11 English AP Prep
16 January 2014
The Downfall of Humankind
If our important moral codes in civilization were no longer, would anyone still follow them? This is the major theme in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies.” Deserted on a remote island from a plane crash, a group of schoolboys initially attempted to collaborate for survival.
However, as time goes on, the hungry mist of savagery seemed to overcome them, and thus began their descent into the dark side of humanity. Robert Ardret, a social scientist, believes that such human behavior is the result of evolution. This is displayed in the “Lord of the Flies,” revealing a glimpse of mankind’s true nature, the hidden and ominous instinct to kill.
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At the end, Ralph realized that exactly this had happened to his friends and supporters, when their civility had completely washed out. While on the hunt for a boar, Ralph becomes exhilarated by chase, and flings his spear at it, missing. He is thrilled with his marksmanship nonetheless. Although the boar escapes, the boys remain in a frenzy from the outcome of the hunt. They reenact the hunt amongst themselves with a boy named Robert playing the boar. They dance, chant, and poke Robert with their spears, ultimately losing sight of the fact that they are only playing a game. The group nearly kills Robert before they remember themselves. Before this, Robert didn’t understand the other boy’s fascination with doing animal-like things similar to hunting and bullying. But when he joins the boar hunt, Ralph is unable to avoid the instinctive desire to kill and gets caught up in the other boys’ bloodlust. This implies that every person, nonetheless strong their instinct toward civilization and order, has an undeniable, innate drive toward savagery as well. Further in the book, Jack’s new formed tribe becomes stronger in both numbers and intensity, for the boys were tempted by the protection his ferocity seemed to provide. As time goes on, brutality catches fire, with murders to show for it. The Beast, one of the most important symbols of the immorality that lived in every boy unknowing to them, was feared and imaginary. Mistaken for the so called Beast, Simon, who was a caring and sensitive boy, gets violently murdered by the hungry tribe, with the, “tearing of teeth and claws,” while the chanting of,” “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” is heard. This unmistakable similarity between a killer ape and Simon’s murderers is impossible to miss. In other words, “Our true nature is unveiled, as our inherent brutality bursts forth in a torrent of savagery and