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Lord Of the Flies - What Is William Golding's view on Human nature?

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Introduction

Lord Of the Flies - What Is William Golding's view on Human nature? The question of whether man is inherently good or evil has been answered in divergent ways by different religions, philosophers, theorists and others. On the one hand there are individuals and schools of thought that believe that man is naturally good and that it is society which makes us evil. Yet, others argue that it is society which is good and needed to control our inherent and predetermined inhumanity. The purpose of this essay, therefore, is to analyse and discuss the portrayal of human nature and society in Lord of the Flies by William Golding and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. In order to make the analysis more comprehensible, the first chapter presents a philosophical background to the novels under discussion. It is very difficult, or perhaps impossible, to determine whether a person's moral ground is based on social or psychological factors. ...read more.

Middle

They try to exercise control by allowing privileges to the person who holds the conch, but the conch eventually explodes into a thousand pieces, as does their society. Golding's purpose is to show that evil in society arises out of man's very nature, his instincts, and by using different symbolic characters the author is able to portray the forms of behaviour found in society. In contrast to Golding's belief that people are evil by nature, Mark Twain supports the idea of the 'Noble Savage'. He claims that the natural moral state of human beings is compassionate, and that our inhumanity is caused by civilization. Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn describes a young boy torn between what he feels his society expects of him and what his heart tells him is right. Society believes that slaves should be treated as property, but Huck, who has befriended a runaway slave, sees Jim as a person, not property. In the end, Huck decides that he would rather disobey society's teachings about slavery, than betray his friend. ...read more.

Conclusion

Since the evidence proves both arguments correct, the basic decision about the origin of morality is an individual one. According to the evidence in the texts human beings are inclined to indulge in immoral actions regardless of whether they are living in a natural environment, such as the tropical island, or in a society such as the cities depicted along the Mississippi's banks. Thus, the evidence indicates that Golding's claim is indeed plausible. However, if Golding's argument, which states that human beings are inherently evil, should be proven to be true, it would be to say that no human society is incorruptible. Yet, the reality, which shows that there are differences in the degree of corruptibility among societies, would indicate that factors other than evil in man play an important role. In fact, it can be seen that under the same circumstances, in an environment such as the deserted island, different individuals from the novel develop in divergent ways. Not all of them have so much evil hidden inside them as to become complete savages when released from the boundaries of society. In other words, goodness is perhaps something that is more than just socially determined. ...read more.

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