The Defects of Society and Human Nature as Seen in the Lord of the Flies

Topics: William Golding, Novel, English-language films Pages: 2 (575 words) Published: October 16, 2008
William Golding's Lord of the Flies is a classic novel which has been interpreted as an analogy in many different ways. The plot consists of a group of boys who have survived an airplane crash and attempt to create their own society on the island upon which they have landed. This concept quickly fails and the island becomes a dystopia as the boys split against one another and gradually make the transition into insanity. Golding once stated the theme of this book as “an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature”. Lord of the Flies uses the analogy of the civilization run by children to portray the idea that because humans desire power and wish to satisfy their own needs above others, society cannot fully function.

The natural human desire to possess power and control is shown very early on in the book, starting when Ralph and Jack quarrel over which one of them will be chief. This fight is ended quickly when the other boys vote Ralph as dictator, But Jack's bitterness shows. Jack encourages the other boys to fight the power, but as he gains more power himself throughout the book, his viewpoint shifts from anarchy to fascism, all so that he can control more. The boys demonstrate their hunger for control and destruction when they brutally kill a pig and are hysterical with laughter as they watch the blood. “Right up her ass!” Robert shouts (135), and the other boys repeat his words.

Another firm principal shown in the book is that humans want to satisfy their own basic needs above others. The main example of this is portrayed in the little'uns. They routinely disregard hygiene and the cleanliness of the island so that they will be able to lead the easiest life possible. This is by no means the only example of laziness in the book, however. The big'uns are shown to be lazy and quite selfish as well when they refuse to aid in the construction of the shelters, and they are extremely passive about keeping the fire alive....
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