Cruelty And Evil In William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

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“What I mean is… maybe it’s only us”(Golding 80). Simon, one of the young boys stranded on a strange island, is referring to the beast and attempts to contradict the rest of the boy 's fears that the beast is somewhere among them. He instead suggests that the evil has always been within them. However, could a group of young, innocent boys really be a manifestation of the cruelty and evil that inhabits human beings? William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies begins when a plane full of English schoolboys crash on an island. The boys are left to fend for themselves, without any adult supervision. Almost immediately there is an antagonist and a protagonist. The protagonist is an older boy, Ralph. He takes control of the group and is a fair leader. …show more content…
It may seem unlikely that a group of young English boys could be capable of murder and cruelty, but they are actually mimicking the adult world. “But the child’s world on the island is a painful microcosm of the adult world, and the ruin the bring upon themselves is widespread…” (Tiger 7). While a war is going on in the real world, this group of boys endure a war of their own. No one had told the boys to hunt, yet, they knew that it was necessary to survive. Eventually, when they lost all of their civilization they hunted each other. The threat of the beast is always present and Jack is set on hunting it down. He is not aware that there is not a real beast, but only a beast inside of each of the boys. “It is Simon who is made to recognize the real beast and… bring the truth from the mountain…” (Tiger 10). Once Simon is aware that the beast inhabits the boys he believes that it is his right to deliver the news to the rest of the group. In his frantic, post-epileptic state he is greeted by a pack of bloodthirsty savages, instead of the once innocent group of schoolboys. The savages kill Simon, mistaking him for the beast. “It is this knowledge and Simon’s innate morality that necessitates his death. In a sense, he is too good for the island, and the world” (Neighbors 1). The boys are too involved in their manic state to realize that they are killing their friend Simon, instead of a beast. The boys had finally …show more content…
A lack of knowledge about how to handle adult situations, combined with the feud between Ralph and Jack is what lead to the cruelty that was seen as the novel progressed. The environmental aspects of the situation had a big impact on the way the boys acted. “Their obsession with hunting eventually leads them to bloodlust, frenzy, and murder” (Neighbors 1). In their lives before the island it was not necessary to hunt for survival. Jack most likely would not have killed a sow and found that he has a thirst to kill. While creating their microcosm, a mini society, the boys discover that they have a longing for things that would be seen as savage and immoral in a normal society. When the boys arrived on the island, they were not told that they had to hunt, yet, they knew it was a necessity. This basic need for survival could stem back to the very beginning of time, and the evil within the boys is connected with what they discover when they are away from their homes and the rest of society. “The island does not make the boys barbaric… the island only provides an environment, away from societal norms and values, for their true nature to manifest itself” (Neighbors 1). This human nature is present in all of us, but it only manifests in certain situations. The boys had no control over their fate after the plane crash. They

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