Golding Vs. Rousseau Essay

910 words - 4 pages

The nature of human: are humans born good or evil? These two opposing views on human nature are two topics that Rousseau and Golding have both touched upon. While Golding believes that humans are born inherently evil, Rousseau believes the opposite: that humans are inherently good. Golding wrote the novel Lord of the Flies as a response of the novel, The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne because he believed that it was farfetched. In this novel Ballantyne’s main characters are able to enjoy their time on the deserted island. My opinion on this matter leans to Rousseau’s side. I believe that people are born naturally good.
Jean Jacques Rousseau was born in Geneva in 1712 and died in 1778 in France. While Golding lived through the two World Wars, Rousseau never lived through such conflict. A topic of Rousseau’s that always came up is about how humans can keep their freedom despite their dependence on one another. He believed that there were two things that had something to do with this topic and that was a human’s material and psychological need and that the latter was more important. Rousseau believed that humans get their sense of self due to opinion of others. Rousseau believes that humans are inherently born good and that and that it is society’s corruption that causes humans to be evil.
William Golding was born in 1911in Cornwall, England and died in 1993. William Golding was born only three years before the start of World War I. Golding lived through both World Wars and harsh times. His beliefs that humans are born good and that society keeps humans from becoming evil are most likely influenced by his experiences in life. He believes that it is reason that is preventing humans from degenerating into primitive creatures and that without reason and society humans will turn into savage creatures that enjoy harming other creatures. Golding’s beliefs are based of Thomas Hobbes beliefs that humans are naturally self-centered creatures.
Golding’s beliefs are shown all throughout his novel, Lord of the Flies. His belief is shown in all the boys as they slowly start to degenerate from civilized boys to savages. This change is shown mainly through the character of Jack. Jack at first is hesitant to kill a pig but at the end he begins to enjoy the hunt. At the beginning Jack couldn’t bring himself kill the pig “because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into flesh; because of the unbearable blood” (Golding, pg. 31). However, as time goes on Jack and his hunters become used to killing and eventually appreciate it. He and the hunters even come up with the chant, “Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in.” (Golding, pg. 69). As time goes on Jack begins go against Ralph, taking the caretakers of the fire to go hunt and eventually making his own group. Even Ralph who has tried so hard to keep to keep the boys civilized shows a savage side. This happens when he...

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