Lord Of The Flies And Kahlil Gibran's Good And Evil

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Cheating, stealing, and lying: all obviously evil actions. But is that really the case? These things are perceived as evil, but people do not always take into account the intentions behind them. Does stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family make you a bad person? This falls somewhere in between the seemingly clear-cut lines of what is good and what is bad. Such moral dilemmas are often the subjects of great works of literature. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Kahlil Gibran’s “Good and Evil,” from the collection of poems titled The Prophet, explore morality through analyzing the innate nature within human beings. They express radically different ideas about this nature - specifically, they present opposing arguments over the presence …show more content…
According to Gibran, cruelty does not come from a natural inclination towards evilness, but rather it is brought about by circumstance. Furthermore, these circumstantial actions are not caused by innate evil, rather by a lack of goodness. This absence can be aided by taking action to become a better person. At the beginning of Gibran’s poem, an elder of the city asks a man to talk about good and evil in human beings. The man replies, “Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. / For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?” (Gibran 3-4). Here, Gibran makes his claim clear by implying that good and evil are in fact quite similar - perhaps two sides of the same coin. Moreover, in certain situations, someone may be pushed by the “hunger and thirst” of goodness to become bad-natured. This negative action, in Gibran’s opinion, does not cause a person to be truly evil; they are simply changed by an unfortunate event. The idea of circumstantial evil is also emphasized at the end of the poem when, after listing multiple examples, the man says, “the truly good ask not the naked, ‘Where is your garment?’ nor the houseless, ‘What has befallen your house?’” (Gibran 37-38). Here, he discusses how those who are good should treat those who may be perceived as not good. Rather than judging them or asking why they do not have what another person does, the “truly good” would instead offer help. Gibran also explains how evil is merely a lack of goodness. Though there are many ways he does this, it is most frequently indicated by repetition. The format of “you are good … yet you are not evil…” appears numerous times in the poem; for example, “You are good when you strive to give of yourself / Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself” (Gibran 12-13). In these lines, Gibran describes a

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