Lord of the Flies Essay

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The heavily debated topic on people being “born evil” has been around for over decades. One can argue society corrupts us and brings evil upon us, but the other side pronounces everybody born evil and fully capable of possessing it from the start. Evil is all around us and inherently, residing in us too. Under certain circumstances evil is prominently shown such as in a group of marooned schoolboys on an island with no supervision. Through the pros and cons of an island lacking guidance, the boys will discover how powerful the evil inside them can truly be. In William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, the decline in civilization stems from the innate evil within all humans due to the children’s newfound savagery, demonstrating that humans are always conflicting with the evil they are capable of possessing.

The boys’ savage new ways have conquered the tribe and are the inception of their decline in civilization. One example of how the savagery of the boys on the island has lead to a decline in their civilization is when Simon considers the ultimatum of them being the beast when he concludes, “‘What I mean is...maybe it’s only us’” (80). He proposes this theory during a meeting where everyone begins to laugh. Not too long after, Ralph senses, “The world, that understandable and lawful world, was slipping away” (82). Ralph senses their grip on the rational world they once knew has escaped from their reach. Without adults to set limits, there is no order on the island. The once innocent and civil boys with no worries of such a beast, have became one. The new savage civilization they take part in on the island has engulfed them, blinding them of their true values they originally held. Their new behavior leads to a corrupt civilization with only hunting and killing on their minds instead of more significant duties to attend to, such as keeping the fire alive as a rescue. The interest they take in hunting and killing is a prime illustration for the breakthrough of evil in the once innocent schoolboys. Another example of how the savagery of the boys on the island has lead to a decline in their civilization is when they kill a pig for the first time. Ralph reflects on what has just taken place: “[The hunters’ thoughts were] crowded with the knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink” (70). The development of savagery on the island has finally settled and has broken the shell of an innocent society, allowing the boys to kill. They prove only human when the savagery that manifests in them swells, as seen by the killing of pigs, which then brings them to retreat to evil out of natural tendency. This demonstrates how evil brings them to their decline in civilization as they leave their customary society behind to unite with savagery. The last example of how the savagery of the boys on the island has lead to a decline in civilization is when Ralph is in a disoriented state after Piggy’s death and thinks to himself, “What was the sensible thing to do? There was no Piggy to talk sense. There was no solemn assembly for debate nor dignity of the conch” (179). The loss of Piggy effects Ralph in ways that leave him in a complete state of perplexity. The loss of Piggy represents the loss of rationality in the civilization they have created. Taking away a life is unacceptable in a normal society such as the one they used to know, yet the boys still do it since they are under no boundaries of society to hold them back. The savagery that stirs amongst them is the inception of their decline due to the loss of rationality and order through the several killings that take place on the island, including Piggy.

The struggle and desire for power ultimately leads to the decline in civilization due to the immoral actions Jack takes in coming to power. One example of how the struggle and desire for power leads to a decline in civilization is when the devil,...