Theprimitive and animalistic nature in us can sometimes foster fear, brutality,and savagery that exist in us.
In Lord of the Flies, William Golding’seffective use of characterization conveys that all humans are capable of evildue to their inherent human nature. Golding depicts this theme through the littlunsand Jack. Golding reinforces that humansare innately evil through the most seemingly innocent children.
After the firstsuccessful pig hunt, the boys decide to re-enact the pig hunt using a tribaldance. But later, they are unable to distinguish between their companions andthe pigs they kill for food and entertainment, thus leading to Simon’s death. Thisshows that the boys’ desire towards savagery grows stronger and their lusttowards blood intensifies, thus leading them to be dehumanized. The murder ofSimon 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’ brutaldesire for killing and blood.
Eventhough it is ferociously uttered by such little boys, this belligerent verbalexpression conveys their thirst for the torture and brutality the hunt brought.The littluns are now oblivious to the moral rules of the civilized society andtheir inner bestiality has finally emerged. The animalization of the littluns justifiesGolding’s point that all humans can succumb to their inner beast. Golding usesJack as another example to solidify his point that humans are inherently savage.Ralph accuses Jack of being “a beast and a swine and a bloody, bloodythief!” (179). This characterization of Jack as a beast and a bloody thiefshow that he now has the capacity for barbarism and brutality.
Moreover, Jack isquickly adapting himself to nature. When hunting, he paints his face as a maskto free himself from self-consciousness and to escape from the rules of thecivilized society. After killing thefirst pig, Jack’s mind is crowded with “memories … when they closed inon 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 thebeast. He feels pride and excitement not from finding meat for his companionsbut 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 inmotion. He paints his hunters’ faces with red, white, and green, occupies thecastle rock as his shelter and rules his tribe as a dictator. Without any senseof morality, Jack governs with absolute and dominate power, punishes anyone whoimpedes or disobeys him. In the end, he transforms into a dictator, a savage,and more importantly, a true “beast”.
By usingcharacterization, Golding conveys that all human beings have the capacity to beevil and he also reveals the true primal nature of the littluns and Jack. Thenumerous 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 andtheir innocence can be lost forever.