Analysis of "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

Essay by rabidtrtlHigh School, 11th grade June 2006

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In today's society, children are taught the difference between right and wrong through the consequences applied to their actions, not by the way their actions affect others around them. Although I am speaking specifically of society today, my theory has been proven again and again through the course of history.

In our era, the preferred method of teaching a child is, "Timmy, if you hit your brother, you'll get a time out." When, if society were rational, it would be, "Timmy, if you hit your brother, it will hurt him." This is the "norm" not only for the home environment, but also in the classroom. Face it, as human beings; we are not the species to turn to for kindness. Had some genius caveman not thought of the glorious thing of consequence eons ago, we would be a civilization that is hardly civilized; ripping each others throats out left and right.

We can see quite clearly in Golding's portrayal of an island filled with unsupervised boys that he is not one to sugarcoat his opinions. We can see that opinion clearly in a passage on page sixty two where Golding talks about a boy who's thinking of throwing a rock at another, young defenseless boy: "Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilization that knew nothing of him and was now in ruins." In this quote, Golding clearly is expressing how people are born evil and society conditions them into law abiding, well-behaved citizens.

Golding also takes a turn later into the novel to what I interpret to be a position of thinking that children will mimic the surrounding society. On pate sixty-seven, Golding writes on how, after watching an older boy hunt, the children are conditioned almost like Pavlov's dogs to break into chants like, "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Bash her in." Now if you ask me, that's pretty damn disturbing.

I believe that Golding is trying to warn society by illustrating through language what happens when our "half trained robots" called children, are left without parents, consequences or rules. Without someone to be there to send them into the corner, the young boys are free to express their feelings and imaginations whichever way they see fit.

It is proven that children aged about two years to five years, think in extremes. They can love you more than anything, or dream about brutally murdering you. There are actual recordings of incidents where toddlers actually attempt to kill one of their parents. So, the question is, what keeps them from doing it?

I believe Golding wrote a 200-paged answer.