Human Nature In Lord Of The Flies

Decent Essays

Human nature is very convoluted and complex, but if society was to stop and think about our imperfections as humans, is cruelty learned or innate? The novel, Lord of the Flies, takes place during one of the most terrible times in history, World War II (1939-1945). William Golding, a British novelist, playwright, and poet, wrote Lord of the Flies, and also won the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding work in literature. Golding was also awarded the Booker Prize for fiction in 1980 for his novel, Rites of Passage. Golding served in the Royal Navy during World War II, and his experiences during the war shaped his views on the evil that society posses, and inspired him to write Lord of the Flies, as did his favorite novel Coral Island, written by R. M. Ballantyne. Throughout the novel, cruelty is learned through Jack and Maurice when Jack was hesitant in trying to kill the pig in the beginning of the book and when Maurice felt hesitant to kick over the littluns sand castles, but later helped in the killing of Simon.
Jack shows that cruelty is learned and not innate because throughout the novel, he progressively becomes more cruel. In the beginning, Jack was confident in himself for he was the head chorister and leader of his choir (Golding 22). When he along with Ralph and Simon stumbled upon a pig late in the first chapter, he hesitated to kill it. The book reads: “They knew very well why he hadn’t: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living

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