Examples Of Evil In Lord Of The Flies

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Innocence: An Alien Concept For centuries humans have struggled with war, death, and genocide in tragic events such as the Holocaust and World War II. Wondering how terrible things such as these could have happened, humans are quick to place blame on anyone other than themselves. Naturally, the general public prefers to believe that villains such as Hitler are the ‘bad apples’ of the bunch rather than the tangible representation of the evil within all. In his novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding explores the shady inner workings of the human mind to prove just how easily any society can become corrupt. He switches back and forth between entertaining the philosophies of both Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, with sections proving Locke’s…show more content…
Another recurrent subject that shows up in the story is the line between civilization and savagery. Clearly, in the beginning of the story the boys are civil beings, with shared values and behaviors, but towards the end the group erupts into chaos and anarchy, leaving every bit of that civilization behind. The transition between civility and savagery can be seen through Jack, as he shifts from ‘old Jack’ to ‘new Jack’. In the beginning he is just a selfish boy who likes to order people around, but by the end he is a power hungry monster obsessed with dominance and control. His transition to ‘evil’ can be symbolized when he paints his face with war paint. “Jack planned his new face. He made one cheek and one eye-socket white, then rubbed red over the other half of his face and slashed a black bar of charcoal across form right ear to left jaw.” (66) Jack gains newfound confidence from the war paint, as it gives him a real and symbolic ‘mask’ to hide behind, and he uses this as an excuse to search for even more people to control over, bribing the rest of the boys into ‘joining his tribe’. A clear symbol of civilization is the conch. The conch represents social order, respect, and power. It holds a lot of authority over the boys because they cannot talk at assemblies without it. When Jack ‘dethrones’ the conch, a piece of civilization is gone, along with any order and control left at assemblies. “‘Conch! Conch!’ shouted Jack. ‘We don’t need the conch anymore. We know who ought to say things. What good did Simon do speaking? Or Bill? Or Walter? It’s time some people knew they’ve got to keep quiet and leave the deciding things to the rest of us’” (103). By saying something like this, Jack is oppressing Simon and Bill and Walter, saying that their opinions aren’t as important as his own. This is a significant turning point in Jack’s power gain, which of course leads to eventual savagery. This savagery is not new. It
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