Lord of the Flies Notebook Check
1. “Why Boys Become Vicious” Author Study
7. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 Questions
8. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 Questions
9. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 Questions
10. Chapters 10, 11, and 12 Questions
Notebook Check #1: “Why Boys Become Vicious” Author Study
“Why Boys Become Vicious” (1989)
Written in response to the murder of a two-year-old boy by two twelve-year-old boys.
Answer the following questions in 2-3 complete sentences minimum.
1. In his article, “Why Boys Become Vicious,” Golding argues that there are two conditions in which evil will develop and grow: Chaos and fear. Explain for each condition how it occurs and what Golding thinks is the solution.
A lack of parental guidance or organization will often lead to chaos. Human nature in its own is chaotic. Fear as or in a group will often lead to chaos as well.
A lack of security, guidance, and a constant fear of punishment for one’s actions all lead to fear in an individual.
2. Golding believes that all human beings are born with a black, or bad side, to their nature; he also believes they have a capacity for love. Do you agree or disagree? Explain. I agree that everyone is capable of love at at least the slightest level, but also agree that everyone has an evil and black side. I believe that everyone, no matter who you are, has or will come to respect or appreciate someone to a level that it can be considered love. For example, even the most cruel and evil men alive or of the past have had at least one wife or love, or at least someone they appreciated.
3. Now that you have finished reading Lord of the Flies, what is your opinion about why boys become vicious? (Think about the circumstances surrounding Simon’s death.) I believe that it is a lack of structure, allowing chaos to grow, and exaggerated even further by fear and panic, that leads to boys becoming vicious and ruthless. All of these lead boys with nothing to do but fall back on their primary instincts, those being viciousness and cruelty.
4. Golding proposes that boys are more vicious than girls because of the way they are raised, but he also references boys’ “long-forgotten beginning as a hunter and killer.” Which do you think is true? Why? I think it’s a combination of both. While over the centuries bots have had a natural tendency in their mentality given and adopted throughout the years, the way they are raised is often in agreement with this and does not help to remove this mentality from males.
“Why Boys Become Vicious”
by William Golding
*special to The (San Francisco) Examiner 2.28.93-Reprint*
Pick any of the great saints or moral leaders of Western civilization – Jesus, St. Francis, Mother Teresa – and the characteristic that stands out is their simplicity.
If it is true, as it seems to be, that there is a simplicity about human goodness, then it is just as true that there is a corresponding complexity about human evil.
Hitler, Stalin and Idi Amin – to name just a few in the 20th century catalog of evil – were far from being simple men. At times they were childish, at times mad, at times pathetic. But their deeds were the twisted deeds of tangled and contorted souls.
So there is nothing the slightest bit simple about what happened to 2-year old James Bulger after he was led out of a Liverpool area shopping center by two older boys.
We are told that he was beaten and then dumped in the path of a train so that his injuries would be disguised. To contemplate that deed, as we must if we are to live in the real world and not little worlds of our own making, is to face a peculiarly stark form of horror. And the cruelty behind it is nothing if not complex.
It was nearly 40 years ago when I wrote about the cruelty boys can inflict on each other in Lord of the Flies....
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