The Evil That Dwells Within Essay

1831 words - 7 pages

In the society that people live in today, many are silently forced to act civilized and well-mannered, hiding their true selves. This eventually makes people believe that they are actually well-behaved and proper, forgetting that they had ever had an evil or barbarous side to them. However, when put in extreme situations, all of this can change. In the novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, a group of British school boys are stranded on a deserted island with no authority to control their actions. Throughout the time they spend on the island, each of the boys begins to show their wild and savage-like sides. On the island, the one thing that all of the boys fear the most is the unknown beast; however, it is shown through the characters of Jack, Ralph and Roger that this monster does not exist physically but mentally, as the evil within them.From the very first moment the boys realize that they are abandoned on an empty island, all Jack can think of is looking for excitement and a thrill to show the other boys that he is tough and brave. In order for Jack to get his adrenaline rush, he hunts pigs. This desire to hunt becomes so overpowering that he rebels against what he is told to do, showing his first signs of the corruption in him. When Jack is put in charge of keeping the fire alight to make smoke, he gets bored of it and, without thinking of the consequences, leaves to hunt with other boys. This decision he makes, costs everyone else on the island their chance of rescue. Ralph, annoyed and angry, expresses his anger towards Jack: “You and your blood, Jack Merridew! You and your hunting! We might have gone home... I was chief, and you were going to do what I said. But you can’t even build huts- then you go off hunting and let out the fire” (Golding 65). Jack ruins a rare chance of rescue for all the boys on the island by being irresponsible and letting the fire out. He just picks up and leaves with others for fun, even knowing that the fire is the only hope for returning home. He loses his self-control and is not able to resist his urge to fulfill his hunger to hunt. It is as if there was an angel and a devil, his conscience, on either side of his shoulders, tempting him to make the choice. By choosing to do the wrong, he shows the devil residing inside of him. Jack’s darker side only grows larger as their time on the island continues to increase. When Jack goes hunting, and kills his very first pig, even more of his demonic thoughts are unleashed as he reflects back on the slaughter: “His mind was crowded with memories...of the knowledge...when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink” (Golding 70). Jack describes his murdering of a helpless animal as a long satisfying drink. This is inhuman, animalistic and savage, something that would not be accepted by modern society. Jack’s...

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