Loss of Innocence in Lord of The Flies by William Golding

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“I think that’s the real loss of innocence: the first time you glimpse the boundaries that will limit your potential” (Steve Toltz). In the previous quote, Steve Toltz discusses the transition from innocence to corruption. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies illustrates the loss of innocence through various characters: Jack, who struggles with pride and a thirst for power; Roger, who revels in the pain of others and uses fear to control the boys; Simon, who represents the demise of purity when humans are at their most savage; Ralph, who illustrates the struggle people endure when attempting to be civilized near the savage; and Piggy, who suffers because he has the only technology necessary to survive. Golding enforces the theory that true innocence will often pay the price to sustain true evil by arranging the characters' personalities and actions in a way that correlates to the effects of Darwin's evolution theory, "survival of the fittest" (). Jack is a good example of this as he exerts power over the weak and uses his skills in hunting to survive. The thirst to prove his masculinity overrides his innate purity, effectively corrupting him. Jack’s loss of innocence begins a domino effect that begins to influence the others.
Jack begins the novel partially innocent, cruel enough to yell at the boys yet pure enough to hesitate when faced with the task of killing the pig. Jack obtains the tools necessary to kill the pig, yet claims to need help cornering the animal. Jack, not truly needing help to kill the pig but rather needing the support provided by the mob mentality, acquires the support of his choir and together the boys hunt and kill the pig, all the while chanting, “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood”...

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...stitute fear and vulnerability into him. They feed off of his fearful cries for help, because it makes the boys feel strong and masculine. The boys subconsciously recognize innocence to be the boundary that limits evil’s potential. Because of this, pure innocence is continuously sacrificed throughout the novel to satisfy the malevolent cravings the boys acquire.

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Coward-McCann, 1962. Print.
Toltz, Steve. A Fraction of the Whole. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2008. Print.
Brent Elliott, Eileen Joyce, Simon Shorvon, Delusions, illusions and hallucinations in epilepsy: 2. Complex phenomena and psychosis, Epilepsy Research, Volume 85, Issues 2–3, August 2009, Pages 172- 186, ISSN 0920-1211,
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