The Devil Inside Essay

1051 words - 5 pages

When placed in the right situations and circumstances, all human beings are capable of revealing a darker side of them-a side that almost everyone is afraid to show. No one will admit to having a dark side in them, until nature forces them to face it. Lord of the Flies by William Golding and A Separate Peace by John Knowles are two books that emphasize man’s savagery through their characters, themes, and plots. At first, all men have hidden savagery, then something triggers the savagery within them, and they complete the transformation.
The human race holds a dark side lurking within them. In most cases, humans are unaware of its existence because of the high standard expected in civilization.“Where’s the man with the megaphone?” The fair boy shook his head. “This is an island. At least I think it’s an island. That’s a reef out in the sea. Perhaps there aren’t any grownups anywhere” (Golding, Page 1.9-11). Because the boys immediately question where the grown ups are upon arriving on the island, Golding is suggesting that civilization provides a cloak to the essential evil nature of a man, and this is what the children in Lord of the Flies lost when alone on the island with the order and rules of their home country stripped away. “Children were saved in their other life by dint of the "protection of parents, and school, and policeman, and the law', but now all such facilitators were absent, so being exposed to any extreme condition” (Anjum, Para 2). A Separate Peace focuses on Gene, the main character, a normal boy who finds himself facing problems within. “I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn’t help envying him a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little” (Knowles, Page 18). Gene seems to think that there is no harm in envying someone a little, and it is obvious that he is unaware of the potential risk for doing so. Savagery within man is dormant, but it is triggered by other things.
Certain things and different situations trigger someone’s dark side. In Lord of the Flies, Jack becomes obsessed with hunting pigs. Jack’s obsession triggers something within him that strives for power and control. “He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up”(Golding, Page 51). Jack's transformation from civilized bully to savage killer has begun. Rounding up the other boys, Jack pulls them into the addictive chase of killing the pigs. Even Ralph and Piggy, the two that wanted to keep order alive the most, get caught up in the hunt, proving that everyone can be provoked and only a few can resist the urge to give in to wickedness. Hunting has possessed Jack, and he will stop at nothing to kill the pigs and the beast at the expense of all else, even rescue. In A Separate Peace, Gene is triggered by his...

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