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What do you think Golding has to say about evil in Lord of the Flies? How does he convey these ideas?

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Introduction

What do you think Golding has to say about evil in Lord of the Flies? How does he convey these ideas? In my opinion, Golding uses his characters to convey ideas of evil throughout his novel. The idea of the beast which is portrayed in the novel, seems to be a metaphor of evil. If this is the case then I assume that whatever Golding says about the beast is the same for evil. The beast is almost a character itself and is also shown to be present in other characters. By showing us the beast in other characters Golding shows us the nature of the beast and therefore also the nature of evil. Through the pig's head, Golding conveys the message that the beast (or evil) is 'part of' and 'close' to man. The pig's head not only represents the evil man is capable of, but is also given the voice of evil itself. The pig's head is called the 'Lord of the Flies' this tells us it symbolises the devil, which is perhaps the cause of all evil. ...read more.

Middle

However when he compares this savagery to a naval officer, and a 'trim' fighting ship he shows just how human this evilness is, even adults are taken over by it, they just hide behind a more civilised mask. Golding shows us what evil at its height is capable of 'a stick sharpened at both ends'; this seems incomprehensible to Ralph. The killing of someone is bad enough but to be proud of it and parade it to people is worst. By showing us this Golding is telling us how disgusting evil is. The comparison of the 'little children' and their 'sticks' with the 'naval officer' and his 'revolver' is where Golding shows us how one sort of evil can put end to another (the transformation from wild savages into little boys occurs when a bigger force appears). This can be reflected in present day situations where war is used to put an end to terrorism. A bigger sort of evil is being used to oppress another. The weaker one is shown to be savage like and wild (such as the children -or terrorists), the bigger one which fights it is shown to be 'trim' and civil. ...read more.

Conclusion

This idea of evil being part of everyone and being uncontrollable seems to make all humane morals impossible to sustain. The fight within a person over doing right and wrong only seems to apply when a bigger force can punish you for doing the wrong. When this force is no longer there evil is free to take over and this is what I believe William Golding is telling us through his novel. Golding also shows that there are those who try their best to keep to these idealistic morals and values (Piggy, Simon and Ralph). The fact that 2 of them become martyrs of civilisation seems to tell us that they are fighting a losing battle. The laws that have been laid by man are only abided to when forced upon someone. The fact that mankind needs such force to do what's right is frightening. Golding shows us this, he implies that when these laws are broken by those who force them upon people, or when these people are not there, it takes only one person (Jack in this case) to be taken over by evil for the majority to be led into it. The capability of doing evil just seems to grow ('Stick sharpened at both ends') until something more powerful can stop it (naval officer). ...read more.

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