Most people see children as innocent, adorable angels, but the natural state of children is malicious and callous. According to the United States Department of Justice, “twenty-five percent of all serious violent crime involved a juvenile offender” (“102. Juvenile”). This violent nature in children is reflected through a famous piece of literature.
Written by William Golding in 1954, Lord of the Flies outlines the journey of a group of British schoolboys whose plane crashes on a deserted island while attempting to escape the turmoil of WWII. With no adults on the island, the boys struggle to remain sane and ordered while figuring out how to be rescued amidst the chaotic world surrounding them. The division of the group wreaks havoc and creates many problems on the island such as the need for fire and food. The children’s reactions to the obstacles they face emphasize their natural malicious state. As portrayed in Lord of the Flies, children are not pure and innocent; instead, they are inherently cruel, savage, and evil.
As emphasized in Lord of the Flies, children are naturally cruel. While at Castle Rock searching for the beast, the group tortures Robert acting like he is a pig to hunt. The group does not let Robert go, and eventually “Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife” (Golding 114). This act of violence reflects the children’s inherently cruel state, because they are hurting a child, when they should be working together to find a way off the island.
From the first hunt to the murder of Piggy and Simon, the children prove their natural cruel state. In each hunt, the children chant “kill the pig! Cut his throat! Spill his blood” (114) over and over until they are too tired to continue hunting. The chant is malicious and proves the primitive cruel state of children. With each kill, the reader continues to see that the children are “tinged with cruelty and violence” (Bufkin 7) through the words they chant and the repetition of the chant. With each hunt, the children prove themselves to be inherently cruel.
In Lord of the Flies, the author emphasizes the natural state of savagery in all children. From the first killing of a pig, it becomes clear that “the novel does not imply that children, without the disciplined control of adults, will turn into savages; on the contrary, it dramatizes the real nature of all humans” (Dickson 1). The boys have savage personalities within them, and the situation on the island where they must supply their own food emphasizes their savage qualities through the killing process.
Each kill reflects the natural savagery and is truly seen later in the book when the children’s mental state suffers due to the length of the time spent on the island and the splitting of the group. After the group splits, it is evident that the book turns into a war on the island between the two groups. From this point forward, “the boy’s savage hunt turns to human rather than animal victims” (2). The boys’ savage instinct is showcased through not only the killing of the pigs, but also the murder of Simon and Piggy. The boys’ inherent savage personalities are highlighted through the malicious hunts and murders.
As seen in Lord of the Flies, children are intrinsically evil. The game they play at Castle Rock showcases the boys’ evil nature. While stabbing at Robert with spears and threatening to kill him, “the desire to squeeze and hurt was over-mastering,” (Golding 164) becoming a strong urge of Ralph’s with each passing second. The boys’ intent to hurt Robert is an evil, nefarious act that reflects inner evil as an inherent trait. Every malicious act in Lord of the Flies is done in an evil manner and is seen especially in each hunting and killing scene. Each violent kill echoes “the inner evil in all humans” (Dickson 5) as intentionally evil.
Not only the kills are evil, however, but rather every act in Lord of the Flies is evil. Lord of the Flies is not about surviving the harsh conditions, but rather it is about survival “amidst the disorder that evil causes” (Bufkin 1). Not only does evil result in many negative actions such as murder, but it also causes a permanent mental disorder that. As portrayed in the book, evil is not something acquirable; evil is produced within each human naturally. Lord of the Flies outlines the inner evil in all humans and the disorder evil causes.
As portrayed in Lord of the Flies, children are naturally cruel, savage, and evil. Throughout the book, the boys are caught in a continuous loop of killing, resulting in inhumanity, and forget about the importance of being rescued. These boys reflect how children naturally have these malicious characteristics, but most people assume that children could never be as violent as they truly are. In reality, it is the adults that refuse to believe that children could do such harmful crimes and therefore contort their thoughts to make themselves believe that children are innocent where in reality, many children are responsible for the serious crimes seen today.
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