An Analysis of Human Nature in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Human nature is unavoidable. In his novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding is making a profound statement on human nature. He is expressing mankind s essential illnesses through the boys on the island. Golding establishes that the nature of human beings is truly destructive, evil and savage. Before the boys arrive on the island is a beautiful tropical paradise untouched by civilization. When the boys plane crashed a long scar (was) smashed into the jungle (p.1, Chapter 1) The island has been scared just like the cities that have been scared by atomic warfare. The harm to the island was caused by a man made object which shows that it is man who causes destruction. No matter where man goes he always brings destruction. The boulders that the boys push over also represent man s destructive nature and brute force. The boys have fun causing destruction to the island.

They even pretend the bolder is like a bomb (p.25, chapter 1). It is evident that man s feral nature exists even in their fun and games. Another example of man s destructiveness is too look at the condition of the island when the boys first arrive and when they leave. In the beginning the island is described as a heavenly place full of life. In the end the island was scorched up like dead wood (p.224, chapter 12) looking more like hell. The boys totally destroy their island with their war. When the officer comes to rescue them he is not really saving them from anything. He will just be taking them back to where an even bigger war going on.

Man can never truly be rescued because no matter where one goes, they can never escape who they are inside. Evil exists in all human beings. No one ever wants to admit that they are evil so they place the blame for all the evil on something else. In this case it was the beast. The dead parachuter was what the boys thought to be the beast. Simon was the only one who accepted the fact that the beast is really only us (p.96, chapter 5) but the other boys just laughed when Simon tried to express this thought on man s evil nature. The Lord of the Flies also represents the evil in everyone.

He even refers to himself as the beast in his conversation with Simon, Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! (p.158, chapter 8) You cannot kill the beast because he is the evil that is everywhere in everyone. You cannot kill the devil himself. Simon now understands the true nature of the evil. After Simon finds out that what everyone thinks is the beast is actually just the parachuter he goes to try and tell the other boys. There he encounters the beast again but this time not in the pig but in the boys themselves. Without social order the boys have no way in controlling the evil inside them and Simon, mistaken for the beast, is killed. The parachuter then floats into away leaving only one beast left on the island, man. Man is a savage beast. This beast inside all people is only suppressed by the rules and standards of society.

Almost all the boys go through a decent into savagery, but perhaps the most visible decent is the one of the choir. They start off as very disciplined, obedient and orderly boys who accepted the authority of the school. Even though there were no adults around to tell them to they still marched in step in two parallel lines (p.15, chapter 1) and still were fully clothed despite the heat. As soon as it was decided that Jack would be in charge of the choir, he wanted them all to be the hunters. It was through the boys hunting that they became less human and began to turn into their animal selves. Jack was the worst of all at this. He would get down on all fours dog-like and sniff his nose only a few inches from the humid earth (p.48, chapter 3) Another thing Jack and the hunters did was painting their face. This was a symbol of him losing his identity, and become an animal without passion, thoughts, or even a soul.

This enables them to brutally slaughter the sow with her piglets and enjoy it greatly. This love of blood and power eventually leads to the murder of Simon and then of Piggy. Without anyone telling them what is right and what is wrong they act using their basic human nature which is ultimately savage. Through the events that took place on this island one can see the tragic truth of human nature. Left to live solely on his own devices, goodness would be forgotten and evil would prevail. Man would not be able to survive without society. Golding sadly confirms the fact that the most destructive, evil and savage animal is man.

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