flies, a concise and clear example of what happens when government and laws are removed was played out, with the results disastrous. After a short period of time, being removed from under authority the boys transformed into murderers, actively seeking one another out in a game of death. The result of the island escapade is more than enough evidence to prove Hobbes’s theory, and is backed by the hunting of pigs, the destruction of the conch and the use of paint.
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