“Lord of the Flies” is an allegory by William Golding, and is set on an island paradise that is a microcosm of the world. One of the main ideas in “Lord of the Flies, is that innate evil resides within all human beings, even the British. This essay will describe how the change in a main character, Jack, helps the reader to understand this idea of innate evil.
In the beginning of the text Jack is described as the perfect role model. Being head boy and choir leader his leadership far outshone that of Ralph’s, however the group chose Ralph to be their chief.
Jack’s obsession with killing and hunting started when he said his choir were to be the hinters and climaxed when he conducted Simon’s death dance, urging his followers to “Kill the Beast!”
As Jack’s innate evil appears more and more frequently, his choir starts to gather more and more followers and move further and further away from Ralph and the remnants of a normal civilisation, and the hope of being rescued. Eventually Jack gets to the point where he can no longer control his innate evil and the change is complete when he turns his tribe onto Ralph himself at the end of the text.
“They hate you, Ralph…
They are going to hunt you tomorrow.”
This change in Jack from a choir leader to savage dictator helped me to realise the main theme of innate evil by showing that even the respectful English cricket player that Jack was, could be capable of such evil.
The biggest example of innate evil in the text was when Simon was having a seizure on his mat, while the Lord of the Flies was telling him that the beast was him and that it resided in everyone on the island, and that really there was no physical beast at all it was in fact them.
“Fancy thinking the beast is something you could hunt and kill…
You knew didn’t you? That I was a part of you… Why things are what they are?”
Also at the time that William Golding wrote “The Lord of the Flies” the secrets of the Nazi concentration camps were coming out and he understood and said that anyone would have acted as the Nazi’s did under the rule of fear.
“You think you’ve won the war and defeated Nazism, so your all nice decent people, but look out, the evil is in all of us.”
This dictatorship under fear is exactly how Jack ruled, and it helped me to understand that everyone has the potential to do evil things if the circumstances are right.
In conclusion, the change in Jack from respectful schoolboy to evil dictator clearly helped me to understand that in everyone resides the power to do terrible things, innate evil.