Is William Golding right to think that people will return to savagery if given the opportunity?

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englishteacher148 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To claim that people will return to savagery if given the opportunity, you have to believe the assertion that people are, by nature savage.  It would be assumed that it is the rules and expectations of society that stop people from allowing their naturally savage ways to surface.  I would disagree that this was William Golding's intended message with his novel, Lord of the Flies. I would argue that he is suggesting that when given the opportunity to escape from the rules and expectations of civilized society, people will revert back to their natural state, whatever that may be.  This is evident in the fact that Piggy was one character that did not change at all while on the island.  When removed from civilization, he did not change because his natural state was the same as the one exhibited in civilized society.  Unfortunately for Piggy, the boys that had savage natures overtook the island and ultimately led to his demise. Using Lord of the Flies as evidence, a more accurate claim would be "if given the opportunity, savagery would overtake the civilized natures in society."

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Lord of the Flies

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