Lord of the Flies - Human Beings Are Innately Savage

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Essay: Lord of the Flies –
Human Beings are Innately Savage

Savagery, the hideous vileness within man's heart, is explored by William Golding as he expresses his thoughts on the darkness and brutality of man in his novel Lord of the Flies. He explores a group of British boys struggling to survive on an island without civilization. Through the character development of Jack, Golding shows how an innocent child transforms into a savage. He uses imagery to illustrate the savages these boys are becoming. This novel shows that lack of rules and restraints of civilization will cause man to become savage.

In society there are certain rules and standards that people find acceptable. However, on the island there are no adults who would tell the boys what is acceptable and what is not. The boys are free to do things that would be considered barbaric in a more civilized place, which allows them to begin acting like savages. For instance when Jack paints himself a mask using pigs' blood and becomes more savage because, "…the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness"(80). There is nobody around who would tell Jack not to paint his face, and after he does, he begins to do more barbaric things because he feels that he is more or less free to do what he pleases with the mask on. If Jack was still in a civilized society it would not be socially acceptable for him to have a mask of pigs' blood. This displays that without social standards, a person is not expected to do things a certain way, therefore people would be free to act more like savages.

In Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, Ralph and Jack are two distinct characters whose leadership qualities contrast so much that they become opposed to each other. Ralph and Jack come to symbolize the good and evil in life. Their leadership views are also very different, as Ralph signifies democracy, while Jack signifies dictatorship. The worlds these two boys live in...
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