For years many years people have argued that we as humans know right from wrong and are not naturally evil. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a novel that tells the story of a group of English schoolboys stranded on a tropical island after their plane is shot down during the war. With no adults surviving the boys have to make choices within themselves and together that help them survive with each other while they figure a way to get home. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies explores the struggle of good versus evil through the use of symbolism, religious allegories and conflicts within themselves and between each other.
Jack and Ralph are the two main characters that all the boys follow but they are complete opposites.Ralph symbolizes the good within and Jack represents man’s inner evil.’Jack is tall, thin, bony: in a word, ugly. He is the evil man, the boy devil. He is associated with Satan through his red hair; his anger, rage, and cursing; and the snake and swine images applied to him’.This quote shows what William Golding believed in which is everybody has an inner evil, and Jack is the character that expresses inner evil the most making him a devil like figure.’ Ralph has the requirements to be the hero and the representative of good.’.This quote tells that Ralph is a good person no matter if he is just a man he done a lot of good things which make him the character that express the good in people. What Ralph and Jack symbolize changes the way they think about different situations and how they act leading for them to contradict in most cases showing the struggle of good versus evil. Good versus evil is a very prominent theme throughout the book Lord of the Flies and in some parts of the novel it is expressed by using religious allegories. The beast and Simon are two characters who have been connected to characters who act similar in the bible.
For instance Simon is connected to Jesus because they both have many similarities when it comes to what happen to them. ‘Many critics have attempted to read Simon as a Christ figure; he is the one boy who has the true knowledge which can save them. Like Christ, he is martyred. Unlike Christ, however, his death seems to have no significance for the boys; his knowledge dies with him.’ This quote shows the relation between Simon and Christ as a religious allegory it connects them and how they were both silenced with knowledge.
The beast is the another character who is connected to the bible but the beast is read as the devil. ‘And it is the beast–the beast that is part of all men. The materialization of this devil coincides with the emergence of savage evil in the boys, revealed in the acts that they commit.’ This quote shows the that the beast was put into the story to play the part as the devil for the sole purpose of bringing out the inner evil in each of the boys. Religious allegory plays a big part in this story by connecting characters and relating them to the bible. Simon and the beast conflict because Simon’s christ like actions and the beast’s devil like actions leading both of them to represent the struggle between good vs. evil.
Good versus evil is a theme that is seen from the beginning to the end of the novel and internal conflicts helps further the story and aids the expression of good versus evil in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. One of the biggest signs of an internal struggle is after the murder of Simon. ‘That was Simon.’ ‘You said that before.’ ‘Piggy.’ ‘Uh?’ ‘That was murder,’. In this quote, we see Ralph realizing the weight of their actions, the reality of them which is a heavy internal burden and conflict. The evil act that they took part in weighs most on the characters that are more good then they are evil like Piggy and Ralph.
Another example of an internal struggle is Jack wanting to kill the pig so much’He tried to convey the compulsion to track down and kill that was swallowing him up. ‘I went on. I thought, by myself-‘ The madness came into his eyes again,’ This quote marks the beginning of Jack’s internal decline into evil and savagery, a problem he struggles with internally. It begins with the need to catch and kill the pig.William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a story that explores the struggle between good versus evil through symbolism, religious allegory and internal conflict. Inherent good and evil, is a topic that has been debated for centuries, and is sure to be debated in the future. We may never all agree on one true definition for good and evil. We may never even agree on whether good and evil both truly exist.
However, the important thing is to realize that what Golding was trying to warn us against is a real problem. All of the boys on the island are tempted by evil, but not all of them give in to the craving.
However, along with the evil that lies within all people, there is also a touch of goodness, suggesting that all people have the free will to choose their destiny. Through the boys actions Golding shows us that everyone is born with and inner evil and the actions we take decide if we.