Essay PreviewMore ↓
Inherent Evil in Lord of the Flies
Lord of the Flies provides one with a clear understanding of Golding's view of human nature. Whether this view is right or wrong is a point to be debated. This image Golding paints for the reader, that of humans being inherently bad, is a perspective not all people share. Lord of the Flies is but an abstract tool of Golding's to construct the idea of the inherent evil of human nature in the minds of his readers. To construct this idea of the inherent evil, Golding employs the symbolism of Simon, Ralph, the hunt and the island.
Golding drives the point that the instinctual evil within man is inescapable. At one point in the book, when the Lord of the Flies is representing all evil, this theory is stated as, "The Lord of the Flies was expanding like a balloon" (Golding 130). Along with this idea is the religious symbolism that is used for ineffectively confronting the evil. At a point in the book, Golding has Simon, symbolic of Jesus Christ, confront the Lord of the Flies. This is a pig's head on a stick that is imagined to talk and represent the evil in all humans. Simon tries to act and spread the knowledge of this evil to others but is killed. This is a direct reference to the death of Christ, alluding to the Holy Bible.
At many points throughout Lord of the Flies, Golding writes for the characters to become gradually more and more evil. This attribute even reaches the symbols of goodness and order, such as Ralph. Once, when Ralph and Piggy go to the feast on Jack's beach, they begin to meld with the others and their evil ways. "Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a place in this demented but partly secure society" (Golding 138). This really only proves their common longing for a place with others, not any depth of evilness.
Golding also has all of the characters eventually participate in the hunts, his representation of an evil ritual that humans perform. By having all of the characters practice this, he illustrates his belief that everyone is susceptible to turning evil. This is not necessarily true. Humans develop their own dedications to their own beliefs, morals, and ethics.
How to Cite this Page
"Inherent Evil in Lord of the Flies." 123HelpMe.com. 12 Nov 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- How do we, as humans, define civilization. What is it that exemplifies our commonality as a species and sets us apart from the common beast. Is it art, science, literature, technological advances, or the philosophical mind. In the Lord of the Flies, Golding successfully unravels our delicate perceptions about what makes us human through a series of haunting and powerfully constructed symbols; among the most integral are the beast, the Lord of the Flies itself, and the fire. Through his narrative, illumination is cast upon the evil inherent in human nature, and society is revealed as a weak and easily penetrable façade.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
875 words (2.5 pages)
- Inherent Evil of Man Exposed in Lord of the Flies The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding used a group of British boys beached on a deserted island to illustrate the malicious nature in mankind. Lord of the Flies dealt with the changes the boys underwent as they gradually adapted to the freedom from their society. William Golding's basic philosophy that man was inherently evil was expressed in such instances as the death of Simon, the beast within the boys, and the way Ralph was fervently hunted.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]
1054 words (3 pages)
- Inherent Good and Evil in Lord of the Flies The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is tale of a group of young boys who become stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. Intertwined in this classic novel are many themes, most that relate to the inherent evil that exists in all human beings and the malicious nature of mankind. In The Lord of the Flies, Golding shows the boys' gradual transformation from being civilized, well-mannered people to savage, ritualistic beasts. From the time that the boys land on the island, both a power struggle and the first signs of the boys' inherent evil, Piggy's mockery, occur.... [tags: William Golding]
1533 words (4.4 pages)
- The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding tells the story of English schoolboys who become stranded on an island after a plane crash, and their slow descent from civilization to savagery. The story is an allegory; the characters as well as several objects all carry a symbolic meaning to them. Democracy and the laws of civilization are represented through a conch shell. The signal fire represents the boys’ connection to civilization and their desire to return to it. The “Lord of the Flies”, a severed sow’s head, symbolizes the inherent darkness of man.... [tags: Lord of the Flies]
780 words (2.2 pages)
