Lord of the Flies: The Evil of Human Nature

Essay by phoenix123College, UndergraduateA, December 2007

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"However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick”(Golding 128). This quote from William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, effectively suggests that human beings are evil; which is also the main theme of the novel. In the novel, the major characters at the ending reinforce Golding’s negative view of human nature.

Golding provides his view of human nature very early in the novel. The island on which the boys land is described as a paradise with a variety of flora and fauna. Upon the boys’ landing, the tube carrying the boys causes a scar on the island. The intensity of the destruction caused by the scar is described: “All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat”(Golding 11). However, the destruction does not stop there. Later, the boys burn down a large part of the island as a result of their carelessness.

Here, Golding shows that humans cause destruction even if they did not mean to. He is almost suggesting that causing destruction is second nature to us humans. At the end of the novel, the destruction comes full circle when Jack’s tribe burns down the entire island. The presence of the boys has completely changed the island from a beautiful paradise to a charred wreckage.

Golding’s pessimistic view of human nature is further expanded with the issue of hunting. As the novel progresses, Jack’s level of obsession with hunting continues to escalate until the very end of the novel. It is interesting to note that although the island has an abundance of fruits and the boys can easily catch fish and crabs at the beach, Jack insists on hunting to get meat. Later on, he enjoys hunting as if...