Lord Of The Flies

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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Aeschylus once said, "Man must suffer to be wise." In other words, "People must experience hardships to gain knowledge." I agree with this statement. Two literary characters that show this are Gene, in the novel, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, and Ralph, in the novel, Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

One character who proves the truth of this quote is Gene. After Gene pushes Phineas off of the tree he suffers from a feeling of guilt. Through experiencing the pain of guilt Gene learns what true friendship is. Gene also learns a lesson through his friendship with Leper. After Leper's mysterious telegram, Gene visits Leper and finds him crazy from his war experience. Gene suffers from hearing the reality of war. Through Leper's description of dead bodies and bloody limbs Gene learns the unpleasant truth about war.

Another character who gains wisdom through suffering is Ralph. After a falling boulder brings about Piggy's death, Ralph suffers from the loss of his close friend.

Through enduring the pain from losing Piggy, Ralph learns that rules can be destroyed and savagery can take over. Ralph also learns a lesson about himself. After joining the other boys in killing Simon, who is mistaken to be the beast, Ralph suffers from the realization that he helped kill Simon. Through experiencing the agony of realizing that he assisted in his friend's death, Ralph learns that he has a savage side.