What does Lord of the Flies say about how important it is to pursue your passions?  

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This famous novel makes a very important comment on the savagery that exists within all humans, even supposedly innocent choirboys, and therefore it is important to question how much the novel suggests it is important to pursue your passions. Clearly, the bloodlust that overcomes Jack and his hunters is presented as a passion that it is not important to pursue, as this kind of "passion" is presented as evil and results in the pain and death of others. Note how this passion is described in Chapter 4, after Jack has killed his first pig:

His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.

There is clearly no way that this description of Jack's savagery could be described as a healthy passion, especially when it is remembered that this bloodlust leads to the death of at least two other boys later on in the novel. The overwhelming message of this story is therefore that passions need to be moderated by society which has a legal system and a carefully developed way of rewarding "good" behaviour and punishing "bad" behaviour. Without this system, Golding suggests, we become the victims of our passions, and rather than pursuing them, they overcome humans and envelop them.

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Lord of the Flies

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