Human Nature In Lord Of The Flies By William Golding

906 Words4 Pages
There is a quote by Edmund Burke, “man is the cruelest animal”, that perfectly describes the truth about human nature; that humanity, at its core, is an evil species. William Golding acknowledges this fact in his 1954 novel, Lord of the Flies. Throughout the novel, Golding highlights the cruelty of children, the carelessness of their actions, and the evilness present in the very fabric of society. Children are, by nature, malevolent. They possess an ingrained cruelty that was not taught to them, because they require no instruction. This truth is present throughout the entirety of the novel but is especially demonstrated by the boy's treatment of “Piggy”. Even Ralph, the alleged “good” child takes pleasure from this cruelty, shown when Piggy says to him,“ ‘I don’t care what they call me,’ he said confidently, ‘so long as they don’t call me what they used to call me at school.’ … ‘They used to call me “Piggy”.’ Ralph shrieked with laughter.” (Page 6). The pleasure Ralph derives from the cruel nickname is common among children. It wasn’t something they picked up from the adults on the island but rather a cruelty of their own making, proving that rather than having to be taught to act “badly”, children are taught to act “good” or “proper”. This same reasoning is why children misbehave when teachers aren't present, because there is no one around to enforce society’s notions of “good behavior”. Without a teacher's presence the children are free to do whatever they
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