Lord Of The Flies: Man Is Savage At Heart Essay

This essay has a total of 1007 words and 5 pages.

Lord Of The Flies: Man Is Savage At Heart

Lord of the Flies: Man Is Savage at Heart

Copyright (C) 1996 By Kevin McKillop

A running theme in Lord of the Flies is that man is savage at heart, always
ultimately reverting back to an evil and primitive nature. The cycle of man's
rise to power, or righteousness, and his inevitable fall from grace is an
important point that book proves again and again, often comparing man with
characters from the Bible to give a more vivid picture of his descent. Lord Of
The Flies symbolizes this fall in different manners, ranging from the
illustration of the mentality of actual primitive man to the reflections of a
corrupt seaman in purgatory.

The novel is the story of a group of boys of different backgrounds who are
marooned on an unknown island when their plane crashes. As the boys try to
organize and formulate a plan to get rescued, they begin to separate and as a
result of the dissension a band of savage tribal hunters is formed. Eventually
the "stranded boys in Lord of the Flies almost entirely shake off civilized
behavior: (Riley 1: 119). When the confusion finally leads to a manhunt [for
Ralph], the reader realizes that despite the strong sense of British character
and civility that has been instilled in the youth throughout their lives, the
boys have backpedaled and shown the underlying savage side existent in all
humans. "Golding senses that institutions and order imposed from without are
temporary, but man's irrationality and urge for destruction are enduring" (Riley
1: 119). The novel shows the reader how easy it is to revert back to the evil
nature inherent in man. If a group of well-conditioned school boys can
ultimately wind up committing various extreme travesties, one can imagine what
adults, leaders of society, are capable of doing under the pressures of trying
to maintain world relations.

Lord of the Flies's apprehension of evil is such that it touches
the nerve of contemporary horror as no English novel of its time has
done; it takes us, through symbolism, into a world of active,
proliferating evil which is seen, one feels, as the natural condition of

man and which is bound to remind the reader of the vilest manifestations

of Nazi regression (Riley 1: 120).

In the novel, Simon is a peaceful lad who tries to show the boys that there is
no monster on the island except the fears that the boys have. "Simon tries to
state the truth: there is a beast, but 'it's only us'" (Baker 11). When he
makes this revelation, he is ridiculed. This is an uncanny parallel to the
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