William Golding author of Lord of the Flies argues that humans have an inherently evil nature. Golding demonstrates the evil nature of humans by using seemingly innocent children and showing the capability they have to commit unprovoked acts of evil. Beginning with their arrival to the island, the children, following Ralph’s example, mercilessly mock and insult Piggy, an overweight asthmatic. The unprovoked childish mocking of Piggy, harmless at first, escalates causing Piggy to become an outcast. This first display of evil marks the treacherous path the children later follow.
By detailing Jack’s lust for killing a wild pig, Golding sets the stage for the bloodlust human nature ultimately desires. Highlighting the degeneration of the children’s morality, and comparing the killers of Simon, a Christ-like figure, to animals, Golding argues the beastly natures of humans parallel those of animals. There is no true innocence, not even in children, for they too ridicule others without reason. Ralph says jeeringly to Piggy “sucks to your Ass-mar! ” and “sucks to your auntie! “(13). He says these mean words thoughtlessly, without care or awareness of the hurt they are inflicting on Piggy.
Ralph makes fun of Piggy without even thinking of the effect of his words. Piggy is different and there is no mercy for an outsider. Not one boy is immediately nice to Piggy. Although not all of them participate in the teasing, they all laugh, enjoying seeing him in pain. Jack says with cold hearted malice, “We don’t want you. “(24). Such a simple statement, yet it holds so much power. Piggy is rejected without even a second thought given to the matter. They just don’t care about him because he’s not like them. The inherent evil of human nature is seen in the children’s lust for blood and death.
Wildness gleams in Jack’s eyes as he says, “Next time there will be no mercy! “(31). The so called “innocent” choir boy shows his true savage nature. Jack reveals his beastly nature and blood thirsty madness throughout the stages of the pig hunt. First he smears clay as war paint and later, performs demonic chants and dances. During the dance a child portrays a pig about to be slaughtered. Jack’s reply, “Use a littlun” (115) to the statement we want a real pig to kill shows he places little value on the life of individual’s he feels are inferior to him. The communal actions led by Jack enhance their lust for meat and death.
Jack creates this need and want for the death of a pig in all the choir boys’ hearts, transferring his lust for death from one boy to another. Jack’s lust for death, and the boys’ attraction to the wild and savage further proves mankind’s inherently evil nature. The boys take violence and killing as the norm of their society, as their fantasies of killing turn into their reality. The boys’ do not have an over-ruling conscience telling them that it is wrong to kill. Everyone is affected by the madness of Jack’s savage dance, even Piggy and Ralph are “eager to take place in this demented” (152) ritual.
They want a victim. They want something that they can attack, sink their claws and fangs into; living flesh. None of the boys speak up and say that what they are doing is wrong and deranged. Because it is routine, killing is normal. No one sees it as morally or criminally offensive. Because of the lack of rules and adult authority the boys forget what it is like to be civil. All want to partake in the “game”. During the ritual they start chanting “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood! Do him in! “(152). they could care less that the Beast” they are attacking is Simon, the spiritual choir boy.
The boys enjoy the violence too much to worry about what and who they are attacking. Enjoying the game and having “fun” is all they care about. These examples prove Golding’s premise is correct: Human nature is inherently evil. Innocence is a lie, a mask we wear over our dark and sinister identities. As Lord of the Flies shows clearly, if the veneer of society and civilization is stripped away and the laws that control human actions are removed man’s defective and evil nature is revealed.