Lord of the Flies Antrhopology Essay

990 Words Nov 22nd, 2010 4 Pages
Thomas Hobbes was one of the most controversial philosophers of all time. He argued that the, “Life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes 77). Clearly he didn’t think that humanity was a good group of beings. In the Lord of the Flies by William Golding, one character, Jack Merridew, displays many characteristics of Hobbes’ philosophy on man. Time after time, Golding subtly refers to Hobbes’ philosophy through Jack and his reactions with other characters in the book. After Golding introduces the boys, they want to elect a chief, and already, Golding is using Hobbes’ anthropology. In Hobbes’ Leviathan, he states, “And therefore, if any two men desire the same thing which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they …show more content…
He even literally has his weapons pointed at Ralph in one scene specifically, in which the two leaders are dueling. The narrator narrates, “Jack made a rush and stabbed at Ralph’s chest with spear. Ralph sensed the position of the weapon from the glimpse he caught of Jack’s arm and put the thrust aside with his own butt” (Golding 159). Even though Hobbes may have intended this to be figurative without the actual leaders fighting, but their armies doing their work, this seems to fit the same kind of description. Hobbes really means that kings, or in this case chiefs, are always looking to fight each other, always ready for battle, always looking to rid themselves of their opponents. In the same way, Jack is always looking to fight Ralph, always ready for battle against Ralph, always looking to rid himself of Ralph. Golding ultimately connects Jack to Hobbes through Jack’s lack of mercy and justice. An unknown author composed a summary of Hobbes’ argument pertaining to this subject, and wrote “The state of nature… was founded upon a savage egoism which drove man to seek a maximum of pleasure without hindrance from a norm of justice or mercy toward other men. Every man was continually engaged in war against all other men” (Paragraph 9). Throughout the book, Jack fastidiously tries to not offer mercy or due justice to people. In one instance, Ralph pleads for mercy upon the twins, Sam and Eric. The narrator says, “’Grab them!’ No one moved. Jack shouted angrily. ‘I said

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