Human nature is something that has been much discussed throughout history. A testament to this is the sheer number of works that have been published regarding this very topic. However, two particular works that present fundamentally similar ideas in completely different ways are the 1954 novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding and the 1956 film Forbidden Planet directed by Fred Wilcox. The creators of both these texts have used their ideas of context and characters to convey, in the way that they find most convincing, their views on the nature of humanity.
The context of any text is always a major tool in unlocking the composer's intent. The Lord of the Flies is no exception. William Golding uses a context in his text that had already been used by many forerunners of the `deserted island' genre for example, Daniel Defoe and RM Ballantyne. However, the unique thing about The Lord of the Flies is that is the only book of its kind to use children and show their contrast and turn into monsters. Furthermore, its post-war setting reinforced the contents of the novel and caused it to impact greatly with its target audience. Golding has set The Lord of the Flies on a deserted, lush tropical island. Initially this island is portrayed as an idyllic paradise, one which is thought to be lovely and wonderful. In the opening chapter of the novel, Golding says `It was clear to the bottom and bright with the efflorescence of tropical weed and coral'. This highlights how initially this island paradise is just that, an island paradise. However, Golding contrasts this with the end of the book when the island is in flames and `the roar of the forest rose to a thunder and a tall bush directly in his (Ralph's) path burst directly into flame.' This contrast and metamorphosis form tranquil paradise into hot, fiery hell, is symbolic of how the characters in the novel lose their innocence and transcend into savagery. Through the use of this symbolism, Golding shows that he believes human nature to be fundamentally evil and isolation and struggles for survival will bring that out of humans, much like the inherent nature of the island as a wild place with its own horrors is brought out by the end of the book. Furthermore, Golding uses children instead of adults in his novel. The reason for his use of children in his novel, is that children are young, innocent and raw, they have not had the time to build up their shroud of civility. It is because of this that their transition into murderous, mindless savages is all the more shocking. Golding has used children to show his view that human nature is fundamentally destructive and savage and this is shown to be all the more so when using children. Golding's use of context in The Lord of the Flies is a major way in which he shows his views on human nature as brutal and savage, behind the shroud of civility. However, Golding was not alone in his thoughts.
Similar ideas can be...