Human Nature According to "Lord of the Flies"

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Human nature is a topic that has puzzled even the cleverest minds in the intellectual community since the dawn of free thought. It is widely considered nearly impossible to accurately categorize every individual who has ever lived into one statement reflecting their shared qualities. William Golding attempts to do this nigh impossible task through his first and most successful novel, "Lord of the Flies". This internationally acclaimed novel conveys Golding’s central belief: human nature dictates that every individual is inherently evil, and that the only way to supress this evil is to institute the laws and expectations society has established. This thesis brings to life the idea that humans are a simple enough species that they may be collectively defined by one single assertion. While Golding’s view that evil is present in humanity is undoubtedly correct, human beings are much more complex and varied than one statement can accurately convey.

The concepts of good and evil are difficult to explore due to the fact that these two concepts are subjective. No two people have the exact same definition of good or evil, and without a clear definition of what good and evil really is, it’s impossible to determine if human nature truly is good or bad. Every individual has a different set of morals and beliefs with hopes and dreams that differ from everyone else. How, then, does one determine a generalized statement of human nature when each human is different? For example, consider Republicans and Democrats – they each have very different ideals, and both think that the other is wrong. It’s impossible to determine which of the two is right because they are both right in their own mind. Now consider a serial killer – an “ordinary” citizen would abhor the thought of murdering other human beings, but in a serial killer’s mind, they are doing what they truly believe is right. The concepts of good and evil are fluid; opening fire on a group of civilians is atrocious under...
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