Social Contract In Lord Of The Flies

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The Truth about Human Nature The social contract is something that we all automatically agree to once we’re born into society. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies investigates, like many philosophers before him, this social contract and its extent of control over people. He does this through the story of a plane full of young boys when it crash lands on a desert island, leaving them to create their own society. Some people believe that the social contract is forced upon us by society and necessary due to our inherently dark human nature, while some believe instead that people are fundamentally good and naturally follow the social contract, and that it’s society that corrupts people. Although Golding’s Lord of the Flies begins with the possibilities …show more content…
When the beast, which represents human nature, is not repressed by a government, it becomes more and more expressed in people’s actions- they become increasingly evil. An example of this is in Jack and Roger’s hunt to find and kill Ralph. “Roger sharpened a stick at both ends. Ralph tried to fit a meaning to this but could not” (190). In this destroyed society, most of the boys have abandoned their morals, especially Roger. Within society, or even earlier on the island while to social contract was still intact, none of them would even consider doing what they now planned to do. However, like Hobbes’ philosophy hypothesizes, once their society declined to the state of nature as a result of lack of government control and they no longer had to recognize the social contract, they naturally began a state of war because their primal, subconscious instincts were taking hold. Ralph, on the other hand, didn’t understand what this statement meant at first, showing that he was still under the influence of the social contract. He didn’t realize that the other boys were trying to kill him because, still thinking that there was some semblance of civilization left, he didn’t even see that as a possibility. He soon realizes that he is incorrect, however, when the hunt begins. The hunt, and Ralph becoming sort of like a hunted pig, …show more content…
Though at first, Golding reflects the idyllic theory of Rousseau in the boy’s society, that quickly dissolves into the chaos of Locke’s and, eventually, the total destruction of the philosophy of Hobbes. The end of the book makes it clear that Golding agrees with Hobbes- that try as we might, without a controlling government to stop us and enforce on us what is right and wrong, our own nature will end up destroying

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