Defects of Human Nature
Human nature is defined by the psychological characteristics of humans, visible through human action. In an attempt to trace human defects and its effects on society, William Golding‘s novel ‘Lord of the Flies‘ presents the flaws of humans, exploring them in detail. ‘Lord of the Flies’ is an exemplary novel that portrays the destruction caused by human civilization, especially the dark side that is likely to cause harm to others.
Golding’s main purpose of writing this novel is to teach us a moral lesson that evil will always reside among humans. The evil side of human causes conflicts, therefore, there is a need to find a way to control it. Golding explores how human defects influence the societal order using a creative approach. According to Golding, the political system cannot be effective without considering some of the human defects. To prove his argument, Golding presented numerous flaws in human nature. One of the major human flaws, illustrated in the ‘Lord of the Flies,’ is the reluctance to admit one’s mistake.
In his novel, William Golding presents a group of boys as a symbol of humankind. Through them, he reveals how people can revert to primitive behavior if the circumstances allow them, especially when given excessive freedom. The story is about a group of British boys forced to live on a deserted island after their plane crashed. The boys work together to survive on the island as they wait for any ship to rescue them. They cooperate in all the daily activities like gathering fruits, making shelters.
Initially, when the boys arrived on the island, they are civilized, the fact that they are away from society and the real world that sanctions their behavior, their true nature comes out. With time, the boys turn into savages. All the characters in William’s novel are young boys who do not understand the world. As part of human nature, they are likely to make many mistakes and deny their mistake. At some point, the boys go further to blame others for their mistakes.
When they arrived on the island, the first thing these boys searched for was an adult; they were happy to note that the island was deserted. In the beginning, the island seems to be a paradise to them; these boys were free to do whatever they wanted. Out of reason, boys lived by certain rules, choosing a leader. All the boys preferred Ralph, not Jack; out of reason, Ralph made reasonable judgments, and the boys recognized it. The boys had not been influenced by the island.
In the story, Ralph represents the good side of humans; Ralph is portrayed as a democratic Leader. Jack represents the evil side of humans; he is portrayed as a self-centered, impulsive and an aggressive leader. Piggy is an important character in the story, he is short, fat shortsighted but has insightful ideas. He forever remains loyal to Ralph. Piggy is more reasonable and intelligent, but the other boys make fun of him, and at times he is used as a scapegoat The author uses Piggy to show how the society is usually against intellect because they are driven by their primitive urges.
Jack’s evil side makes him dislike Ralph, with time Jacks’ evil side erupts, causing major disagreement among the group. Jack forms his tribe, and other boys join Jack’s tribe despite his evil nature. The evil nature of humans is evident when bad things happen; these boys did not see anything wrong with their actions. Instead, the boys start blaming a beast. This is the defensive mechanism they use to blame others for their mistakes.
As their savagery increases, the boys look for a way to save them out of the situation. To avoid blaming themselves, boys look for a scapegoat. The boys kill a pig, having a feast to perform rituals to appease the beast. Their primitive behavior is evident when they decide to paint themselves like savages and dance around the fire. After the ceremony, the saw’s head becomes an offering to the beast. The saw’s head is covered with flies and become the Lord of the Flies. Simon realized that there was no beast, and the real beast was the evil in them. Simon was the voice of reason, but no one listened to him, the boys mistakenly killed him thinking he was the beast.
With time, the island became corrupt. These were the same boys that were responsible for their behavior because their evil side was not tamed. The boys had a good leader who made the rules and tried to keep things in order; however, his rules were ignored by some boys questioning their leader. Throughout the story, William Golding presents several defects of human nature, tracing the defect of the society back to the defect of the evil side of humans.
According to William Golding’s narrative, human flaws need to be taken into consideration to develop a sustainable political structure. In his book, young boys did not understand the evil side of humans, which comes naturally and needs to be controlled. The boys had several defects and were unwilling to admit their mistakes. Such situations resulted in frequent disagreements among them.
The author uses the children to symbolize mankind. This way, he explores human defects partying how people are likely to revert to the most primitive behavior if not guided. At times, people tend to create their rules and end up acting like savages. Indolence plays a key role in separating these boys, although Ralph is a sensible leader, he fails to enforce reasonable rules. Instead, Jack takes over because he is naturally active, but not intelligent.
In conclusion, William Golding argues that establishing order in a society requires individual efforts; we cannot change the society if people cannot change their attitude. There is a need to recognize the evil side of humans and keep it in control. ‘Lord of the Flies’ proves that it is not the government that determines how society is; it’s sheer human nature in everyone that proves whether a society will function.