preview

Wickedness of Humans Portrayed in William Golding's Lord of the Flies

Better Essays
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a novel portraying the wickedness of all human beings. It follows a group of boys on a transformation from civilization to savagery and the ultimate fight for survival. It raises astonishing questions about human nature through the use of characters and their actions. Ralph and Jack, go head to head against each other on many occasions, but sometimes your enemies are those who closely resemble you and only a few decisions make them turn out so differently. The use of Jack and Ralph as foils to each other shows the evilness of the human race and the conflicts we have with our own kind.
Ralph and Jack are like two sides of the same coin, without one, there cannot be the other. Dispute between the two is inevitable and necessary for the action in the novel. Jack is not all bad, nor is Ralph all good. These two characters foil each other because their many similarities highlight the few differences. As the novel progresses, they continue to grow based on their actions which ultimately leads to their separate ways. For example with Jack wanting to hunt and kill he says," I went on. I thought, by myself —The madness came into his eyes again.
I thought I might kill." (Golding 37) Jack acts on his inner inhibitions and wants to run wild while Ralph wants to get off the island. The main difference between the two is that one wants to stay, while the other wants off. I'm chief. We've got to make certain [that there is no beast]. Can't you see the mountain? There's no signal showing. There may be a ship out there. Are you all off your rockers?" (Golding chp. 6) Ralph concern is let others know that he is there. He wants to go back from this primitive place unlike Jake who is in it to stay. Hum...

... middle of paper ...

...face in the choices they make. Ralph’s capacity for cruelty in the frenzy of the moment is seen when he participates in Simon’s murder. However, his decision to face his actions rather than reject them shows his maturity and his still significant hold on civilization. Ralph, judging from his horrified reaction after Simon is killed, cannot be conditioned to kill because he still lives under the moral hopes of the society he leaves behind. Jack does become contented with murder and his status as chief hunter aggravates his cruel nature. He takes his responsibilities very seriously and when he is unable to kill the pig in the beginning, he is sternly embarrassed. Killing becomes an obsession and he is determined to eradicate this weakness. By the end of the novel, Jack and his tribe, who personify darkness, hunt the only good humanity left on the island, Ralph.
Get Access