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The Genesis Of Evil In Lord Of The Flies

1198 words - 5 pages

For centuries, psychologists and psychoanalysts have studied humans in hopes of discovering a common link, a pattern per say, in what provokes their certain thoughts and actions. Many question certain values, morals, religion, even their brain chemistry, but nobody knows for certain. Sigmund Freud’s theory suggests that human actions/personalities derive from three parts of the human psyche; the id, ego and superego. William Golding analyzes this further in his novel, Lord of the Flies, which is about a large group of boys that crash-land on a deserted Island after fleeing a dangerous England in the times of WWII. These young boys are used to entertain the idea of savagery vs. civilization and how evil lies deep within us all. After reading Lord of the Flies, it is possible that the evil within the boys is driven by fear, power, and the loss of innocence.
To begin, fear is portrayed in one of the “Bigguns” Jack Merridew, the power-thirsting leader of the choir boys turned hunters. Contrary to popular opinion, Jack is not truly evil, as he did not show savage behaviour in the beginning of the novel. "We've got to have rules and obey them. After all, we're not savages” (42) said Jack near the beginning of the novel. In addition, Jack shows his fear for blood in his failure to kill the pig on his first hunt on the Island. Jack’s ego doesn’t allow him to fear or fail at anything, so he becomes obsessed with having the ability to hunt and kill. This hunger for hunting and killing then sparks his evolution to savagery. Although the following characters aren’t truly “evil” when compared to Jack or Roger, Sam and Eric simulate acts of evil near the end of the novel. The twin boys stay loyal to Ralph throughout most of the novel, tending to his every whim, belonging to his tribe. All is well until fear dismantles their relationship when the twins are captured and tortured by Jack and the savages. Their fear of Jack and his actions causes them to join his tribe of savages; making them savages themselves. Fear ignited such a great evil, that they even gave up Ralph’s hidden location, knowing that Jack planned to have him killed and decapitated. Another character that illustrates this motivation for evil is Simon, or rather his conscience. His conscious, in form of the lord of the flies, tells him that that he mustn’t tell the other boys of the true identity of the beast. “We are going to have fun on this Island! So don’t try my poor misguided boy, or else-” (158). This is to keep the fear within the boys alive, which is necessary in order for them to continue their path of evil and savagery. The abundance of fear will corrupt the boy’s sanity and made them the feared ones instead. Along with this epiphany came the death of Simon. After telling the boys to climb the mountain, with hopes of eliminating their fears, Simon is murdered. “We shall do you. See?” (159).This ironic act proves that his theory about fear is true and that’s why the boys must be...

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