William Golding´s Lord of the Flies: Portrayal of Evil within Mankind

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Edward Morrison, a Canadian journalist and Major General in World War I, once said, “If there is [t]rue [e]vil in this [w]orld, it lies in the [h]eart of [m]ankind.” Essentially, Morrison is saying that there is evil in the world, and it lies within each and every one of us. Morrison’s ideas are reflected in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. In the novel, a group of British boys are isolated on an uninhabited island, all alone and without any adults. The boys are horrified by a supposed beast, but there is not an actual beast. Soon after, the boys reveal the beasts from within themselves. These beasts cause evil and chaos throughout the island. Throughout the novel, the reader should see that Golding portrays evil as the natural essence of all mankind. Golding makes it clear that evil is part of all humans through the discussion of the beast. For instance, while the boys are determining exactly what the beast is, Simon contradicts their beliefs by saying that there might not be an actual beast on the island and states that perhaps “[M]aybe it’s only us” (89). Golding allows Simon to see what the other boys have not yet discovered which is that the evil is within them. Golding makes it clear that evil is within each and every one of us by having Simon show the boys that there is not an actual, physical beast, and the only true beast is the one within them. Moments later, Golding has Simon become inarticulate in his effort to express “mankind’s essential illness” (89). Golding is clearly stating that evil is an essence of mankind. When Simon states that maybe the beast is within “us,” he is referring to all of mankind as shown moments later. Another example from later in the novel is when the Lord of the Flies is ta... ... middle of paper ... ...in our normal lives, evil is still naturally found in all of us. Most humans are afraid of evil and do not realize that evil is within them, but it is lurking somewhere inside. Most of us do not realize that when we decide to do wrong, we allow the evil from within to surface and take over. This evil controls our actions, feelings, and desires. Golding makes this argument so we can understand the many sources of our problems. For example, wars, including world wars and civil wars, have killed millions of people for the desire of power. These countries want to prevail as being the most powerful and skillful, while they attack, they allow evil to be released onto our world. Golding would agree with this idea that war is evil, and there is nothing we can do to stop wars from happening. Golding shows that the only true evil is the one that lies in the heart of mankind.

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