The Hangman's Horror: Roger, Sadism, and Psychopathy in Lord of the Flies

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With an understanding of the inherent darkness in all men and first-hand experience with savagery and violence in World War II, William Golding used Lord of the Flies as not only a historical allegory and a pulpit from which to address the darkness in all men, but also as a metaphor and a example that no one is exempt from human nature. Golding’s characters in Lord of the Flies reflect this idea greatly, but none more so than Roger. Throughout Lord of the Flies, Golding uses the character of Roger to show the follies of mankind and the ability of all people to turn to savagery, as well as the inherent nature of man and society’s internalized acceptance of violence, stemming from Golding’s own experiences with the subject. Golding created…show more content…
With an understanding of the inherent darkness in all men and first-hand experience with savagery and violence in World War II, William Golding used Lord of the Flies as not only a historical allegory and a pulpit from which to address the darkness in all men, but also as a metaphor and a example that no one is exempt from human nature. Golding’s characters in Lord of the Flies reflect this idea greatly, but none more so than Roger. Throughout Lord of the Flies, Golding uses the character of Roger to show the follies of mankind and the ability of all people to turn to savagery, as well as the inherent nature of man and society’s internalized acceptance of violence, stemming from Golding’s own experiences with the subject. Golding created Roger to be an extension of Jack’s own personality; Roger externalizes Jack’s internal sadism and amplifies his lust for power over others. From the beginning of the novel to the end, he exemplifies the sadism of the savages on the island and catalyzes much of the violence that goes on throughout, from the viciousness of the pig hunts to the premeditated death of Piggy. While not being a central character in Lord of the Flies, and while remaining a primarily static character throughout, Roger becomes a pivotal example of the disintegration of the human condition and the ability of all men to turn to cruelty when presented with the opportunity and put in circumstances that foster anarchy and violence, such as those that the boys find

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