Innate Evil in the Lord of the Flies

Topics: English-language films Pages: 2 (445 words) Published: June 28, 2008
Innate Evil
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is unlike other books with the same scenario such as Swiss Family Robinson, and The Island of the Blue Dolphins. These books portray group of people who are stranded on an island. Throughout the days they spend on a prestine island, they express their inborn goodness. Yet, in The Lord of the Flies, William Golding displays the complete opposite. Evil in society merely reflects the evil innate to mankind. Its presence in children indicates its pervasiveness. William Golding presents this theme through various images, characterizations, quotations, and symbols.

In chapter seven of The Lord of the Flies, Ralph stabs a boar with a stick and is very ecstatic about it. His characterization of delight is evidence of the innate evil in mankind because he enjoys killing something, not just for food, but for the pleasure. In addition, he brags about his misdeed to the other boys. This proves that when authority and civilization are taken away, innate evil surfaces, even in one who is very refined. Ralph is always trying to maintain order, but once he injures the boar, his innate evil appears. This quote proves his evil: "The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering" (Chapter 7). His urge to hurt is greater than his urge merely to survive, which gives rise to evil. His attitude changes, and he gives in to the violence of the jungle.

Additional proof that evil is innate in mankind is shown in chapter seven as well. After Jack and his hunters kill the sow, they reenact the hunt with Robert playing the role of the sow. At first, when they hunt the sow, it isn't evil because they are just seeking food for their survival. However, once they wound Robert during the reenactment, their actions indeed become evil. Furthermore, Robert asks them to quit beating him, but they persist in hitting him. "Ow! Stop it! You're hurting!...Kill him! Kill him!...Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!" (chapter 7)....
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