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Good vs. Evil - Lord of the Flies

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Good vs. Evil - Lord of the Flies

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  • September 2008
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Good vs. Evil
Star Wars, Superman, James Bond—all of these are stories which chronicle the ever-present warfare between good and evil. What exactly is good? How does one describe evil? The answers to these questions are highly subjective, and could be debated for years on end without ever reaching a final conclusion. However, it is widely agreed that each person is inherently born with two sides; one of which is good, the other evil. It is this sense of inherent good and evil in all of us that William Golding tried to warn and protect society against in his classic, The Lord of the Flies.

It is clear to anyone who reads this book that Golding is trying to exaggerate the inherent good and evil in the boys on the island. The boys are all well-raised, British prep school boys. They have grown up in a dignified and sophisticated society, and are by no means savage before they crash on the island. However, in a very short period of time, the boys lose the intelligence and sophistication they had been raised with, and become wild and crazy and almost completely devoid of any signs of civilization. The boys come to the island controlled by their inherent good, but the longer they stay, the more the inherent evil begins to take over. Inherent good and evil are also represented in the book through different characters. For example, Simon seems to be the most sensitive and civilized boy on the island. He is also the only one who recognizes that the true beast on the island is inside the boys themselves. Simon represents the inherent good in human beings. However, Roger is clearly bloodthirsty with little or no concern for those he hurts when while he is trying to accomplish a task. In fact, Roger enjoys deliberately hurting other boys on the island. Roger is representative of the inherent evil in man-kind. Through these examples and many more, Golding clearly warns us against the good and evil inside all of us. One may wonder, however, what society can do in order to...