The Vileness of Man in Golding’s Lord of the Flies
Throughout history, man has proven time and time again that, when lifted from the restraints of society, he is innately evil. Whether it be shown through slavery, genocides, or blackmail, man always falls prey to his instincts of dishonesty, malignity, and corruption. In the novel the Lord of the Flies, Golding sets the stage with a deserted island. Without the authority of adults and the rules of society, stranded young boys struggle for power and dominance, while succumbing to their inner beasts in the process. In this novel, the vileness of man’s heart is explored through the characters of Roger, Ralph, and Jack.
Evilness can consume any person if they dwell in the darkest parts of themselves long enough, and this is mirrored in the character of Roger. When he ﬁrst arrives on the island, Roger still feels the restraints of his old life. As he throws stones at a boy named Henry, he never directly hits him because, “round the squatting child [is] the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law. ” (Golding 67). Although he wants to hurt the child, his state of mind still lies with his past life, so his inner vileness remains stiﬂed. Later on in the novel, however, his state of mind shifts into the life of the island. He loses touch with everything that used to hold him back, and allows his inner, cruel self to shine through. When Jack splits from the main group, Roger instinctively follows him. The separated tribe run by Jack is governed by the evils within themselves. He
gets his ﬁrst taste of killing, when he joins in on the hunt that Jack organizes. In the midst of the chaos, “Roger [ﬁnds] a lodgment for his point and [begins] pushing till he [is] leaning with his whole weight. The spear [moves] forward inch by inch and the terriﬁed squealing [becomes] a high pitch scream” (154). Roger wants to harm the pig and pushes even harder when he knows the pig is...