In literature, authors often write about the basic
nature of mankind and society. The themes of these works
often portray man as being basically evil. Lord of the
Flies by William Golding is one of these such works of
literature. The main theme in Lord of the Flies is that
man is savage at heart, and always will revert back to an
evil and primitive nature.
The novel is the story of a group of English
schoolboys of different backgrounds who are stranded on a
deserted island when their plane crashes. Throughout the
novel the boys become more and more evil. As the boys
try to organize and come up with a plan to get rescued,
they begin to separate and as a result a group of savage
hunters is formed. Eventually, the boys almost entirely
do away with civilized behavior. It is then realized
that the boys have allowed their savage side to
completely take control. Despite being a group of
British schoolboys, set in tradition, they allow the
natural evil inside them take over.
The best demonstration of the children's evil is the
killing of the pig. Upon first landing on the island
Jack, Ralph, and Simon go to survey their new home. Along
the way the boys have their first encounter with the
island's pigs. They see a piglet caught in some of the
plants. Quickly Jack draws his knife so as to kill the
piglet. Instead of going ahead and killing the pig, Jack
hesitates. Jack is still governed by the constraints of
his former civilization, he still thinks that killing is
wrong. The next stage of Jack's progression is his first
killing of a pig. There is a great celebration when he
returns. The boys chant "Kill the pig. Cut her throat.
Spill her blood" (Golding 75). The act of killing
another living thing gives the boys pleasure. The last
stage in Jack's change into a killer is demonstrated by
the murder of the sow. The killing is described like a
rape. "Jack was on top of the sow, stabbing downward
wherever pig flesh appeared...Jack found the throat, and
the hot blood spouted over his hands. The sow collapsed
under them and they were heavy and fulfilled upon her"
(Golding 135). Since the boys have been away from
organized society for such a long time, they have become
evil, destructive killers.
The children in this novel demonstrate that the
nature of mankind and society is one of evil. After the
children have gotten rid of the constraints of their
former society, the become man in his purest form. They
become savage, killing animals.