“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding
In the book “Lord of the flies,” the boys face many things that give them fear such as the beast, the fear of not being rescued and in time the fear of each other, this fear awakens the inner evil within each of them.
The beast or “beastie”1 takes many forms throughout the book which gradually changes as the boys slowly descend into madness. At the beginning, it is thought to be a snake, the author uses the snake as an analogy of evil hiding in the darkness waiting to strike. Towards the middle of the book, the beast then becomes the dead man. This supports the idea that all men are beasts, and like beasts we kill each other for personal gain. Simon who is a reference to one of Jesus’s disciples and perhaps Jesus himself, sees that the beast is really evil cemented into human nature, which controls and determines our actions in times of crisis. As is said to have happened to Jesus, Simon is killed by his own people in an attempt to help save them.
A possible idea behind the inner evil which awakens within the boys is that it is in fact a solution, a defense mechanism if interpreted as such. As the boys fear of not being rescued grows, they see the fire as a less viable option as it is difficult to maintain. Jack first suggest it and the others begin to follow that they should instead begin to attempt to build a new society as the previous one established by Ralph has not gotten them rescued yet. The fear within Jack turns to jealousy for Ralph as leader, ambition to dominate the others, and kill those who get in his way. This fear eventually corrupts them all, causing the death of Piggy by Roger. The evil that boys on the island begin to exhibit actually begin to reflect the world around them. The boys fight amongst themselves, they grow suspicious of each other, especially Jack. Jack sees those who are against him and wants to get rid of them, just as is happening as World War II rages. When they are rescued, they see the captain as an angel who has freed them so they no longer have evil thoughts, and just like many sinners, they refuse to acknowledge what they have done. The reality though is that the captain is no different from them, this is shown when the captain asks Ralph how many died and when Ralph says two, the captain doesn’t seem all that surprised or concerned.
Lord of the Flies has a theme of inner evil being cemented into human nature with references to Jesus being tempted by Satan then killed by his people, The beast representing Satan and how the fear of it corrupted the boys, and the eventual breakdown into madness.