The Evil Inside: Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies explores the subject of ‘the darkness of male’s heart’. It explores the primitivism and savagery that comes with the humanity through the various characters and language options. William Golding uses the principle of ‘worry of the unidentified’ to demonstrate how it creates apprehension among the boys which leads to their chaotic behaviour. He explores the outcome of the absence of authority and order within a society. Golding likewise uses the boy’s conception of the ‘beastie’ as a symbol of the ‘beast’ within us.

The style of ‘worry of the unidentified’ runs throughout the book and is represented through the kids’ worry of the beast and the island. Fear first starts to appear at nightfall, when the more youthful kids have appearances of monstrous animals in their dreams. The young boys start questioning if they remained in truth not alone on the island and begin questioning their security. “Ralph’s right of course. There isn’t a snake-thing. But if there was a snake we had actually hunt and eliminate it. We’re going to hunt pigs to get meat for everybody. And we’ll look for the snake too.” (p 48) In this quote, Jack’s repetition of the ‘snake’ highlights their horror in dealing with the monster. Jack suggests that the ideal technique is to kill the monster although he has no understanding of what the beast is or what it can. This shows when faced with a possible threat, human’s natural instinct to eradicate what they are frightened of incapacitates their reasonable thinking. Jack utilizes this worry to gain power and flaw the kids to join his side where he assures meat and security. “Piggy and Ralph, under the threat of the sky, found themselves eager to take a location in this lunatic but partially secure society.” (p 187) Even the most reasonable characters in this unique felt willing to break their morals and worths to join Jack’s people because it assured the rather security against the monster. The boys’ resist the beast results in Simon’s gruesome death which symbolises mankind’s incapability when confronted with apprehension. Mankind’s natural impulse to act impulsively in the face of fear makes them savage and unruly.

Humans are inherently evil when delegated fend for themselves. Without guideline or order within a society, they are destined to crumble. The kids in Lord of the Flies originate from a world where their parents managed and informed them. From the minute they show up on the island, these limits are eliminated and rather the boys need to choose for themselves what is judicious. They start restricted by the guidelines of the society that they were accustomed to. “His sandy hair, considerably longer than it had actually been when they dropped in, was lighter now; and his bare back was a mass of dark freckles and peeling sunburn. A sharpened stick about 5 feet long tracked from his right-hand man, and except for a set of scruffy shorts held up by his knife-belt he was naked.” (p 66-67) Golding utilizes Jack’s changing appearance as a metaphor for his lessening mankind. Currently we can see how the island is impacting Jack and turning him into a savage animal. The lack of an authoritative figure to reprimand the kids develops a state of anarchy and more chances for tyranny since of the lack of repercussion. “Roger stooped, picked up a stone, aimed, and tossed it at Henry– tossed is to miss out on … Yet there was an area round Henry, possibly 6 lawns in size, into which he dare not toss. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life.” (p 62) Roger at first throws the rocks without the intent to harm due to the fact that he still living by the rules of his past life. Further on in the novel, Roger rolls a stone off the top of a mountain onto Piggy, killing him quickly, showing that Roger has altered from being a civilised young boy who knows the limits to which he is limited to, to someone who turns to violence and has dispositions to kill and to harm. The growth of a safe pebble into a deadly boulder shows Roger’s character advancement from an innocent kid into a murderous savage. From this, we can see that without civilisation and authority, humans become corrupt and act without repercussion or empathy.

The beast plays a strong function in the novel because it symbolises the darkness residing within the kids, and within human nature. The young boys fear in the monster advances alongside with their savagery. “What would a beast consume?”/ “Pig.”/ “We eat pig.”/ “Piggy!” (p 104) Golding uses this line and the repetition of the word ‘pig’ to foreshadow the kids killing Piggy. The monster is a metaphor for the kids’ primitive nature. The monster starts as only the building and construction of the younger young boys, but starts to develop and become the evil within them. “‘Unless we get terrified of people.’/ A noise, half-laugh, half-jeer, increased amongst the seated boys.” (p 105) Piggy was the very first to recommend that possibly the monster was not tangible and instead a symptom of their own sinfulness and savagery. The young boys instantly reject this concept and laugh mockingly at him. They have actually currently been convinced that the beast is genuine and find it harder to grasp the fact that the monster could be just an invention of their own imagination. “What I mean is … Perhaps it’s only us.” (p 111) Simon likewise recommends the inexistence of the beast. Golding utilizes Simon as a character who is a sign of mankind and empathy. Simon has a strong understanding of what the monster truly is, specifically after his encounter with “the Lord of the Flies.” It is ironic that the only 2 virtuous characters, Piggy and Simon, are the ones who get murdered showing the real power of the monster. The beast embodies primitive human behaviour in their most natural state.

Ultimately, Lord of the Flies shows that humans are innately wicked. Golding recommends that the ‘worry of the unidentified’ allow the young boys to catch foolishness and irrationality. The lack of the guidelines of civilisation in Lord of the Flies triggers mayhem and condition among the young boys. Without the order of life, humans cut loose. It contemplates the darkness in humanity, which appears with the meaning of the beast. Lord of the Flies provides an unnerving portrayal of the real darkness within man’s heart.

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