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What is Golding trying to say about human nature in The Lord of the Flies?PLEASE PLEASE...
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Middle School Teacher
In most forewords, Golding is quoted as saying that the writing of the novel was "an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature." He was essentially suggesting that humans have the inherent capacity to be evil--that, when removed from the boundaries of society and civilization, even the most innocent of us--in this case, children--can become savage and power-hungry.
Though Jack's transformation is shocking, the fact that many of the boys follow in his nature without so much as a moment's hesitation is the true terror, and even Ralph's "good" boys are irredeemable at times. Simon is given the penultimate line of the book when he sees the Beast, looks "within" it, and hears it speak. The Beast tells Simon that they are one in the same, that each of them are as much a "beast" in these circumstances.
Many of the symbols of humanity, civilization, logic, and reason are destroyed or disrespected in the novel. For instance, Piggy's glasses are lost, the conch is ignored after only a short time in use, and the fire is neglected, thus symbolizing in itself the absence of civilization, though it is less an absence and more a choice made--another pointed statement by Golding.
Posted by kschweiz on October 25, 2011 at 7:04 AM (Answer #1)
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