Exploring Human Nature: a Study of "Lord of The Flies"

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About this sample


Words: 694 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Sep 1, 2023

Words: 694|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Sep 1, 2023

Human nature has been a subject of philosophical inquiry for centuries, delving into the essence of humanity's inherent qualities, both noble and primal. William Golding's novel, "Lord of the Flies," provides a thought-provoking exploration of human nature as a group of boys stranded on a deserted island grapple with survival, power dynamics, and the darker aspects of their own psyche. This essay delves into the intricate portrayal of human nature in the novel, analyzing the characters' evolution, the conflicts that arise, and the broader implications for understanding the complexities of human behavior.

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The portrayal of human nature in "Lord of the Flies" is marked by a profound transformation in the characters as they navigate their isolation and the absence of adult authority. Initially, the boys attempt to establish order and rules reminiscent of the civilization they left behind. However, as time progresses and their circumstances become increasingly dire, their true natures begin to emerge. This shift is exemplified by the characters of Jack and Ralph. Jack's descent into savagery and obsession with hunting highlight the primal instincts that lurk within humanity. Ralph, on the other hand, attempts to maintain order and cooperation, representing the struggle to uphold civilization in the face of innate tendencies toward chaos.

The conflicts that arise in the novel serve as a microcosm of the broader dichotomy between civilization and savagery inherent in human nature. As the boys' social structures disintegrate, they become increasingly divided into opposing groups, one representing the desire for power and dominance, and the other striving to preserve a sense of morality and cooperation. The conflict between these two factions mirrors the eternal struggle within human nature itself—the tug-of-war between the desire for order and the allure of unrestrained freedom. The emergence of the "beast," a symbolic manifestation of the boys' primal fears and instincts, further illustrates the fragility of civilization in the face of innate darkness.

The novel's exploration of power dynamics among the boys showcases the potential for corruption and manipulation within human nature. The character of Jack, who initially seeks to establish himself as a leader, gradually transforms into a dictator driven by a lust for control and dominance. The allure of power prompts him to exploit the boys' fears and desires, using manipulation and violence to maintain his authority. This portrayal reflects the vulnerability of human nature to the corrupting influence of power, a theme that resonates throughout history and contemporary society.

While "Lord of the Flies" delves into the dark aspects of human nature, it also raises questions about the role of society and external influences in shaping behavior. The boys' descent into chaos and violence is amplified by their isolation from the constraints of civilization. The absence of adults and authority figures contributes to the erosion of social norms, allowing their primal instincts to take over. This prompts readers to reflect on the impact of societal structures, moral values, and education in curbing the innate darker tendencies that reside within human nature.

An essay on human nature in "Lord of the Flies" must also consider the broader implications of the novel's exploration. The story serves as a cautionary tale, underscoring the potential for brutality and chaos that lurks beneath the surface of human society. It prompts readers to examine the fragility of civilization and the importance of ethical leadership and moral accountability. The novel's timeless relevance is evident in its ability to provoke discussions about the inherent tensions between individual desires and collective well-being.

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In conclusion, William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" offers a captivating portrayal of human nature through the experiences of a group of boys stranded on a deserted island. The novel's characters undergo a transformation that reveals both the noble and primal aspects of humanity. The conflicts, power dynamics, and descent into savagery depicted in the story serve as a microcosm of the eternal struggle between civilization and innate instincts. The novel prompts readers to reflect on the complexities of human behavior, the impact of societal influences, and the perpetual tension between order and chaos. "Lord of the Flies" serves as a timeless exploration of human nature's intricacies and continues to resonate as a profound commentary on the inherent contradictions within us all.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Exploring Human Nature: A Study of “Lord of the Flies”. (2023, September 01). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2024, from
“Exploring Human Nature: A Study of “Lord of the Flies”.” GradesFixer, 01 Sept. 2023,
Exploring Human Nature: A Study of “Lord of the Flies”. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2024].
Exploring Human Nature: A Study of “Lord of the Flies” [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Sept 01 [cited 2024 Apr 13]. Available from:
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