19, January 2018
Lord of the Flies
Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics that humans possess naturally. Human nature also contains characteristics that evolve from social systems and historical conditions. In the novel Lord of the Flies by Noble Prize winning author Sir William Golding, human nature is explored as the dark side of humanity due to their desires. The novel shows the loss of civilization among British schoolboys when they are left stranded on an island and their natural instinct is to live savagely, and how they are manipulated by fear and fall to violence. In the context of the novel, human nature contains many aspects in the context of the novel, including innate human goodness is overpowered by the desire for social acceptance and the corruptive nature of power.
Innate is defined as the essential character of something, originating in or arising from the mind, rather than through experience. Simon is a character who demonstrates innate human goodness. Thoughts hold the aspect of personality that holds all our internalized moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both our parents and society. It also represents human being good by nature. Ralph and Jack argue whether hunting is as important as building shelters, Ralph complains that Simon and he were working all day. Ralph says to Jack, “[a]ll the rest rushed off. He’s done as much as I have.”(45)(3) This indicates Simon’s helpfulness, discipline, and dedication to common good. Simon seems to outside the conflict between savageries, because he has a kind of goodness that is natural or innate rather than taught by human society. All other boys seem to have inherited their ideas of goodness and morality from the external forces of civilization, but Simon. After the communication between Ralph and Jack, there are some descriptions of Simon. There are some examples of his basic goodness and kindness, such as, Simon helps the “littluns” reach a high brand of fruit, and he enjoys helping Ralph build the huts. Even he was killed while trying to deliver the spiritual truth; he knows the truth about the “beast”, so he seeks to spread his enlightenment to others. His kindness is not mixed with impurities from the beginning to the end.
Social interaction is an exchange between two or more individuals and is a building block of society. By interacting with one another, people design rules, institutions and systems within which they seek to live. In the novel, how the boys interact has a direct impact on the rules and systems of the island. Social interaction is one of the attributes that can differentiate human beings as advanced animals from general animals. After arguing with Jack about the extinction of beasts, Ralph feels depressed, he considers stepping down as a chief. Ralph always wants to keep everybody civilized, but this time civilization’s hold is slipping. Ralph says to Piggy, “I ought to give up being chief. Hear them.”(100)(5) This demonstrates Ralph’s inner struggle and disappointment to himself. Ralph is the protagonist in the novel. He is brave, confident, responsible, and he is the oldest boy. Those advantages made children choose him to be the leader. It is also shows that he is also innately good. However, drawbacks bring out that he does not have qualification to be a lender. At the first assembly, Ralph pokes Piggy’s sore made Piggy become everyone is teasing object. In many conflicts before, Ralph looked down on Piggy’s suggestion, and performance is incompetent. Those behaviors all lead to today’s unfortunate status quo. It can be seen that the rational that Ralph represents is incomplete. Because he also have desires, he considers for the group all the time, so he wants everyone to listens to him, and can be under the control of civilization.
Power corrupts is an observation that a person sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. Human beings are animals and as such their natural state of being is evil. Though humans tend to display their goodness most of the time, they still possess this quality within them. After the signal fire extinguish, Ralph, their elected leader, interrupts Jack’s ritual dance by calling a meeting. They are arguing about whether the beast exists. Suddenly, Jack proclaims that if there is a beast, he and his hunters will hunt it down and kill it. He then stops the meeting by starting a ritual dance and nearly everybody joins him. Jack shouts to Ralph, “[b]ollocks to the rules! We are strong…we hunt! If there is a beast, we’ll hunt it down! We close in and beat and beat and beat!” (99)(5)This demonstrates that Jack has broken from civilization and the rules that govern their small society. Jack is not all evil but he has been deeply envious of Ralph’s power from the moment Ralph was elected, and he does not advocate democracy. The two do not come into open conflict until Jack’s irresponsible leads to the failure of the signal fire. However, at the moment Jack‘s bloodlust and thirst for power have overwhelmed his interest in civilization, he no longer needs to justify his behavior at all. In this extreme case, he does not want to hide his desire and instinct any more. On the other hand, Jack manipulates the boy’s fear of the beast to their own advantages; he made the rest of boys more willing to cede power to him and his hunters. In this way, the beast indirectly becomes one of Jack’s primary sources of power. Through Jack’s simple words, he gains both freedom and power that he seeks for. Unfortunately, also because of Jack’s pursuit of his desire, the scene becomes more and more uncontrollable. As throughout the novel, his instinct and desire are extreme and selfish, that will lead an outrageous ending.
Fatty and Simon are two characters that always think for the group for no reason, they help Ralph to be a leader and build civilization, while it is fascinating that they all died in the end. Desire for social acceptance is a manifestation of consciousness. That makes Ralph so contradictory. It was mentioned above that the reason Ralph stands for is incomplete, he also has a mysterious fear for the monster in the mountain he does not cognitive thoroughly for the worst aspects of human nature. But you can see the remaining kindness from Ralph’s tear at the end of the novel, and he can hardly have felt more ashamed of himself, same for others. He just feels he is responsible for this phenomenal. The strong desire to fulfill sinful lust is part of our nature. Jack participates not bad in the first few chapters in the novel, and each time he broke out is in a relatively extreme situation, because he was taught to behave well. So in this case, he breakouts, and he went to the end of the world, until the navy, which symbolized civilization, returned to his senses. Human nature is complicated, though we are innately good, we tend to have different behaviors when we facing dilemmas. Back to the main point, Lord of the Flies refers to the pig’s head covered with flies, refer to bloodthirsty Jack, and refer to the so-called evil also refer to boy’s inner fear. In fact, Lord of the Flies is real, it exists in humanity. This novel give us good warnings and reminders, we should learn to control ourselves instead of controlling by emotions and desires, if we still evade the existence of dark side, war is inevitable, death is inevitable, also slaughter is inevitable, human beings will die in this moral bankruptcy in the end. The so-called civilized world will back to that kind of undeveloped wild world. This novel let us face the human nature, let us alert those evil and insidious desires at any time will induce us fall into the abyss. Moreover, escapism, avoids real self, only allow the breeding of evil and lead to death and tragedy as the novel demonstrates.