Adaption Means Survival in Elie Wiesel's "Night" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies"
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Charles Darwin, the famous evolutionist, once wrote: "In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.” It was this message that Elie Wiesel learned during his captivity in World War II and incorporated into his novel, ‘Night’. It was also this message that William Golding tried to express through the scenario of his magnum opus, ‘Lord of the Flies’. Though, in both their novels, there was another message, an idea first realized by the great psychologist and philosopher Sigmund Freud. The idea was that when man is taken away from civilization, his instincts (the id) will overpower his conscience (super-ego) and man will return to their…show more content… The first of the 2 novels is Night, in this novel; it is often shown through-out the book that in times of need, people are willing to turn on one another. By seeing how Eliezer’s views about his father changed in the novel, it is proven that Eliezer began to focus more on surviving and desires than some of the important things like family thus proving that the evil change that Eliezer went was in fact nothing more than him falling back onto his more primitive beliefs of focusing on living by instinct and desire. The first of the two quotes to prove that is here: “He slapped my father with such force that he fell down and then crawled back to his place on all fours. I stood petrified. What had happened to me? My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent. Only yesterday, I would have dug my nails into this criminal’s flesh. Had I changed so much?”(Wiesel 39) This quote is from Eliezer’s first moments in Auschwitz. And from this quote, we know that it also marks the beginning of Eliezer’s steadily decreasing lack of sympathy for others for he had already began his descent to using his primitive instincts. This quote though, is extremely enlightening when compared to the thesis. This would be because this quote illustrates the fact that Eliezer