William Golding's Lord Of The Flies

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Many philosophers such as John Locke assert that man is a rational, good natured being, and blame the temptations of society for his iniquity. But is this an accurate portrayal? William Golding would strongly disagree. In his novel, “Lord of the Flies,” Golding strands a group of British schoolboys on an island to demonstrate that quite the opposite is true. In his literary social experiment, Golding removes these boys from civilization to show that it is not society that is corrupt but rather human nature itself. These boys are the perfect subject for this statement as they lack the self control to suppress their baser urges and are quick to shed the morals that society instilled in them. On this island, Golding successfully supports a hobbesian view of humanity by…show more content…
The group is a diverse mixture of partially developed individuals ranging from the amoral Roger, to the intellectual Piggy. The rest of the characters fall somewhere in between these two extremes. But regardless of where the character falls on this spectrum, the reader clearly sees the struggle between the wants of the individual and what civilization says is the right thing to do. Early in the novel as Roger attempts to throw stones at “Littluns,” Golding writes, “Here, invisible yet strong, was a taboo of the old life… Roger’s arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him…”(pg 62) Initially this boy can suppress his urges to inflict pain, but only because he is programmed not to by civilization. As the notion of society becomes more distant, the boys abandon their superficial morals and fall from grace. Towards the end of the novel, Roger loses his inhibitions and shamelessly murders Piggy with a boulder. Had Golding chosen an older group of boys or men, they would have brought with them all of the rules and order of society, which mask the viciousness

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