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Essay/Term paper: Animal instinct

Essay, term paper, research paper:  English Literature Essays

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Animal Instinct

What would life be like without a mother or a father? What would life be like
without any adult supervision? How would a person act if they did not have
society to tell them what is right and wrong? Author William Golding believes
that a person that wasn't brought up by society would only act using their basic
human nature. It is also a part of his believes that this nature is evil. In
his novel, Lord of the Flies, Golding proves his ideas on the evil at the base
of the human nature through the lives of Piggy, Ralph, Roger, and Jack, whom are
all young boys trapped on a deserted island in the Pacific. Piggy was a
nonathletic, fat child with glasses and asthma. He was the child who was least
effected by the evil inside of himself. Piggy was also the most intelligent
child on the island, and this intelligence is what kept him from giving in to
his evil. This intelligence was also thought by Jack to be a threat. Piggy
lived in fear of Jack because he knew what type of person he was and that he
could not be trusted. On page 93 Piggy expresses his fears by telling Ralph, "
I'm scared of him and that is why I know him. If your scared of someone you
hate him but you can't stop thinking about him." In this it is obvious that
Piggy is scared of Jack, so much so that he thinks about him constantly and now
he has him figured out. This is why Piggy is unaffected by his evil. He sees
what is happening to everyone else through Jack. The other person who wasn't
overcome by their evil is Ralph. Ralph was an older child, and he was an
athletic born leader. He was the leader of the tribe until the children began
doing what Jack said. Although he never completely surcame to it, Ralph was
tempted by evil. One instance happened when Jack and his hunters came back from
a hunt and began to dance. The story on page 75 says, "Ralph watched them
enviously and resentful." He was envious of the other children because they got
to dance and chant, but he knew that it was wrong, so he did not join in, and
during this time while he was being tempted he treated Piggy terribly. He
began to do what Jack said. Once when Jack brought the meat back from one of
the hunts he gave everyone a piece except for Piggy, and when he complained
Jack screamed at him, and instead of standing up for him as he did before Ralph
sat quietly and gnawed on his meat. At the beginning of chapter 5 Ralph takes a
walk, and he begins not only to realize that the way he has been acting was
wrong, but also to realize how life should be lived. At the beginning of the
walk he was starring at his feet and was troubled by life. Then he realizes
that his problem was that he was starring at his feet. When he began to look at
the path in front of himself he began to think more clearly. Just as he did on
the path, he finds that in life you should always face forward. After that,
Ralph saw life more clearly and overcame that temptation from evil. Ralph lived
to be the sole survivor of the island that was not overcome by evil. Roger was
one of the hunters that followed Jack from the beginning. He becomes almost
totally driven by evil. At first Roger was a quiet boy. He barley even
sputtered out his name when he was introducing himself. Jack took him in though.
Every time that Jack went to do something Roger was right there with him. Jack
probably picked him because he was so shy and quiet. He wanted someone who
would follow orders and not ask questions, but Roger became more than that
though. He not only followed Jack's orders, but he followed the orders of his
primitive instincts. Roger in following his instincts killed Piggy. When he
did killed him it was for no reason at all. Jack was the leader of the hunters.
The hunters were the evil children. He was also the first child to become
uncivilized or evil. He wasn't always the evil child though. Near the
beginning Jack and Ralph were friends or at least friendly. It was at the point
when the tribe decided to choose a leader that he became the uncivilized and
evil Jack. On page 23, the book says that, "Jake and Ralph smiled at each other
with a shy liking." This came just after Ralph decided that Jack would be in
charge of the choir, whom would all be the hunters. Through the boys hunting
they became less human and began to turn into their animal selves. Jack was the
worst of all at this. He would get down on all fours and sniff the ground and
wallow in the dirt. Another thing he did was he painted his face. This was a
symbol of him losing his identity, and become an animal without passion,
thoughts, or even a soul. When Roger killed Piggy he was not a child. He was
not a man. He was an animal. He didn't have the capability to think or reason.
When he killed Piggy, Roger was operating on pure survival instincts. He was
like a wolf or a bear. In the end Golding proves that at our base we are just
wild animals driven to evil by our instincts.


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