Lord of the Flies: Can Someone Be Innately Evil or Innately Good?

Topics: Good and evil, Evil, God Pages: 3 (1279 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The difference in the way humans perceive things is part of the complexity of mankind. What is thought of as evil to one person can be seen as good to another, and vice versa. The issue of good and evil is brought up in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, when innocent boys are set on an island to bear the weight of society on their backs. What happens to them? How do past influences effect them? Are their actions good or evil? The actions of the boys were not a matter of being good or evil, but were actions for survival. A man's environment does not influence him towards good or evil, nor is he born with it inside. Man has instincts and inner drives that are not matters of good and evil, but of survival.

Humans are always, by natural instinct, going to do what is best for them and their survival. Animals, much like men, kill when in need. For instance, when they feel they are backed into a corner, they will attack, and when they need food, they will kill to eat. In Lord of the Flies, Ralph was being hunted by Jack's tribe, and in a desperate attempt in his defense, he thrust his spear through a crack at the inspecting savages. Ralph attacked someone of his own kind for his own survival. It can be believed that man is the derivative of others animals, and as such, they have certain instincts that were instilled from birth. The boys on the island later began to resemble the behavior of animals. "At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws" (153). William Golding's description of this scene leads a reader to believe that these boys took on animal like qualities. What kind of human tears with teeth and claws? The boys mistake Simon for their beast and result in ruthlessly killing him. In their state of mind of savagery and hunting, they saw themselves in danger of this "beast" and their first instinct was to kill anything...
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