In Lord or the Flies what is good vs evil?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Lord of the Flies," good is representative of what is just, virtuous, and conforming to the social order.  When the boys first arrive on the island, they all have been conditioned enough to conform to the mores of their society.  Even the intrinsically evil Roger is so conditioned that he controls himself when he throws rocks at Henry playing with the little crabs at the shoreline.  However, as the narrative continues and the vestiges of society seem more and more remote to the boys, Jack and some others revert to a more savage nature.  The intrinsically good Simon intuitively recognizes the evil in human nature; unfortunately, he stumbles upon the feasting and ritual pig hunting of Jack and the others.  Viciously they pretend to mistake him for a pig, brutally beating him to death.  Sadly, Ralph and Piggy are witnesses to this killing; having been subjected to evil, they are both weakened. When Piggy is savagely hurled with a rock cracking his head, Ralph becomes totally vulnerable both externally and spiritually.  He only survives because the mores of British society reappear in the person of the sea captain who rescues Ralph and others.

Just as Jack and the others could not control the power of the fire, so, too, do those boys and others prove themselves unable to control the evil they have embraced.  Ironically, the fire that Jack has set to smoke out Ralph and kill him, becomes the very signal that alerts the outside world, and Ralph is rescued by the deus ex machina in the form of a naval officer.

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Lord of the Flies

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