• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What particular aspects of human nature are explored in Lord of the Flies; and how have the author's techniques and choice of content deepened your understanding of this matter?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What particular aspects of human nature are explored in Lord of the Flies; and how have the author's techniques and choice of content deepened your understanding of the matter? In this essay, I will review the information I have gathered from the novel 'Lord of the Flies' by William Golding. The main aspects of human nature explored are: Evil within man, Fear of the unknown, and The need for civilisation. In the story, a group of schoolboys land on a deserted island due to a plane crash. They quickly set up a community and the boys are united in their quest for rescue. However, the lack of civilisation eliminates any common rules or morals, and the group soon starts to break apart. This brings out the evil which is within every human being. The constant fear of the unknown, represented as a 'beast', only increases the magnitude of this problem. Finally, the camp is split into two: The rebellious and 'evil' side, led by Jack; and the civilised and 'good' side led by Ralph, the original chief. The rivalry between Jack and Ralph forces this split, and their different opinions and priorities. This division finally results in the brutal murders of Simon and Piggy, with Ralph escaping narrowly from the clutches of Jack's tribe. ...read more.

Middle

Golding, like many, believes that evil is a natural part of the human psyche but is not often displayed in modern society, due to the many morals which dominate the behaviour of most people today. However, this evil can be brought out through the need to survive and emotional turmoil can bring this feeling on. In an environment without rules, the tendency to perform immoral acts is increased. Jack is first to display the evil by going out hunting with some of the boys. He finds the chase and kill exhilarating, which eventually spreads onto the other boys. Their chant, "Kill the beast, cut his throat, spill his blood" shows partially fear, partially bloodlust. They are scared of the beast and so want to rid of this terrible creature. Also, they find the murder of the beast to be exciting and don't care about the morality. My second point is not a quote, but two events. They are the murders of Simon and Piggy. Simon is brutally killed by Jack's gang because they mistakenly think he is the beast. When they find out what they actually did, they are indifferent. They believe they have done nothing wrong and don't care that a mistake has cost the life of another human being. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jack, however, is truly lost, and tells Ralph and Piggy that "We don't care about the fire. We want meat". He doesn't see the big picture and only cares about the short term. He doesn't care about being rescued. He is all about getting what he wants and having fun, which is the main reason for his decline to a barbarian. I believe the symbols in the story help us understand what the boys truly feel, what is meant by certain things and also using metaphors to show what is happening in the boys' minds. To conclude, William Golding uses the characterisation of fear through a 'real' threat, and so 'the beast' is born. The evil within man is portrayed realistically, and is what would happen in such situations. It is not often, but it does happen, that the natural evil shines through in our society. The Holocaust, 9/11, and 7/7 and prime examples of this in the real world. The symbolism shows some morals in society through important items in the story. They reflect objects which appear commonly in a different form, mostly not as items but ideals. I think 'Lord of the Flies' displays this very well and has certainly made me understand more of the human mind and what it can do when provoked into doing so. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE William Golding section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

This is an excellent response to a very challenging question for GCSE candidates. This particular candidate has, from the very start and throughout the rest of their essay, shown a hugely insightful comprehension of human nature and how William Golding ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This is an excellent response to a very challenging question for GCSE candidates. This particular candidate has, from the very start and throughout the rest of their essay, shown a hugely insightful comprehension of human nature and how William Golding explores it in 'Lord of the Flies'. Identifying immediately the three main features of human nature explored as "Evil within man, Fear of the unknown, and The need for civilisation", this candidate's answer is very well-structured. I would argue that the need for society is a more appropriate wording to the last one though, as we see how civilisation is an imperative element of a social construct in the novel. Society's written and unwritten laws are abandoned the moment the boys unite, but civilisation takes more time to erode, but it would not do so if society's rules were enforced.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is very good. This question demands a lot of attention to detail. Being an allegoric novel, whereby symbolism plays a large part, human nature is presented in many ways and the candidate has done extremely well to identify how, with the destruction of society comes the destruction of civilisation. This linking creates a very flowing style of writing that few candidates can do well in an exam or even in coursework. It shows examiners there is an adeptness with the English language and that prior planning has taken place in order to make the answer the most accessible, concise and informative it can be.
There could be more use of quotes, particularly at the centre of the response - the candidate does get very carried away in their analysis but this does not penalise them in any way because at all time the candidate focuses on the steer of the question. This is called effective digression - where external knowledge (that is, knowledge of the novel that does not come from the novel itself) and insight is introduced so long as it has a clear link to the question. Examiners love to see this, as it shows enthusiasm for independent research and an ability to think outside the box, as it were, rather than sticking to the conventional method of English essay writing by including nothing but what the novels tells us directly.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is brilliant. The candidate has shown a masterful hand over the English language and has used a wide range of linguistic devices to shape their answer and to make it interesting, has used a diverse variety of sentence syntax (short vs. long sentences), punctuation (semi-colons) and accurate grammar.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 27/02/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE William Golding essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Fear of the Unknown- Lord of the Flies

    5 star(s)

    But the major incident that turned this whole thing from insight to hysteria was when Jack, Ralph and Roger claimed they saw this beast. "The beast had teeth and big, black eyes," said Ralph. The lone character in the novel, Simon, going by his instinctive self, still believed that the

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Violent Society in Lord of the Flies

    4 star(s)

    to say are continuously about bettering the civilisation of the other boys, and also about ways of developing the technology. '"I've been thinking...in the sand, and the-"' (page 81). Piggy is obviously smarter than the other boys on the island, and here he finds a way that the boys can

  1. Select two essays from the Rivkin and Ryan Reader. Type out one quotation from ...

    The use of signifiers and signified can be applied to White Noise. Saussure says that 'The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary.'11 This means that there is no reason why certain words should give certain images. Therefore there is no reason why the word 'spider' should give an image of an eight legged creature.

  2. As an actor, outline your approach to the development of the role of Ralph ...

    "When acting, you have to imagine thins. You have to imagine you're someone different". Here, Ralph is genuinely taking his role as director, and thus he should speak with a fast, energetic, lively voice, his eyes widened in enthusiasm, and rolling his hands to help him develop his words, enhancing

  1. Lord of the Flies - Was Ralph the best choice for leader?

    However, as time passes on the island, hunting becomes an obsession for Jack, 'he tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up.' Even when Ralph suggests rescue, Jack's response is, 'I'd like to catch a pig first.'

  2. Lord Of The Flies

    He is wearing a swirling black cloak, part of his religious uniform. Thereafter he is always associated with shoadows and lack of light. He is completely in charge of his choir and Ralph immdeiately recognises that he has "the voice of one who knew his own mind".He contrasts physically with Ralph being 'ugly without silliness'.

  1. What are the Implications of the Stanford Prison Experiment for Humanity?

    So, the theory of this particular test could be that human conscience only takes personal moral responsibility into account, not just morals altogether or for others. Golding also writes about this in his novel, when Piggy denies himself or Ralph of any responsibility for the murder of Simon, saying that

  2. In an essay about his novel “Lord of the Flies”, William Golding wrote: “The ...

    interest and commitment, but we as human beings, are of course the first to complain to others when something is not done. This is demonstrated through the boys, and in the end its Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric who are left to complete the jobs.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work