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Good and Evil - how do two Modern Classic Texts, The Lord of the Flies and The Crucible, reflect real life contemporary issues?

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Introduction

ARE HUMANS BORN INHERENTLY EVIL IS THERE SUCH THING AS MORAL GOODNESS HOW DO THE TEXTS STUDIED IN CLASS REFLECT REAL LIFE CONTEMPORY ISSUES There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it - Buddha. Humanity's thinking is conditioned by the ideals of the society around it. In order to run functionally the masses of society must support and uphold society's ideals. So society names acceptable, or encouraged, ideals good and the actions society disallows or forbids are called evil. Every day we see atrocious acts committed on the news. Even when the world condemns acts of evil they still occur, One then wonders why crimes are committed, whether these sins are an act of nature (that the perpetrator is born with certain evils) or is it instead that society has taught these people to be hateful and commit crimes, with this uncertainty In mind I set about investigating the questions; are humans inherently evil? Is there such thing as 'moral goodness'? And how do two Modern Classic Texts, 'The Lord of the Flies' and 'The Crucible', reflect real life contemporary issues? The sociological choices within 'The Lord of the Flies' reflects the evils of real life societal flaws. William Golding's 'The Lord of the Flies' is a novel based on the exploits of a group of boys aged from six to ...read more.

Middle

In the crucible we see a spectrum of good and evil actions. John Proctor, the protagononist in 'The Crucible' shows elements of goodness and evil. He shows elements of self-defined evil by committing adultery early in the play, however later on he shows great remorse for his evil. I don't believe from this evidence that Proctor is inherently evil he just committed an evil action. I think that people may make poor choices, but it does not make them evil, there is always a capacity for good within people and Proctors recognition of his evil and his plead to god for redemption shows his good equally as much as his adultery shows his evil. The Capacity for good is also shown by proctor later in the play when many in the town are convicted of witchcraft by the town officials, the madness shown in Salem has been repeated throughout history, as mankind will disregard their morals to ensure their own safety, however although most men would lie and confess that they were witches Proctor refused to give up his dignity and would sacrifice his life rather than sign his name to a lie which was unjust, I think this demonstrates impeccable good from proctor to die for a cause is the ultimate sacrifice and to die for a good cause takes courage, and courage is a form of moral goodness. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Conclusion I believe that no one really knowingly does wrong. If a person really understands in the fullest sense that something is wrong then they do not do it, conversely if you do do it, this shows that you have not properly grasped, deep down, that it is wrong. This to me means that virtue becomes a matter of knowledge, and until a clear definition for justice or evil is defined then it is as impossible to call somebody universally evil as it is to call a piece of artwork universal beautiful. I believe that people aren't inherently evil, they are born morally neutral, if the morals of humans exist on a scale of goodness then for every good act there must be a relative evil act, some may exhibit more traits of good, some more of bad, but this is based on how the experiences of the perpetrators have molded their morals, and the placement of the acts on the scale depends also on who it is that defines their acts as being good or evil. With that in mind I think that Humans aren't inherently evil, they are born neutral and should rise above evil, and it is our job as a society to teach and guide the next generation so that the evils of tomorrow are insignificant compared to the good. "There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it" - Buddha. ...read more.

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