The Lord of Wickedness and The Leviathan

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Thomas Hobbes once said, “Hereby it is a manifest, that during the time man live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war . . .” (Hobbes 64). Hobbes, an Enlightenment thinker, believes that humans are inherently evil, and if lacking a strong moral leader, everything will resort to an existence of chaos. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies effectively provides numerous instances that highlights Hobbes’ viewpoint. Throughout the story, it becomes evident that the manner in which the boys increasingly lose their civility and degenerate into savages, how they end up doing anything either to survive or simply to acquire perverse enjoyment. Golding ably demonstrates the innate evil in human through religious allegories, involving events, characters, and settings clearly based on the Bible.
Golding uses events that relates to several biblical characters’ actions in the novel. One such event employed by the author involves Ralph scolding Jack for allowing the rescue-fire die out, at which point Jack “noticed Ralph’s scarred nakedness . . . His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing” (Golding 70). Nakedness symbolizes innocence. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve are not aware of their nakedness until they have been corrupted by Satan. Hence, when Jack notices Ralph’s nakedness, it is clear that he has been corrupted. He is no longer the innocent boy he once was. Furthermore, knowledge symbolizes the fruit of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, which ultimately corrupts its two inhabitance. Jack’s mind abounds with the fruit of knowledge, defiling him and turn...

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...ord of the Flies in Golding’s book. Clearly, the island parallels the Garden of Eden in terms of atmosphere and scenery, as well as the ultimate fate.
Through the skillful use of religious allegory, William Golding blends depth to what may seem like a mere adventure novel to some. For Judaic Christians, the Bible is the ultimate authority in moral guidance. Through the author’s adaptation of its most familiar stories, readers are invited to interpret similarities and differences between the Bible and Golding’s fine work. The shocking evil ultimately committed by most of the boys in order to survive ─ or worse simply for fun ─ effectively illustrates Golding’s belief that humans are innately evil.

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Perigee Books, 1954. Print.
Hobbes, Thomas. The Leviathan. New York: George Routledge and Sons, 1886. E-book.
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