Social Behavioural Theory: Plausible or Rubbish?

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During the Twentieth Century, there were a multitude of events that darkened almost everyone’s view of the world. These events had a great impact on the pieces of modern literature being published since the authors would write with more pessimistic views. William Golding, at the time, developed a theory which stated that people are inherently evil and that society keeps us good. While both the novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, and the short story The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell, demonstrate the savagery and inherent evil of mankind through the desensitization to violence, the help of secondary and tertiary characters as well as a similar setting, the motivation propelling the characters’ actions differs greatly between the two pieces of literature. First of all, the novel and the short story both support Golding’s theory through the analysis of the character’s desensitization to violence. In the beginning of the novel, Jack cannot manage to kill a pig because the idea is initially overwhelming. As the plot progresses, Jack is more at ease with taking a life. Similarly, the short story’s character Zaroff is desensitized to violence because his father taught him to kill at a very young age. Consequently, this permits him to murder very easily. “I killed my first bear in the Caucasus when I was ten. My whole life has been one prolonged hunt (…) It would be impossible for me to tell you how many animals I have killed.” (Connell, 1) Both characters demonstrate that it is not society that has corrupted them but it is their innate evil that has desensitized them, thereby enabling them to slaughter with ease. The social behaviour theory is clearly supported through the desensitization to violence of both characters. Therefore, it is plausible. Furthermore, the savagery and inherent evil of mankind is demonstrated in both works of literature through the help of secondary and tertiary characters. In Lord of the Flies, Jack has the support of his...
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