primitive and animalistic nature in us can sometimes foster fear, brutality,
and savagery that exists 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 littluns decide to re-enact the pig hunt using a
tribal dance. But later, they are unable to distinguish between their
companions and the pigs they kill for food and entertainment, thus leading to
Simon’s death. This shows that the boys’ impulse towards savagery grows
stronger and their lust towards blood intensifies, leading them to the process
of dehumanization. The murder of Simon also demonstrates the littluns’ complete
transformation to savagery. Furthermore, when the boys re-enact their hunt,
they scream, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” This quote
demonstrates the littluns’ brutal desire for killing and blood. Even though it is ferociously uttered by such little
boys, this belligerent verbal expression conveys their thirst for the torture
and brutality the hunt brought. 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
succumb to their inner beast.
Jack as another example to solidify his point that humans are inherently savage.
In the beginning, Ralph accuses Jack of being “a beast and a swine and a
bloody, bloody thief!” (179). This intensely descriptive characterization
of Jack as a beast and a bloody thief show that he has exhibited the capacity
for barbarism and brutality. Moreover, Jack is quickly adapting himself to
nature. When hunting, he paints his face as a mask to liberate himself from
self-consciousness and to hide 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.