Human Nature: The Knowledge Between Good and Evil
Golding suggests that human nature is evil. His stance is definitely an accurate reflection of the malevolency of human nature. It is also obvious in “Animal Farm,” and during the Holocaust. It might be hard for you to see because you know what right and wrong is; just like everyone else. The important part is what you decide to do with that information. We all have some bad in us. Yes, even the people that seem like they are perfect. Those people just do a better job, ignoring their natural instincts in society. Just imagine you are stranded on an island, 12 years old, and no adults. Things seem to be going well at first; then the lines start to blur between good and evil. You are going back and forth; you are starting to sway more towards evil. When it comes to this choice on what to do; most would like to believe that they would fight their negative instincts, but the truth is most people would just give up. No one knows the real reason why, but you are most likely exhausted and starving and maybe more. In Lord of the Flies, Golding does an amazing job explaining this as well.
Humans living in a society without laws and consequences tend to show their malevolent nature and make bad decisions. This is shown in Lord of the Flies by Golding. On page 152 Golding states that the boys were chanting, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” In the text the boys are talking about killing Simon. It was complete savagery. They wanted to kill Simon because they were reverting to their primitive past after being on the island so long. This is at last where their true nature emerges. This proves that Golding suggests human nature is in fact evil.
Golding has an accurate display of human nature in his book Lord of the Flies. On page 181 Golding states, “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee.” They killed Piggy because he was trying to speak the truth and Jack did not want anyone questioning his power. All Piggy wanted was for people to realize how bad of a ruler Jack was and the division he was creating. When we look at history we can see; when people question someone’s power, they get rid of them. This has happened before many times in history. Lord of the Flies is not just a book; it is an accurate reflection of society.
When humans feel threatened, they will do anything to get their control back. On page 13 of Animal Farm Orwell states, “Snowball and Napoleon were by far the most active in the debates. But it was noticed that these two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them made, the other could be counted on to oppose it.” Orwell wanted to demonstrate the problem of power between two opposing, but strong willed, people. Napoleon felt that any different views were a challenge to his power. Therefore, Snowball must be gotten rid of. On page 15 of Animal Farm Orwell states, “It happened that Jessie and Bluebell had both whelped soon after the hay harvest, giving birth between them to nine sturdy puppies. As soon as they were weened, Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying he would make himself responsible for their education.” Orwell was foreshadowing later in the text when Napoleon runs off Snowball with those same nine puppies; Napoleon felt threatened by Snowballs popularity. Napoleon was paranoid Snowball would take over and he would have no power left. All people want is power. If they have a chance to get it, they will. No matter the costs. This demonstrates that when people feel threatened, they will do anything to retain or gain their power.
Good people can become bad by the choices they make or what affects them in their lifetime. If we look at Hitlers actions during the Holocaust, we can see how detrimental it was to society. Not everyone understands that Hitler was once a normal young boy. As stated by Mack Dean, “In his early life Hitler wanted to become an artist, in 1907 he applied to a painting school, the Vienna Academy of Art. He didn’t pass his first entrance exam.” He had goals to become an artist, not to become a ruler that killed millions of people. He followed those goals for a while. He used to make post cards and sell them. No one knows what flipped the switch in Hitlers mind but as Dean said, “Hitler requested to serve in the Bavarian-Germany Army, he received special permission to do so and became a soldier. In the field he quickly proved himself as a good soldier. By 1913 he received the Iron Cross (Second Class) and in August of 1918 he received the Iron Cross (First Class).” When you think about War Veterans you think they are amazing, and you respect them. Which you should. The truth is though war can change anyone and a lot of times it changes everyone. So, when you read that quote, you see that Hitler is patriotic and he loves his country. The truth is, World War I changed him for the worst. Hitler got home and he wanted to go back. Hitler got rejected so many times and he finally found something he was good at and he felt important. Which all starts the story of World War II and everyone knows how that goes. So, it just goes to show that good people with normal dreams can become bad by the choices they make, their environment, and a lot of other factors.
It is very important that everyone knows that we have some evil in us. We should care because it helps us understand the issues we have and helps us create solutions, not problems. If you are going to take one thing away from this it needs to be, that everyone is not as different as you think. If you are going to learn one thing, it must be that everyone has some evil, but some people are better at controlling it than others.