Human Nature and Philosophy in Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Two philosophers of different eras tackle the same topic, human nature, and a great argument breaks out. Is man inherently evil, like William Golding believes? Or is man good at heart but inevitably becomes corrupted by the society he lives in, as said by Jean Jacques Rousseau? Both philosophers have very strong opinions and well reasoning for what they believe. Golding’s views are displayed well throughout his novel, Lord of the Flies; a tale about strong minded, young boys stranded on an island who must find a way to survive on their own. After reading this novel, I found myself agreeing much with Rousseau’s views on human nature.
Jean Jacques Rousseau was a French philosopher who believed that man was born with a pure heart and good intentions; however, society inevitably corrupted man. He believed that any desire to be a good person must be internally initiated from the one seeking it. Once man has immersed himself into society, he allows himself to be persuaded that being good is not the only way of life. William Golding believed that man was inherently evil. He was alive during one of the most gruesome wars of history, WWII. His experiences in the war significantly impacted his life and thus negatively influenced his views on human nature. Whilst in service, he came to the firm conclusion that humans are much more savage than he once thought. Man kills his brother so easily, and does not seem emotionally affected by it. Throughout William Golding’s novel, Lord of

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