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By Michael Dummett Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of mans heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy. (Golding, 1958, p. 223). Every character in The Lord Of The Flies reveals personal faults and individual evils that show the true, somewhat wicked nature of humankind. The older boys easily followed Jack; Ralph, Piggy, and Simon, showed underlying flaws. Jack and Roger showed how people are attracted to evil In The Lord of the Flies, Golding suggests that humankind is a barbaric and savage species that cloaks itself with the appearance of a cooperative, ordered, and harmonious civilization. The older boys make up the significant civilization on the island, and they are easily persuaded to follow Jack. They voted for Ralph to be chief, but even as they built the first fire, they foolishly ignored Ralph's orders and piled the wood on too high, setting the jungle ablaze, causing the first death on the island.
The boys constantly abandoned their responsibilities to serve themselves. Following Jack and Rogers lead, the boys revealed their own cruel tendencies, such as on page 65, when Maurice followed Rogers lead in destroying the littler kids castles and kicking sand in Percival's eye. The hunters gained sadistic pleasure from killing the pig. In their continuing process of leaving behind civilization, they fear the unknown, and invent this notion of a beast.
The boys fears erupted as they followed Jacks rebellion and lapsed into ritual, savage dancing. By the end of the story, the boys followed Jack completely. Without civilization to guide them, the instinct they relied on completed their transition to savages, as they hunted Ralph. The boys, like many populations, discarded all of their civilized nature, and revealed what lies underneath savagery and barbarism, traits shared by even the best among them. Jack and Roger openly embody the evil, savagery, and barbarism that Golding illustrates in this novel.
Jack finally displayed his disregard for civilization and its restraints at the meeting about the signal fire, Bollocks to the rules! Were strong we hunt! If theres a beast, well hunt it down! Well close in and beat and beat and beat! (Golding, p. 100).
By the end of the book, with the hunters in their fortress on Castle Rock, Jack has degenerated into an uncontrollable, wicked leader. Jack can be closely compared to Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin, both who were quick to anger, could not have anything less than total power. Their leadership was, like Jacks, exceedingly brutal. Hitler also rebelled against the established world leadership in 1938, and disregarded the rules of the Treaty of Versailles. He arbitrarily invaded Czechoslovakia, in spite of warnings from other countries. He dealt with his beast, the Jewish Conspiracy, by hunting it down and killing it.
By the end of his time, Hitler was totally bent on world domination, and no longer cared about the cost, as Jack not longer desired to be rescued. Roger was different than Jack in that he changed from a regular boy, who actually suggested voting for the leader, to being even more wicked than Jack. This shows that a boy who appears to be gentle and reasonable might, under the right circumstances, reveal his dark side. Roger surely does this as he tortures errant hunters and devises the stick sharpened at both ends with which to roast Ralph like a pig. Roger is comparable to Dr.
Goebbels, the Nazi who performed hideous experiments on Jews when Hitlers power made it possible to do so The setting of The Lord Of The Flies is a backdrop that makes it easy to link the boys wickedness to wickedness in the world, and humankind in general. World War II is going on around the island, shown by the fact that fighter planes battle above the island, a type of warfare that wasnt seen over the Pacific Ocean until World War II. The war on the island is just a model of the larger war that is going on all over the world during the story. World War II was fought because the human race could not share power and resources fairly. The same is true of almost every war in history. World War I was fought because several powerful, imperialistic nations wanted to make gains at the others expense.
The Persian Gulf War of 1990 happened because different nations could not share the worlds supply of oil without conflict. Like these wars all over the world, as far back as history goes, the war on the island in The Lord of the Flies is fought because all the boys simply cannot share power, resources, and accountability. They could not work together, and couldnt share Piggy's glasses for lighting fires when they were apart. Jack could not provide meat without using it to get more power. Humanity is rarely peaceful and harmonious. Humanity kills itself because that is its nature.
Underneath the facade of civilization, advancement, and education, humankind is savage, competitive, and barbaric. All elements in civilization and on the island are guilty of this. The boys, the general population, are easily convinced to follow ruthless leaders. Those ruthless leaders are obviously terrible, but are still tolerated and even believed. Even good leaders and educated, reasonable people, often listen too much to their fears and participate somehow in the savagery. The world is filled with war, and new people learn to continue this primitive, instinctive behaviour on the boys island and in the world.
For these reasons, The Lord of the Flies makes the suggestion that humans are savage and barbaric, having learned little from civilization. Perhaps this idea should be more strongly shown to the world, to deliver the same message that Simon ever got the chance to.
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Research essay sample on World War Ii Lord Of The Flies