Evaluate Golding's pessimistic stance about human nature in Lord of the Flies.  

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies attempts to reveal "man's essential illness" through the boys' struggles and descent into savagery (89).   He creates a scenario about boys stranded on a deserted island with no adult supervision, and the worst possible outcome occurs:  the boys become savages and end up murdering one another. 

Seen from this perspective, Lord of the Flies is a pessimistic view of human nature, because Golding's characters do give into their savage, animalistic natures and lose touch with civilization.  With that being said, Golding could have made the outcome of the novel even more bleak than the original ending; at least the boys didn't cannibalize each other, and Ralph did survive to be reconnected with the saving power of civilization in the end.  

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Lord of the Flies

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