Brain And Behavior In Lord Of The Flies

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The Adolescent Brain and Behavior in Lord of the Flies Violence, murder, manipulation, selfishness, the end of civilized society; all of these words apply to William Golding’s dystopian novel Lord of the Flies. In this novel, a group of young boys become stranded on an island without adult supervision. They immediately begin to fight for power, forget their morals, and prioritize their own selfish wants above everything else. They hunt, kill, and torture for entertainment. The immoral and selfish behavior of the boys is to be blamed on biological factors; they couldn’t help acting the way they did since their behavior was caused by their brain’s development and chemistry. Adolescents are naturally very impulsive. This is because the frontal lobe of…show more content…
A powerful chemical, dopamine, is released in the brain when something makes someone feel good. People repeat actions that trigger a release of dopamine to make them feel happy. Adolescence is the time when dopamine reaches the height of it’s release. In Lord of the Flies, dopamine was released when the boys hunted. After the first hunt, Jack told Ralph that “[they] had a smashing time” (Golding 69). The boys got excited whenever they hunted and the kill made them feel good. Not only did this surge in dopamine make them want to hunt so much, but it also made them reenact their hunts. They pretended Robert was a pig, got in a circle around him, and “carried away by a sudden thick excitement” (Golding 114), jabbed at him with their spears causing him real pain; “The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering” (Golding 115). Dopamine made them feel good hunting, so good that they wished to feel that good again and were willing to harm another boy to feel that way. They took pleasure in causing pain and found it entertaining. This horrific behavior was caused by chemical processes in the brain and could not be helped as it was a biological
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