What deeper meaning is Golding suggesting in Lord of the Flies about man in the statment "maybe it's only us?"

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simon volunteers the truth of "maybe it's only us" in Chapter Five, 'Beast from the Water' as the boys discuss the possibility of a fearsome beast hiding on the island (89).  Golding uses Simon's statement to reinforce his larger developing theme of "mankind's essential illness," the idea that humanity, while capable of great love, loyalty, and kindness, is also susceptible to potential darkness, evil, and violence (89).  Golding uses the boys' struggles on the island to show how even civilized, moral people can descend into savagery and hedonism; Jack, particularly, loses his identity as a proper English choir boy and becomes a savage, ruthless hunter, eventually becoming more dangerous to the other boys than any supposed beast from their collective worst nightmares. 

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Lord of the Flies

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