Cruelty In Groups - "Lord Of The Flies."

Essay by buruzoth October 2005

download word file, 2 pages 3.5

Downloaded 37 times

In "Lord of the Flies", William Golding depicts a story of a group of boys who are stranded on an island. On this island, it is obvious that with the negative influence of Jack, the boys behave more cruelly in groups than they do individually. In this novel, William Golding shows the cruel state of the group that is led by Jack Meridew by integrating such factors as freedom, peer pressure and power.

Freedom is a critical factor to groups being more cruel than individuals. As an individual, one tends to be timid and held back, but once that individual is put in a group, they change because they experience a sense of freedom from society. They feel that they are not responsible for their acts while in the group. This sense of freedom allows each individual in the group to feel more confident about their actions, therefore they do things they wouldn't normally do, and because of this, malicious acts might be brought forward.

In Lord of the Flies, this is seen in all the boys that join Jack's clan.

Peer pressure is also a major cause to the cruelty that is seen in groups. In Lord of the Flies, peer pressure was seen quite often in almost every action Jack's group made. This is seen, because surly none of the boys would do acts like, hunting Ralph or killing a pig by themselves, but with the demands of a group, they were easily influenced to take part in such things. There is one incident in "Lord of the Flies" where a conclusion could perhaps be drawn to what would have happened if one of the boys in Jack's group didn't do what the group did. This act took place in Chapter 10...