When anyone thinks of the word “evil” they do not think it is within themselves. In reality, without a structured and well-followed society, people are apt to follow their own corrupt desires and neglect the thought of consequence. In the allegory, Lord of the Flies, William Golding reveals that man’s selfishness and sinful nature will be unmasked when the structure of a society deteriorates. As the story opens, the boys are stranded on the island without any type of authority and must fend for themselves. A meeting is held and the chief, Ralph, is quickly named. A reader at once can notice there is already a power struggle between Jack and Ralph but this is overlooked when Jack says rational and sensible remarks about what should be done.
The stability of civilization is still apparent when Jack says, “I agree with Ralph. We ” ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we ” re not savages. We ” re English, and the English are best at everything.
So we ” ve got to do the right things,” (Golding 42).
The boys are still influenced by the restraints they learned from a controlled society. Joseph Conrad asserts that “there exists a certain ‘darkness of man’s heart’ that is suppressed by the light of civilization” (Introduction to Lord of the Flies 2).
“Although Golding suggests the harmony of an ideal society, he does not indicate any faith in its creation” (Kennard 234).
... of an orderly society also. b. Jack creates a tribe solely to get food, and Ralph's has order. c. ... the certain scenarios. I. Golding develops each character to show the distance from society the boys have. a. ... becomes a savage, is shown by the way Golding designs each character and the situations that he ... have fun and not have any rules. II. Golding's plot enhances the affect of the savage side ...
The more meetings that are held the more futile they become. ” ‘We have lots of assemblies. Everybody enjoys speaking and being together. We decide things. But they don’t get done,’ ” (Golding 79).
The boys realize that there are no punishments for what they do and disregard their priorities.
“The idea that the absence of the restraints of civilization can lead to a subversion towards savagery” (Introduction to Lord of the Flies 2).
The makeshift society that the boys have created is already starting to weaken. More and more time passes, the tension growing between the boys heightens and their hibernating savageness starts to peer out. Now, the boys start to completely ignore the rules and neglect the thought of getting rescued and start to fulfill their own wishes of hunting and playing. ” ‘The rules!’ shouted Ralph. ‘You ” re breaking the rules!’ ‘Who cares?’ [Jack retorted]…
‘Because the rules are the only thing we ” ve got!’ [Ralph replied]. ‘Bullocks to the rules! We ” re strong – we hunt! … .’ [Jack declared] ” (Golding 91).
Soon after the boys disperse from the meeting place and Ralph, Piggy, and Sam and Eric are the only big guns left. Piggy urges him to blow the conch and take control once again but Ralph grasps the idea that things will never be the same.
” ‘If I blow the conch and they don’t come back; then we ” ve had it. We shan’t keep the fire going. We ” ll be like animals. We ” ll never be rescued.’ ” (Golding 92).
As the story enfolds, Jack rebels against Ralph and decides to make his own “tribe,” where he could be the leader and he would no longer be restrained to the conch. Evil starts to arise rapidly; the big guns soon side with Jack and abandon Ralph’s authority. Burgess explains “[Take] off the brakes of enforced control and boys, like men, will choose chaos rather than order. The good intentions of the few are overborne by the innate evil of the many” (121).
The evil in both Jack and Ralph draws them apart. [Ralph and Jack] are rational, well-intentioned, and desire law and order, but the beast within both leads them to an inevitable and horrifying clash.
... got to do the right things.' ' (Golding, 42) Jack is speaking to Ralph. This quote is from the beginning of the ... the fear and represents the inner instincts and evils in man. Samneric In the beginning Sam and ... this book to express his views about the evils of society in a metaphorical, entertaining way. The ... The boys are rescued in the end. Quotes' 'I agree with Ralph. We " ve got to have rules and ...
‘Things are breaking up,’ Ralph says, ‘I don’t understand why. We began well; we were happy. And then – -.’ And then the beast [inherent evil] drew them apart (Burris 4).
The so-called stable community initially fails because humankind is innately evil, Burris clarifies, “[Golding] describes the breakdown as resulting from nothing more complex than the inherent evil of man: ‘so the boys try to construct a civilization on the island; but it breaks down in blood and terror because the boys are suffering from the terrible disease of being human” (1).
When it seems as though things could settle down in two separate groups on the island, Ralph and the “good kids” find that it is nearly impossible to preserve an ongoing fire to get rescued. They need to ask the others for help but they are all fearful of Jack who has become a torturous savage who controls his tribe by coercion. The mask that he wears allows him to be his true sinful self. ” ‘But they ” ll be painted! You know how it is.’ [Eric says].
The others nodded. They understood only too well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought. ‘Well, we won’t be painted,’ said Ralph, ‘because we aren’t savages” (Golding 172).
This is especially ironic because the boys end up wearing a facade to show their genuine nature. Once Ralph starts to argue with Jack he screams at them, “‘Don’t you understand, you painted fools? Sam, Eric, Piggy, and me – we aren’t enough.
We tried to keep the fire going, but we couldn’t. And then you, playing at hunting… .’ ” (Golding 178).
The only unadulterated goodness in the boys is in Simon, who is killed when he is mistakenly taken as the beast on the island. The wickedness in all of the boys controls them to tear Simon apart with their bare hands. “The beast struggled forward, broke the ring and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water.
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” (Golding 153).
Mrs. Ney Junior English (131), mods. 15-16 William Golding The Work of William Gerald Golding, late 20 th century British novelist, offers something new in every novel, has a theme of good and evil and the natural corruption of human nature and reflects his personal experiences as a child, as a young man in the navy and his experience with his father who was a strong believer in rationalism. ...
After the death of Simon, “righteousness” and “morality” are totally wiped out and society has truly been defeated by the evilness and sinfulness of man. Henningfeld explicates, “the novel’s primary implication being that we have come to all civilization is at best no more than skin deep” (2).
This statement verifies that when the “skin” is peeled away, civilization is completely gone and the mask is used to cover the void. Jack and his tribe can face “the good” without feeling remorse or guilt. “[Jack] was safe from shame or self-consciousness behind the mask of his paint and could look at each of them in turn” (Golding 140).
All in all, man’s sinful nature overcomes civilization when it is not enforced. Lord of the Flies divulges the true nature of humankind; the evilness that is within men is completely innate.
It is able to break out of its controlled shell when it cannot be imposed without consequence and rules, as the setting was for the boys in the novel. Works Cited Burgess, Anthony. “The Novel Now: A Guide to Contemporary Fiction.” (1967): p 63-4. Contemporary Literary Criticism.
Carolyn Riley, Ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1973. P 121. Burris, Skylar Hamilton.
“‘What makes things break up like they do?’ Alternative Explanations for the Societal Breakdown in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.” 1999. (1 May 2003).
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies.
New York: Penguin Putnam Inc. , 1954. Henningfeld, Diane Andrews. “An Overview of Lord of the Flies.” Exploring Novels. (1998): The Gale Group, 2002.
Pp 1-4. Reproduced in Literature Resource Center. Online. 1 May 2003.” Introduction to Lord of the Flies.” (1 May 2003).
Kennard, Jean E. “William Golding: Island.” Number and Nightmare: Forms of Fantasy in Contemporary Literary Fiction.
(1975): Pp 176-202. Rept. In Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ded ria Bryfonski, Ed. Vol. 10.
Detroit: Gale, 1979. Pp 233-7.