The Genesis of Evil in Lord of the Flies

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For centuries, psychologists and psychoanalysts have studied humans in hopes of discovering a common link, a pattern per say, in what provokes their certain thoughts and actions. Many question certain values, morals, religion, even their brain chemistry, but nobody knows for certain. Sigmund Freud’s theory suggests that human actions/personalities derive from three parts of the human psyche; the id, ego and superego. William Golding analyzes this further in his novel, Lord of the Flies, which is about a large group of boys that crash-land on a deserted Island after fleeing a dangerous England in the times of WWII. These young boys are used to entertain the idea of savagery vs. civilization and how evil lies deep within us all. After reading Lord of the Flies, it is possible that the evil within the boys is driven by fear, power, and the loss of innocence.
To begin, fear is portrayed in one of the “Bigguns” Jack Merridew, the power-thirsting leader of the choir boys turned hunters. Contrary to popular opinion, Jack is not truly evil, as he did not show savage behaviour in the beginning of the novel. "We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages” (42) said Jack near the beginning of the novel. In addition, Jack shows his fear for blood in his failure to kill the pig on his first hunt on the Island. Jack’s ego doesn’t allow him to fear or fail at anything, so he becomes obsessed with having the ability to hunt and kill. This hunger for hunting and killing then sparks his evolution to savagery. Although the following characters aren’t truly “evil” when compared to Jack or Roger, Sam and Eric simulate acts of evil near the end of the novel. The twin boys stay loyal to Ralph throughout most of the novel, tending ...

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...oo young to acknowledge their changed behaviors.
To conclude, the formation of evil within the group of boys originates from fear, power, and the loss of innocence. William Golding uses fear to ignite evil and evil doings in characters like Jack, Sam, and Eric. To prove this theory, he uses characters like Simon and the lord of the flies to clarify fear’s true intentions. Power, possessed by both Jack and Roger, is used to instigate their cruel ways as well as their conversion to savagery. Alongside the two initiates is the loss of innocence, a phase that has taken place far too early and quite erratically in these boys. Altogether, these three attributes have led to destruction, killing, and inhumane behavior; characterized as savagery, but also known as evil.

Works Cited

Golding, William . Lord of the Flies. San Francisco : Faber and Faber, 1958. Print.
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