The Inborn Evil of Mankind
In the novel Lord of the Flies, Golding’s pessimistic view that evil is an inborn trait of mankind is valid. Firstly, what seems like a little vacation for the boys is quickly erased by the brutal savage-like behavior that many of the boys on the island possess. Secondly, the death of Simon or goodness on the island shows that evil has completely taken over the boys’ minds. Lastly, the fact that the beast lies within mankind symbolizes the evil that is present in humanity. Therefore, the boys on the island express the innate evil in mankind that can possibly be released when there is no structure and very little means of survival.
The thought of evil being an inborn trait of mankind is shown through the savage like-behavior that many of the boys on the island possess. As the boys try to organize and prepare a plan to get rescued, they begin to separate. As a result of this conflict, a band of savage tribal hunters is formed. Eventually, the boys almost entirely rid themselves of the civilized behavior that has been instilled in them throughout their years. “...hair much too long, tangled here and there, knotted round a dead leaf or twig; clothes, worn away, stiff like his own with sweat, put on, not for decorum or comfort but out of custom; the skin of the body scurfy with brine” (Golding 101). This quotes uses imagery to show the degree of the boys’ transformations on the island. As their days on the island progress, the boys' outward appearances become less civilized. Therefore showing that their outward appearance is a reflection of their inward, savage-like state. This quote also shows that the boys’ surroundings have further contributed to bringing forward their innate barbaric behavior. At the beginning of the novel when things on the island were orderly, the boys dressed in their school uniform which physically symbolized order, rules, and democracy. However as time progressed on the island, the boys’ clothing slowly decomposed into rags, showing that order and rules were slowly diminishing. Therefore revealing the true savage behavior that many of the boys possess. “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in” (Golding 75). This is the chant that the hunters repeat after successfully killing a pig. One of the greatest acts of savagery on the island is shown when the boys kill a mother a pig who is nursing her piglets. This act shows that the boys will kill anyone or anything just to have food for their feasts. This ultimately shows that most of the boys have turned into savages who only care about their next hunt and next kill. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains Thomas Hobbes’ theory of moral and political philosophy. Hobbes compromises an obvious objection, admitting that some of us are much stronger and wiser than others. “Nonetheless, it’s almost invariably true that every human being is capable of killing any other. Even the strongest must sleep; even the weakest might persuade others to help him kill another” (Leviathan, xiii.1-2). Hobbes states that every human is capable of killing another, which ultimately shows the innate evil that is present within mankind. The simple fact that a human being is able to kill another part of its own species shows the savage-like behavior which humans are capable of displaying.
The death of Simon demonstrates that evil is an innate trait of mankind and that there truly is no hope for human beings. Simon's death further represents the completion of the change from civilization to savagery on the island. The death of Simon also shows that the beast has already done enough damage to the boys that they no longer need Simon’s presence on the island. “The beast struggled forward, broke the ring and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no...
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