Internal Enemy

Internal Enemy

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The Internal Enemy

A good novel’s theme is often proven by the character’s actions.

A novel in which this occurs is Lord of the Flies by William Golding. In

Lord of the Flies Golding uses various characters to portray that man is

basically evil because of his violence and irresponsibility.

One can see that Golding’s theme of the novel is that man is

basically evil because of his violence when the savages steal Piggy’s

glasses and when Roger kills Piggy. When the savages come to steal

Piggy’s glasses they start a fight. Instead of peacefully stealing the

glasses the savages lash out at the boys leaving them bruised and

bloodied. The fight that the savages provoke is an example of their

violence which helps prove that the theme of the novel is that man is

basically evil. A second way in which Golding demonstrates this, is the

incident where Roger kills Piggy. Roger seems to kill Piggy, not

because he is a threat, but because Roger seems to experience a

primitive desire to kill. When Roger kills Piggy he performs the task

thoughtlessly and does not experience any remorse. The fact that

Roger kills Piggy again shows man’s violence, proving that the theme

of the novel is that man is basically evil. The above examples have

helped prove Golding’s theme.

Another way in which Golding portrays man as being basically evil is

their irresponsibility when no one helps Ralph build huts and when the hunters let the fire go out. The boys voted that

building huts was important and that shelter was a necessity, but none

of them helped Ralph and Simon make the huts. This shows that they

are not interested in living in a civilized society. When the boys are

unwilling to build huts they show that they are irresponsible and that

the theme of this novel is that man is basically evil. An additional way

that the boys show their irresponsibility is when the hunters let the fire

go out. Although they thought that it was important to be rescued

they were reluctant to help with the fire, their only hope of rescue.

They are more interested in killing than in being rescued. It is evident

that Golding portrays man as being basically evil because the boys do

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not help Ralph and Simon build the huts and the hunters let the fire go


Golding tries to prove in this novel that “society’s defects can be traced

back to the defects of human nature” because of man’s violence and

irresponsibility. Some people may disagree with Golding’s theme of

the novel. They believe that a person is not born evil, but picks up

those traits from society. Unlike Golding, they believe that society

conditions people to act more violently and irresponsibly. No matter

what a person believes, Golding’s theme is quite clear.
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