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Inherent Good and Evil in Lord of the Flies Essay


The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is tale of a group of young kids who end up being stranded on a deserted island after their plane crashes. Intertwined in this classic novel are many themes, many that associate with the intrinsic evil that exists in all people and the harmful nature of mankind. In The Lord of the Flies, Golding shows the kids’ steady transformation from being civilized, well-mannered people to savage, ceremonial monsters. From the time that the young boys land on the island, both a power struggle and the first indications of the kids’ fundamental evil, Piggy’s mockery, happen.

After blowing the conch and summoning all the young boys to come for an assembly, an election is held. “I should be chief, stated Jack with simple conceit, since I’m chapter chorister and head boy”(Golding 22). After Ralph is chosen Chief, Jack envies his position and continuously has a hard time for power with Ralph throughout the rest of the novel, persuading the rest of the boys to join his tribe rather than to stick with Ralph.

Likewise, soon after the kids reach the island, Piggy, a physically weak and vulnerable character, is mocked and jeered at by the other kids.

After attempting to recount all of the liluns’ names, Piggy is informed to “Stop talking, Fatty,” by Jack Merridew. Ralph remarks by stating, “He’s not Fatty. His real name’s Piggy.” All of the young boys on the island, other than for Piggy, laugh and make themselves more comfy at Piggy’s expenditure. “A storm of laughter emerged and even the tiniest kid joined in. For a minute the boys were a closed circuit of sympathy with Piggy outside. “(Golding 21). The boys instinctively end up being more comfy with one another after Piggy’s mockery and create a bond, leaving Piggy on the outside.

While Jack and Ralph are checking out the island, they encounter a piglet which Jack apparently tries to kill. After acquiring the nerve to kill the child pig, Jack rectifies the circumstance by stating “I was just waiting on a minute to choose where to stab him (Golding 31).” This occasion plainly illustrates that together with intrinsic evil, “guy is [likewise] efficient in being great and kind, and needs to option and free choice to choose which one he will become. “(Ridley 97) Jack’s mercy is short-term, nevertheless, and when they encounter another pig, Jack and his hunters are ruthless.

They go back to beach ritualistically shouting “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood,” where they excitedly discuss the details of the hunt. “I cut the pig’s throat,’ stated Jack, happily, and yet twitched as he said it (Golding 69). Jack is internally having a hard time in between his civilized teachings and savage instincts in this example, in which he both happily exclaims his murder and twitches while doing so. Another example of the young boy’s inherent evil is the ruthless murder of the sow. With no regard for the plant’s newborns, Jack commands his people to assault it.

The kids “hurled themselves at her. This awful eruption from an unknown world made her frenzied; she squealed and bucked and the air had plenty of sweat and noise and blood and horror” (Golding 135). The animalistic behavior of the boys frightens the plant, and the reader as well. After the death of the sow, the boys play with its blood and ritualistically celebrate their kill. Jack “giggled and snapped them while the kids made fun of his reeking palms. Then Jack got Maurice and rubbed the things over his cheeks” (Golding 135). The boys show no grace for the sow and act like savages.

The murder of the sow allows the young boys to “revert back to [their] primitive instincts” (Garbarino 96) and lose all traces of regret and conscience. In the novel, Ralph and Piggy represent intelligence, factor, and a government. They also attempt to avoid resorting back to their primitive instincts and use factor to try and encourage the other young boys to do the same. “Which is much better- to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is? “(Golding 180) specifies Piggy. The boys’ crazed reaction to Piggy’s concern illustrates Piggy’s point about the civility of himself and Ralph, compared to Jack and the rest of the people.

Sometimes throughout the book, Piggy is the voice of reason and assists to guide Ralph along that very same road if he loses his way. After scolding Samneric for being downhearted about their fate, Ralph for a short while forgets the reasons the signal fire is so essential. “He tried to bear in mind. Smoke, he said, we want smoke. Course we have. Cos the smoke’s a signal and we can’t be saved if we do not have smoke. I knew that! Shouted Ralph” (Golding 172). Ralph begins to lose his preliminary cheerfulness and enthusiasm and replaces it with disinterest and pessimism.

