Evil In Lord Of The Flies

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Evolution of Evil How do people become evil? And what can we do to prevent people from becoming evil in the first place? In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Jack is often oversimplified by readers as the face of evil. To the contrary, he can be seen as a young and moral British boy upon arriving on the island, as the evil side of him is not yet discernable. However, throughout the book, Jack transforms into a savage beast on the island due to small changes in his behavior that go unnoticed by his peers. As a result of his first wrongful acts, the enormity of violence is soon lost within him until he has become entirely savage. Through the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding argues that man’s maliciousness is not immediately…show more content…
In the beginning of the novel, Jack hesitates to kill a pig during a hunt with some of the other boys and the pig is able to flee. Being one of the older boys and leaders on the island, Jack is shameful and embarrassed that he is unable to execute the act. Jack says, “Next time!” Golding continues, “Next time there would be no mercy” (Golding 30). Jack becomes determined to kill the pig the next time he encounters it. He has the desire to redeem himself from the humiliation that he feels. Though the boys think nothing of the occurrence, the reader can see Jack’s behavior being pushed slightly in the direction of immorality as he has a newfound incentive to kill, driven by the embarrassment he experiences during his failed hunt. Jack decides that he wants to decorate his face with war paint to conceal himself from the pig. After Jack puts on the mask of dirt and clay, Golding writes, “He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger.”…show more content…
After Jack applies the mask, he is able to successfully kill a pig. Jack triumphantly marches back to the group with the rest of the hunters after killing his first pig. Golding writes, “‘I cut the pig’s throat,’ said Jack, proudly” (Golding 69). In the way that the kill is described by the boys, there is absolutely no hesitation by Jack. The fact that Jack does not hesitate to kill the pig exhibits a modified behavior. He is extremely happy and in amazed after the kill. The once “unbearable blood” (Golding 30) that Jack would not previously have been able to handle is now victorious blood, the blood of his first kill. Golding’s use of the word “proud” illustrates the effect of the absence of “shame and self-consciousness” in the new Jack. Since Jack no longer has guilt after immoral acts, he is triumphant as a result of the kill. This is a catastrophic change in Jack’s behaviors as he is gradually losing his sense of empathy for living things. He has quickly changed from being unable to hunt a pig to feeling satisfied after killing one. Before the kill, Golding describes Jack as “bloodthirsty” (Golding 63), or eager to kill and commit violence. He later tells the reader about how Jack compares the kill in his mind to “a long satisfying drink” (Golding 69), as if the act had quenched his thirst for blood and violence. The word bloodthirsty has connotations of a savage animal or serial

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