Social Sensitivity

It is significant that Golding, who comes from a social background identical to that of the schoolboys in Lord of the Flies, chooses to focus on the destructive effect of evil upon this particular group. He understands how the traditional values of respectability, order, intelligence, reason, and self-discipline have been pressed upon generations of boys in the educational system of England. Golding asserts that nothing can erase the problem of evil from human society if the individual does not directly confront the temptation to choose wrong over right. He ensures that his novel does not imply that a particular social group, race, or class cannot be trusted. Golding’s point is that, in the struggle to face the evil forces that rise from within the human spirit and threaten to overwhelm society, all men and women are equal. All are tempted to turn away from the best part of themselves and obey the most violent, degraded aspects of their personalities. To develop his theme, Golding depicts this violence and degradation in increasingly gory detail as the plot progresses and the schoolboys become savage hunters. The climactic passage describing the brutal killing of the sow is particularly disturbing for its use of sexual imagery; the murders of Simon and Piggy are also shocking, as Golding intends them to be.

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