Innate Evil in Golding's Lord of the Flies

Innate Evil in Golding's Lord of the Flies

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This paper will explore the three elements of innate evil within William Golding's, Lord of the Flies, the change from civilization to savagery, the beast, and the battle on the island. Golding represents evil through his character's, their actions, and symbolism. The island becomes the biggest representation of evil because it's where the entire novel takes place. The change from civilization to savagery is another representation of how easily people can change from good to evil under unusual circumstances. Golding also explores the evil within all humans though the beast, because it's their only chance for survival and survival instinct takes over. In doing so, this paper will prove that Lord of the Flies exemplifies the innate evil that exists within all humans.

Civilization is compromised when rules become unnecessary and the children?s state of mind has changed for the worst. In Lord of the Flies, the conch shell and signal fire represent civilization, but as the children lose interest in having a leader, and following rules, these objects lose their meaning and savagery takes over. ?We may stay here till we die,? (pg.9) was a very powerful quote, because from the beginning of the novel, Golding is foreshadowing their future on the island. Another example of this is their painted faces and tribal dances, which happen when they?ve killed a pig. A force greater than they can control seems to take over their humanity, and because children haven?t been exposed to think for themselves, they don?t know between right and wrong. Therefore, society hasn?t conditioned them to be evil, but the evil resides within them naturally.

This leads to the fact that a beast really does exist within all human beings, but is only expressed when human instinct for survival becomes the main objective. At first the boys aren?t able to kill, but as survival instinct starts taking over, the reader?s are able to se the true character?s play out, and lives are compromised. ?You feel as if you?re not hunting, but- being hunted, as if something?s behind you all the time in the jungle,? (pg.53) proves that it?s every man for himself and people will do anything to survive. An example of this in the novel was when Robert became the ?pig,? and was wounded even though it wasn?t intentional, but the situation became worse when Piggy?s death happened as a result of all civilization lost and evil taken over.

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The ?Lord of the Flies,? in the jungle isn?t actually talking, but essentially a representation of the evil living inside each of the children.

Golding uses the island as the main setting, but also as a symbol of the island in itself representing the isolation of the children. Right from the beginning of the novel, Golding shows how a beautiful place is easily corrupted by man and the evil within him, ?All around him the long scar smashed into the jungle.? (pg.1) Evil is in essence, happening throughout different places on the island, but the jungle is the most secluded place where the boys lose all compassion and discover ?The Lord of the Flies.? The clearing is the only non-evil place on the island, but as evil resides, it too becomes corrupt when the boys bring the head of the pig to it. This is Goldings? significance that all evil has taken over, and they can?t return to civil being.

Therefore, this paper proves that William Golding got the message across, through Lord of the Flies that evil does exist within all humans. It is represented through the change to savagery when rules are no longer needed, and the evil force within them takes over their humanity. The beast reflects the evil within the children because they realize that the beast lies within each one of them, causing them to act out in such a way. The island brings together all evil because that?s where it?s taking place, and shows how easily it can be corrupted by man and the evil within him. Finally, concluding that the innate evil within all humans exists, but doesn?t reflect until an evil impulse is needed to be acted upon.
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