Lord of the Flies Literary Essay
English, Grade 10 Academic
17 April 2012
“I am a part of you,” Intrinsic Evil in Lord of the Flies
There has always been debate on the evil in humans, whether it is inherent or external. It is often given names such as hate, destruction or the devil, and in the novel it is personified in the Lord of the Flies. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding’s view of human nature is clear, evil is intrinsic to humans. This means that it is a part of human nature supressed inside all of us. Our evil comes out in extreme situations, be it a plane crash on an uninhabited island, or the death of someone close, and they show the truth of who we are.
At the beginning of Lord of the Flies, Golding introduces the children as innocent, but he soon reveals their true nature. Jack quickly becomes obsessed with the hunt, and is almost immediately cruel to Piggy. At first jack hesitates, trying “to decide where to stab him” (29), but this is the civilized part of his mind telling him not to kill. Jack’s evil begins to show when he and the hunters kill the first pig. This is a point in the novel that the boys all begin to become evil. Jack continues to think about the hunt and how they had “outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it” (74). Golding connects Jack’s exhilaration with his sense of power when killing the pig. At first Jack claims that his reason for hunting is because he and the group “want meat” (55), but know it becomes clear that his obsession with hunting is the pleasure that comes from power and control, rather than the good of the group. This lust for control and superiority eventually leads to his attempt in becoming chief. Golding also has every character eventually participate in the hunts, which is his representation of an evil action. Through this he tells us that
everyone is susceptible to becoming evil because it lies within us all, even though our morals and ethics...
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