Simon and Atticus challenge the prevailing authorities of their day, the regiment of established biases and desires of society. However, their message of empathy ultimately fails to incite change because man possesses “appalling ignorance of his own nature”, his nature to “exercise control over living things”. This nature leads man to surrender to the behaviors of Jack and Bob Ewell. Bob Ewell and Jack live by “the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand”. This authoritative idea provides their lives with simplicity, power and pleasure. Simple, because “common folk judiciously allow [them] certain privileges”, and they “hunt and kill”, rather than “have laws and agree”. Pleasurable because, they can have “carnal knowledge of a female by force”, demean women in court, and get away on “evil assumptions”. Powerful because people will abandon empathy and emulate authority, just to join Jack and Bob Ewell. Simon and Atticus live by the idea that courage is “when [man] knows [he’s] licked before [he] begins but ...
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...ow the regiment of established biases of society. Clouded by the authoritative culture, compassion becomes hard to find. Golding and Lee show readers that when people embrace empathy, society benefits as a result. Stability and common ground can be reached but only if children learn early on how to be compassionate. They cannot be ignorant of the good and the evil that exists within the world. If they indulge solely in pleasure and and never take on responsibility or never challenge their understanding of the world, their ignorance will distill into hate and prejudice. The authority of ideas, the authority of ignorance manifests itself in many forms, the Lord of the Flies, Jack and Bob Ewell. These people themselves may possess authority, but it is truly the ideas they endorse that control people. Empathy resists ignorance, and cultivates a far more peaceful world.
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