Lord of the flies: exam notes relating to the theme of human nature (includes quotes from novel and pg numbers)and a possible essay structure

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"the theme (of the book) is an attempt to trace back the defects of society to the defects of human nature...The moral is that the shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system." (Golding)"

Evil in Man

q Golding believes that man is naturally predisposed to do evil.

"What I mean is . . . Maybe it's only us . . ." (page 97)

q Simon speaks these words in Chapter 5, during the meeting in which the boys consider the question of the beast; he proposes that perhaps they are the beast.

q Simon's words are central to Golding's point that innate human evil exists.

q Simon is the first character in the novel to see the beast not as an external force but as a component of human nature.

"There isn't anyone to help you. Only me.

And I'm the Beast . . . Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! . . . You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go? Why things are the way they are?" (Page 158)

q These words confirm Simon's speculation in Chapter 5 that perhaps the beast is only the boys themselves.

q This idea of the evil on the island being within the boys is central to the novel's exploration of innate human savagery.

q The Lord of the Flies identifies itself as the beast and acknowledges to Simon that it exists within all human beings: "You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?"

q Simon, startled by his discovery, tries to convey it to the rest of the boys, but the evil and savagery within them boils to the surface, as they mistake...