The Prevalence Of Humanity Essay

1658 words - 7 pages

“The defects of society [can be traced] back to the defects of human nature ... The shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable.” This idea, quoted from author William Golding, of a corrupt individual corrupting an otherwise idyllic society is exemplified many times over the course of human history: Joseph Stalin corrupts Karl Marx's idea of communism into a totalitarian government that eventually results in the death of tens of millions of his own people; Hitler uses the muse of a worker's government that would lift Germany out of the clasps of the Great Depression to rise to power so that he could fulfil his dreams of brutally exterminating humans he thought were incompetent or inferior due to factors such as disability, race, or sexual orientation. This idea of societal defects linking back to the defects of human nature is also reflected on in Animal Farm by George Orwell and Lord of the Flies by William Golding, reaching the conclusion that humanity will ultimately prevail, but only if it chooses to act against the forces of injustice.
Both the initial influences in the societies of Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies (Snowball and Ralph respectively) have striking similarities. Both of these leaders are more concerned about the long-term needs of the two societies, and not just the short-term ones. Snowball plans to construct a windmill that would supply energy necessary for warming the stalls in the winter and for operating machinery that would simplify the animals' jobs, but this requires cooperation from the animals because to complete the gruelling task of building the windmill, they would have to sacrifice some of their time and effort. After the windmill was established (Orwell 33) Ralph dedicates himself to building shelters for the boys to provide them protection from the elements and protection from the nightmarish 'beastie'. He explains to Jack Merridew, “If it rains like when we dropped in we’ll need shelters all right. And then another thing. We need shelters because of the [beastie].” (Golding 52) Both the leaders take initiative into building things that will ensure prosperity and security in the future. They show that they are concerned for the future of their societies, Snowball for the evolution of the Animalist system of government, and Ralph for the goal of rescue and domesticity. However, these leaders do not come without flaw.
Snowball and Ralph are not perfect leaders. Ralph has his share of moments that imply his bordering on the line of corruption. For example, when Ralph participates in a hunt, he gets “carried away by a sudden thick excitement ... and [jabs] at Robert with [a spear].” When Robert gets encircled by a savage tribe, Ralph was “fighting to get near, to get a handful of [Robert's] brown, vulnerable flesh.” His “desire to squeeze and hurt [Robert] was over-mastering.” (Golding 125) This scenario...

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