- ... This quote is meaningful because Jack begins to demonstrate excessive control over the boys when they brutally beat Wilfred. Ralph begins to become brainwashed when he finds no trouble in assisting Jack in “[beating] Wilfred... He didn't say what for. Jack got angry and made us tie him up,” (golding 176). This quote shows how Jack has begun taken control, first by forcing the boys tie up and beat Wilfred. This excessive control expressed by Jack in the novel, supports the idea that man is inherently evil.... [tags: William Golding's novel, story analysis]
854 words (2.4 pages)
- Author William Golding uses Lord of the Flies to paint a picture of the internal evil of man through a variety of different mechanisms. Ralph, while being one of the most civilized boys on the island, still shows characteristics that would indicate an inherent evil. Henry also displays a darker personality, even as he practices innocent childhood activities in the sand. The island on which the story takes place holds evidence that man possesses inherent evil, seen in the way the boys corrupt and destroy the innocence and purity of the tropical oasis, and viewed in the symbolic manner in which the island's pristine exterior shields a darker inside.... [tags: William Golding, Lord of the Flies, ]
1938 words (5.5 pages)
- Nature or nurture. A question frequently asked but hard to answer or prove. This is where William Golding steps in. He writes a novel about a group of schoolboys stranded on an island, fighting to survive. Instead of acting how they have been taught by society, they turn into a disaster, breaking up into separate groups, having celebrations to hunt pig, and killing each other. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding, inspired by The Coral Island and Paradise Lost, shows the true nature of human beings in a society created by children.... [tags: Literary Analysis, William Golding]
1586 words (4.5 pages)
- The Primitive Nature of Man Revealed in Lord of the Flies A running theme in Lord of the Flies is that man is savage at heart, always ultimately reverting back to an evil and primitive nature. The cycle of man's rise to power, or righteousness, and his inevitable fall from grace is an important point that book proves again and again, often comparing man with characters from the Bible to give a more vivid picture of his descent. Lord Of The Flies symbolizes this fall in different manners, ranging from the illustration of the mentality of actual primitive man to the reflections of a corrupt seaman in purgatory.... [tags: Lord Flies Essays]
1137 words (3.2 pages)
- Jack as Symbol of Anarchy and Savagery in Lord of the Flies Golding's motives for choosing the island setting for the novel, Lord of the Flies was to have the characters isolated, where the laws of their governments could not reach them. The boys on the island represented a microcosm of world society. Golding chose children because they have not yet been fully conditioned by society to understand right from wrong, and thus are guided by their instinct and what is inherent within them.... [tags: Lord of the Flies Essays]
1034 words (3 pages)
- Lord of the Flies and Human Nature Throughout Lord of the Flies, Golding shows his views of the inherent evil of humans. He shows how humans can be in such a savage state, practically mimicking the way of life of their prehistoric ancestors. He exemplifies this with acts of carnage carried on by the young stranded children. It all started with a slight urge to hunt down a pig and then continued on to murdering another human being. Golding shows his views best at the end of the book with the boys being rescued by a Navy crew, which would go on to war it self.... [tags: essays papers]
709 words (2 pages)
Golding also makes it clear that the island that is the focus of the novel is merely a microcosm of the entire world. He develops his world as one having a destructive nuclear war. This is meant to demonstrate that everyone, no matter whom or where, will turn evil. He paints the image of nuclear war as pure and vile evil. This is not entirely true. A nuclear war could simply be a typical power struggle by two countries that have nuclear weapons. It might also be the elimination, through the use of nuclear weapons, of those who oppose what is considered "good."
The methods employed by Golding create a large and almost impenetrable illusion to support his claim of the evil human nature. No one thing can be completely evil. There is some good to be found in everyone. One should not be mistaken, though, that anyone could be completely good either. All people have capacity for both good and evil. Golding has a misguided view of all humans being inherently bad. When considering this hypothesis, one must remember that each individual has a consciousness and the ability to choose. No one can be entirely good or bad.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Putnam Publishing, 1954.
1. What is the significance of the nuclear weapons? Where did you get that information? How does it fit into the novel? How does Simon's conversation with the lord of the flies deal with the idea of man's free will?
2. Quotes would have made your paper stronger. You do use one strong quote, but in order to support your other points you should include quotes for each of the others as well. Quotes prove that your points are valid points to make.