Lord of the Flies Questions and Answers
by William Golding

Lord of the Flies book cover
Start Your Free Trial

One of the major themes in Lord of the Flies is good versus evil. Can characters or people be all good or all evil?

Expert Answers info

alexb2 eNotes educator | Certified Educator


bookB.A. from Georgetown University

calendarEducator since 2004

write726 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

This is a good topic for discussion; I've opened a discussion topic for it here. Come in and discuss this idea!

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

merehughes eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2005

write175 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

From the wording of the question, I would take this to mean "person" and not character. I don't believe that a person can be all good or evil. Humans are not that simple, they are a complex compilation of genetics, environment, society and culture.

Characters in a story can be either good or evil however, even when they remain flat characters. A character which is interesting to read about, like a real person, would have a combination of both good and bad characteristics.

The Lord of the Flies does not contain any one character who is only good or evil. Even Jack, who can be cast into the role is not purely evil as you could site the circumstances he finds himself in to have transformed him. Before the island, he was head choir boy and I doubt he would've been considered evil.

Each character in the story is to represent a type or an idealized version of one attribute. Piggy clearly represents intellect whereas Jack would represent brutish force. But evil or pure goodness does not exist.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial