The events of the island were caused by inherent human savagery and circumstance and not problems with the boys themselves.Agree or disagree with the statement using specific examples from Lord of...

The events of the island were caused by inherent human savagery and circumstance and not problems with the boys themselves.

Agree or disagree with the statement using specific examples from Lord of the Flies to support your point.

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ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

This statement is very true to a point but one must not eliminate the argument of nurture over nature.

"As the author once commented, "the moral is that the shape of a society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system."

Ralph, Piggy, Simon and Samneric were very much in favor of following the rules of civilization.  Ralph was being raised by a family with a Military Father, Piggy was being influenced by an elderly relative.  Simon was withdrawn and shy.  In the end they could not combat the selfishness and the bullying instincts of Jack and his gang of followers.  When Ralph tried to bring order to meetings and get the group to accept rules and regulations, Jack and his group painted their bodies, made spears and ran off to hunt and kill. 

It would appear that the integrity inherent in Ralph was non-existent in Jack.  Ralph held on to his beliefs and his integrity almost to the point of death.  Piggy died for his belief that it was "right" that the boys return his glasses.  Simon died in the middle of a "blood lust" celebration and he died trying to enlighten the boys about the true nature of the "monster."

The bigger question for me is not is humankind inherently savage, but why can some people, such as Ralph, Piggy, and Simon, overcome savage behavior and others, like Jack and Robert can't overcome theirs?

mkcapen1's profile pic

mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

While there is innate human nature in each person, one could already see foreshadowing in the personalities of Ralph, the protagonist, and Jack, the antagonist, when the boys first meet.  Jack is already set up as a leader because he has been the leader of the boys choir.  He does not like it when the other boys elect Ralph to be the leader.  He says that he should be the leader since he is already in charge of the choir. Jack's personality was already emerging evident in his desire to be a hunter (to kill). 

"I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance."(22)

Jack is assigned the role of continuing to be in charge of the choir.  He determines that they will be hunters.

"Hunters."(23)

Jack's personality is already established as a bully when he makes fun of Piggy.

It would be easy to go both ways in the debate as to whether the boys reacted to inherent savagery based on circumstance, But then I  believe that Ralph would have become violent as well.  Instead, he and Piggy remain innocent of the powers of Jack's manipulation and threats.  The island only allowed Jack to carry his personality one step further.

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