Piggy and Ralph different themselves from Jack and his people and continue to keep their “government”. Nevertheless, when Jack and his tribe kill a pig and invite Ralph and Piggy to join their feast, the 2 accept and can not withstand the temptation of the meat. In the future in the celebration, Jack and his tribe carry out a ceremonial dance, in which Piggy and Ralph later on sign up with. “Piggy and Ralph, under the hazard of the sky, found themselves eager to take a location in this berserk but partly protected society” (Golding 152). They understand that the dance fueled the kids to murder Simon, and later deny their participance in it.

“We left early, stated Piggy quickly, since we were tired” (Golding 158). Ralph and Piggy recognize the evil in the dance, and understand that if the others learnt about their participance in it, then the young boys would claim that Piggy and Ralph would be going against their own beliefs. Likewise, by not confessing their partaking in the dance, Piggy and Ralph are denying their involvement in Simon’s murder and their intrinsic evil. They do not believe that evil exists within them and think that it will “disappear” if they do not believe in it.

Simon and Ralph represent goodness and reason, and both experience the Lord of the Flies. The Lord of the Flies is the head of a pig which is sacrificially given to the beast in order to preserve the young boys’ security. Simon is the very first to talk with the Lord of the Flies, and when he does, he learns that the monster (evil) is not in an animal out in the woods, but in the young boys themselves. “Fancy you believing the Monster was something you could hunt and kill. You knew didn’t you? I belong to you,” (Golding 143) says the Lord of the Flies to Simon.

The Lord of Flies says that the monster is not a physical symptom that is in the form of an animal that can be hunted and killed, however resides inside the souls of the kids on the island. The Lord of the Flies even says that the Beast belongs to Simon, the sign of goodness, recommending that all people are born with both some wicked and goodness. In the future while Ralph is getting away from Jack and his people, he comes across the Lord of the Flies. “Little prickles of sensation ran up and down his back. The teeth smiled, the empty sockets seemed to hold his gaze masterfully and without effort” (Golding 185).

Right after, Ralph strikes the pig’s head and smashes it into pieces. By damaging the Lord of the Flies, Ralph rejects his internal evil and primitive impulses. The difference in between Ralph’s and Simon’s encounter with the Lord of the Flies is that Simon accepts The Lord of the Flies and listens intently to what it is saying to him. However, Ralph ruins it and then walks away from it. Both Ralph’s and Simon’s experience with the Lord of the Flies specifies that “all men are capable of evil, and evil is inherent in all people, without exception.” (Ridley 107) The Lord of the Flies shows the capabilities of evil in all things.

All of the boys on the island are lured by evil, however not all of them give in to the craving. Nevertheless, along with the evil that lies within all individuals, there is also a tint of goodness, recommending that all individuals have the free will to pick their destiny. The young boys’ battle in between their anarchic driving force, and Ego, their sense and rationale, represent the ongoing fight between good and wicked and is both interesting and emotional. The Lord of the Flies is a fantastically composed book that will remain in the hearts of all who read it, and impact all who experience it, similar to the evil which it describes.

Work Pointed Out Garbarino, Ph. D, James. Lost Boys Why Our Sonds Turn Violent and How We Can Conserve Them. New York City, NY: The Free Press, 1999. Ridley, Matt. Nature Via Nurture. Terrific Britain: Harper Collins Publishers Inc., 2003. Neubauer, M. D., Peter B,, and Alexander Neubauer. Nature’s Thumbprint. New Tork: Addison-Wesley Publishing Business, Inc., 1990. Burnham, Terry, and Jay Phelan. Mean Genes. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 2000. Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. The Berkley Publishing Group.

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