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Good Vs Evil in William Golding's Lord of The Flies

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Words: 863 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 863|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Descent into Savagery
  2. The Battle Between Ralph and Jack
  3. The Loss of Innocence
  4. Conclusion

From the moment we are born, we are taught the difference between good and evil. These concepts shape our moral compass and guide our actions throughout life. In William Golding's novel, Lord of the Flies, the battle between good and evil is depicted through the actions of a group of boys stranded on a deserted island. This essay will explore the theme of good vs evil in Lord of the Flies, highlighting the characters' struggle to maintain their humanity in the face of the inherent darkness within them.

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The Descent into Savagery

The first evidence of the battle between good and evil is seen in the boys' descent into savagery. Initially, the boys attempt to establish a civilized society with rules and order. However, as time goes on and their desperation for rescue grows, the boys' primal instincts start to take over. They turn to violence, hunting, and even murder, revealing the evil that lies within them.

One of the key moments that demonstrates this descent into savagery is the killing of the sow. The boys, led by Jack, become consumed by the hunt and lose all sense of morality. Golding writes, "The desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering" (Golding 135). This act of violence showcases the boys' transformation into savages, highlighting the evil that resides within them.

Furthermore, the conch shell, which represents order and civilization, loses its power as the boys turn away from it. Ralph, the protagonist, tries to maintain order and democracy by using the conch as a symbol of authority. However, as the boys become more savage, they no longer recognize the authority of the conch. This shift signifies the triumph of evil over good, as the boys abandon their civilized ideals and succumb to their primal instincts.

The Battle Between Ralph and Jack

The battle between good and evil is personified through the characters of Ralph and Jack. Ralph represents the forces of good, advocating for order, democracy, and the pursuit of rescue. On the other hand, Jack embodies the forces of evil, as he becomes obsessed with power and control.

Ralph, with his fair hair and democratic approach, initially gains the trust and respect of the boys. He strives to maintain a signal fire, build shelters, and establish rules. Despite the challenges they face on the island, Ralph remains steadfast in his pursuit of rescue. His actions and intentions align with the forces of good, as he constantly reminds the boys of the importance of being civilized.

On the contrary, Jack becomes obsessed with hunting and power. He forms his own tribe and manipulates the boys' fear to gain control. Under Jack's leadership, the boys become savage and indulge in violence and destruction. Golding writes, "The mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness" (Golding 64). This quote emphasizes how Jack's descent into evil is symbolized by the mask, which allows him to hide his true self and fully embrace his savage nature.

The final confrontation between Ralph and Jack represents the ultimate battle between good and evil. Ralph, representing the forces of good, tries to reason with the boys and maintain order. Jack, consumed by his thirst for power, resorts to violence and manipulation. This clash between the two characters demonstrates the struggle between good and evil within each individual.

The Loss of Innocence

The theme of good vs evil is further explored through the loss of innocence experienced by the boys on the island. At the beginning of the novel, the boys are innocent and naive, believing in the inherent goodness of humanity. However, as they face the harsh realities of survival, their innocence is gradually stripped away.

One of the most poignant examples of this loss of innocence is the death of Simon. Simon, a pure and kind-hearted character, is mistaken for the beast and brutally murdered by the other boys. This act of savagery reveals the evil that has taken hold of the boys, as they are willing to kill without reason or remorse. Golding writes, "At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore" (Golding 153). This scene highlights the darkness that lurks within even the most innocent individuals.

Furthermore, the deterioration of the boys' physical appearance mirrors their loss of innocence. As they spend more time on the island, their clothes become tattered, and they become covered in dirt and grime. This transformation symbolizes their descent into savagery and the loss of their civilized selves.

Conclusion

In conclusion, William Golding's Lord of the Flies explores the theme of good vs evil through the actions and struggles of a group of boys stranded on a deserted island. The boys' descent into savagery, the battle between Ralph and Jack, and the loss of innocence all highlight the constant struggle between good and evil within human nature. This novel serves as a reminder that even in the most civilized individuals, there is a darkness that can emerge when pushed to the limits. The battle between good and evil is not limited to the confines of this fictional island but resonates with the eternal struggle within each of us.

Works Cited

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Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Faber & Faber, 1954.

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Cite this Essay

Good vs Evil in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/good-vs-evil-in-william-goldings-lord-of-the-flies/
“Good vs Evil in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.” GradesFixer, 13 Jun. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/good-vs-evil-in-william-goldings-lord-of-the-flies/
Good vs Evil in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/good-vs-evil-in-william-goldings-lord-of-the-flies/> [Accessed 24 Jul. 2024].
Good vs Evil in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jun 13 [cited 2024 Jul 24]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/good-vs-evil-in-william-goldings-lord-of-the-flies/
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