In society, people have the ability to become violent no matter the personality of the individual. Brutality is in all animal species. The only difference between humans and the animals is the ability of the human mind to control one’s thoughts and actions, however, even this ability can be lost if presented with a situation that becomes so stressful or so outrageous that the mind is no longer in control. This is exactly what happens in the book Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Within this book people will find exactly how brutal a human being can become when the boys are trapped on an island with no other adults with them.
This book proves without a doubt that all individuals have the natural capacity for brutality. Jack was already a destructive person before the boys ever became stranded on the island, however, he somehow is driven to kill. Jack was considered a likeable guy that was admired and feared by many. Jack could easily be described as a popular football star or a popular person in today’s world. Jack, after not getting his way, decides he will form his own group of boys to be against the other group. This begins the destructive course of society much like it happens today.
He takes a group and tries to overthrow the other by force and deception. Roger is just pure evil. A person can only wonder how such a boy could have been on a plane and not in a mental institute. Roger seems to be the one feared mostly for his insanity. The best example of his capacity for brutality occurs when he decides to kill Piggy with a falling boulder. In the beginning of the book, he only tossed rocks at people but never hit them. Now, as time has past, he has lost all control of his mind and now seems only to act on instinct, survival being one of the instincts he follows the most.
Piggy and Ralph seem to be the only level headed people on the entire island so it might be hard to conceive them causing harm to anyone or letting their instincts of survival take control of them. However, this is exactly what happened. Ralph’s group was so scared that Jack’s group may attack them, when Simon came to give them some information, Ralph’s group killed him. They only killed Simon because they believed he was from Jack’s group or the beast coming to get them. It was not until after they killed Simon that they noticed what had happened.
The strangest thing about this is that Ralph and Piggy, the most level headed of the group, participated in killing Simon. Ralph and Piggy, despite their rational behavior, became irrational when they fear the worse. Fear is definitely one of the biggest factors that cause people to take action rather than thinking about the consequences. The only character that can be considered non brutal would have to be Simon. Simon played a very important role in this book because was the one that could see what others could not see.
The most ironic twist in the story was when he was killed. Before he met his fate, he was talking with the cut off head of a pig that Jack’s group gave to the beast as a sort of “sacrifice. ” The pig told him that the anger within them, the boys on the island, would end up destroying them. As Simon comes back to tell them what he had been told, he was killed by his own group in fear that he was the beast or part of Jack’s group. The killing of Simon seemed to symbolize the end of innocence and humanity.
The one person that could have saved them all was killed out of instinct and fear. William Golding probably had Simon killed because no one listens. Take a look at today’s society. Why would anyone believe in a person that talks to a pig’s head for advice? Also, most people today does not or will not stop and listen to those who are trying to help. Once people reach that point of no return, nothing, not even a friend could help them. This seems to be the belief of Golding. Golding has brought out much or his views on life in this book.
Lord of the Flies gives a good view on today’s society and how society might react in such a situation. The book also gives insight into human nature and what humans are capable of when there is nothing left but fear and survival. With Golding being part of a great war he definitely understands more than most what people will do from the battlefield. All the rules change while on the battlefield just as when the boys were stranded on the island. Golding seems to be leaving a message for all of mankind to see and perhaps a warning of things to come.
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