primitive and animalistic nature in us can sometimes foster fear, brutality,
and savagery that exist in us. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding’s
effective use of characterization conveys that all humans are capable of evil
due to their inherent human nature. Golding depicts this theme through the littluns
Golding reinforces that humans
are innately evil through the most seemingly innocent children. After the first
successful pig hunt, the boys decide to re-enact the pig hunt using a tribal
dance. But later, they are unable to differentiate their companions and the
pigs they kill for food and entertainment, thus leading to Simon’s death. This
shows that the boys’ desire towards savagery grows stronger and their lust
towards blood intensifies, leading them to be dehumanized. The murder of Simon
also demonstrates the littluns’ complete transformation to savagery.
Furthermore, when the boys re-enact their hunt, they chant, “Kill the beast!
Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” This quote demonstrates the littluns’ brutal
desire to torture, to hurt and to maim. Even
though it is ferociously uttered by such little boys, this belligerent verbal
expression conveys their innate thirst for blood and their desire to kill. The littluns
are now oblivious to the moral rules of the civilized society and their inner bestiality
has finally emerged. The animalization of the littluns justifies Golding’s
point that all humans can yield to their inner beast.
Jack as another example to solidify his point that humans are inherently savage.
Ralph accuses Jack of being “a beast and a swine and a bloody, bloody
thief!” (179). This characterization of Jack as a beast and a bloody thief
show that he now has the capacity for barbarism and brutality. Moreover, Jack is
quickly adapting himself to nature. When hunting, he paints his face as a mask
to free himself from self-consciousness and to escape from the rules of the
civilized society. After killing the
first pig, Jack’s mind is crowded with “memories … when they closed in
on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing,
imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.”
Jack enjoys the feeling of killing a pig and wants to impose his will upon the
beast. He feels pride and excitement not from finding meat for his companions
but from killing the pigs. This shows that Jack’s inner savagery is waking up.
Later on, the desire for blood, wildness urges Jack to put his evil ideas in
motion. He paints his hunters’ faces with red, white, and green, occupies the
castle rock as his shelter and rules his tribe as a dictator. Without any sense
of morality, Jack governs with absolute and dominate power, punishes anyone who
impedes or disobeys him. In the end, he transforms into a dictator, a savage,
and more importantly, a true “beast”.
characterization, Golding conveys that all human beings have the capacity to be
evil and he also reveals the true primal nature of the littluns and Jack. The
numerous brutal act done by Jack and his tribe support Golding’s argument.
Golding shows us that children are born with savagery hidden in themselves.
When they are exposed to the vile world, their primitive instinct emerges and
their innocence can be lost forever.