Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In the context of Lord of the Flies, is it more natural to be altruistic or narcissistic?

Whether it is more natural to be altruistic or narcissistic is a question that William Golding seems to be working on in Lord of the Flies. Certain characters can be seen to represent each approach. Ralph and Piggy are more on the altruistic end, while Jack and the others tend toward narcissism.

Expert Answers info

Lukas Sherman, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Boston University

bookM.A. from Concordia University - Portland

calendarEducator since 2018

write190 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

One of the key questions in Golding's Lord of the Flies and one of the main themes of the book is, What is the natural state of man? That is, does he tend towards evil or good? In the book, Golding strips all civilization and rules away from the boys and puts them on an island where they revert to their natural state. His overall assessment is pessimistic. By the end of the novel, several boys have been murdered, chaos and brutality reign, and the island is on fire. The natural state of man feels like savagery...

(The entire section contains 280 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial