What evidence does Golding use to prove that mankind is meant to be savage?

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There are several pieces of evidence from the novel Lord of the Flies to suggest that mankind is meant to be a savage. Golding uses the youngest children on the island, the littluns, to portray mankind's primitive instincts and propensity to follow their carnal desires rather than obey Ralph and complete necessary tasks. When the littluns are given the directive to help build the huts and gather driftwood, they wander off into the forest and pick fruit instead. They disobey Ralph and defecate amongst the fruit trees, and continually choose to swim when they are supposed to be helping out. The littluns symbolize innocent human beings void of society's conditioning. Eventually, they follow Jack's tyrannical leadership and their obsession with satiating their carnal desires suggests they are inherently savage.

The transformation in the behaviors of Roger and Maurice throughout the novel is another piece of evidence that suggests humans are innately savage. Roger and Maurice both are helpful and well-behaved towards the beginning of the novel. In the scene where Maurice feels bad for knocking over the littluns' sandcastles, and Roger throws stones at a safe distance away from the littluns, Golding depicts the remains of society's influence on the children. As the novel progresses, Maurice chooses to engage in violent behavior with the hunters, and Roger becomes a sadist, harming and intimidating others for fun. Roger completely dismisses civility and descends quickly in barbarism.

Ralph, the morally upright elected leader of the boys even succumbs to savagery throughout the novel. There are scenes which depict Ralph participating in savage acts like the murder of Simon, and there are times when he loses sight of his central vision, which is maintaining the signal fire to be rescued. When Ralph partakes in the hunt, his savage nature is on display. Golding uses Ralph's lapses in civility to suggest that his primitive urges are too strong.

In the final chapter of the novel, the boys have descended into savagery so far that they actually hunt their former leader, Ralph. The transformation from being a group of civil, law-abiding, innocent children to becoming violent barbarians, displays mankind's inherent savage nature. Golding suggests that void of societal influences, restrictions, and boundaries, human beings will act like savages.

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