"The Lord of the Flies" social gatherings--Choose a book in which social gatherings are prominent. Then write an essay in which social gatherings play a specific role in development of the theme.

Essay by Kmb1166High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2004

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"If human nature is good, then why do 'good people' do bad things?" It is a question that has plagued philosophers for centuries. In his novel, Lord of the Flies, William Golding explores this tendency within human nature and thus comments on the value system that society seems to promote. It takes place after the breakout of a '3rd world war' on an island in which British children are stranded alone. His subtle development of the children's social gatherings exhibits the insight that individually good people are easily led awry when they come together in a society. The scenes of the first meeting at the beach, celebration feast, and gathering at Jack's camp are used by Golding to develop his conviction that it is human nature's need for acceptance by the rest of society that tears individuals apart and leads them down the path of evil.

The inclination towards peer pressure and the individual's desire to be accepted are developed at the beginning of the novel, during which the children gather together on the beach to asses their situation.

At first, the meeting seems bright when the children "sat down on the fallen palm trunks and waited…ask[ed] names…and speculated." The children even decide that they "out to have a chief" and they make "lots of rules." However, the evil tendency in human nature is brought out by peer pressure when "a storm of laughter arose" and the group names the fat boy "Piggy." Upon their first meeting, the 'upscale' British school children ostracize a fat boy because he is "different" than the rest of the group. Even a small boy is met with a "blow of laughter" when he mentions a beast, and the group ridicules him with "laughter and cheers" as though "he was dreaming." In an effort...