The Power of Evil: Lord of the Flies

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Evil: A noun meaning profound immortality, wickedness and depravity. It’s just a simple four letter word, full of darkness. There is a little bit of evil in everyone, varying in degree and severity, but it’s up to you whether you let it show or not. Everyone has a simple understanding of what evil is, but only through experience can one get a true understanding. In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, evil seems extrinsic to the boys, being caused by the situation they are thrown into and the island they are stranded on, but these boys slowly begin to realize the intrinsic nature of evil within them.

The common theme of evil is very evident throughout this entire book, but the source of the evil gradually seems to shift from the island to the boys themselves. When the boys first arrive they are nothing but British School boys who have all grown up in the same civil environment. They clearly know what is right and what is wrong; because there were rules that were enforced back home. The boys have the power to make their own decisions, but what damage could a group of young school buys really do? As the time spent on the island increases the extrinsic effect of the island starts to seem like the cause of the increase in evil demonstrated by the boys. “They got his arms and legs. Ralph carried away by a sudden think excitement, grabbed Eric’s spear and jabbed at Robert with it” (Golding 101). Ralph originally seems like a non violent, nice guy, but he can show the evil he holds within. He gets so caught up in the moment and his surroundings that he begins to perform actions he never thought he would. He pretends to hurt another human being and seems to enjoy it. “The potential for evil is an inherent quality in all humans that is unleashed in the absence of the rules and customs of civilization” (Frank). Evil is in everyone, even Ralph, piggy, and the littleuns. The evil in Jack is always apparent. His wickedness is fueled by his need for power and control, but...
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