Lord of the Flies Essay In the book Lord of the Flies, William Golding tests a critical question about human nature. Is human nature good and civilized or evil and savaged? Golding uses characters that symbolically represent the good and evil in everyone. The characters’ actions of savagery hints to what Golding is trying to show about human nature. In other words, Golding shows that there is a savage in everyone, and in order to survive, we will do anything. In Lord of the Flies Golding suggests that savagery is in everyone, and everyone has a weakness for it.
When the boys first arrived on the island, they were good, civilized English boys, who could hit a C sharp note. However, as they adapted to the island the boys became savages. Jack without a shirt, the choir boys becoming hunters, and their need to hunt and kill are examples of the inner savage coming out. When the boys hunt and yell, “Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in! ” with spears and camouflaged faces it is an example of the boys losing their civilized nature, to survival (Golding 73).
After Roger murders Piggy, he did not have a single regret about it, he was even proud of himself. After Piggy’s murder the other boys continued to throw spears at Ralph revealing they too are willing to murder a companion. This reveals almost all the boys have lost their civilized nature, except for Ralph, which is displayed when Golding writes “Ralph wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart and the fall through the air of a true wise friend called Piggy” (Golding 202).
This demonstrates what William Golding is trying to declare about human nature, which is that some people are naturally good hearted and try to be civilized, while others are evil and savaged on the inside, yet molded by society to be good. In Lord of the Flies Golding suggests that there is evil and savageness in everyone and in order to survive we will do anything, even kill. The boys did savage things to survive; however, for some of them it was their true nature. This is revealed during the killing of pigs, and the murder of Piggy. The critical question still stands. Is human nature good or evil?