Comparing Evil In Lord Of The Flies And A Long Way Gone

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The Evil Within “All things truly wicked start from innocence,” Ernest Hemingway, (A Movable Feast.) The nature of evil lies within all human beings whether they realize it or not. Both Lord of the Flies and A Long Way Gone have main characters who struggle with the temptation of evil, and eventually give in to their dark side. Under harsh circumstances, the evil within all people comes out as an attempt to adapt to their environment. Authority figures are one of the major components affecting the development of evil within their followers. People are more tempted to act a certain way if someone in a position above their own commands them to do so. In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael is forced to adapt to the savagery of the government soldiers …show more content…

Current situations affect the instinct for savage behavior. Phillip Zimbardo, author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, claims, “Each of us, given certain uncontrolled circumstances, is capable of sadistic or abusive behavior. When faced with difficult situations, people are forced to adapt their behavior to the environment around them due to their survival instincts (The Lucifer). In Lord of the Flies, the situation on the island causes the boys to revert to savagery. Since they are left on a deserted island with no adults, the boys have to take matter into their own hands and find a way to survive. Jack and Ralph use barbaric behavior to strike fear in the other boys on the island and get them to follow their evil wishes (Lord of the Flies 146). People can also reveal their evil side as an attempt to conform to stereotypes and social groups. In the Stanford prison experiment, the guards and prisoners both let their savage instinct take the better of them when they were trying to fit the part of their assigned social role. “Within a very short time both guards and prisoners were setting into their new roles, with the guards adopting theirs quickly and easily” (“Zimbardo” 2). All of these outside effects take part in the internal struggle between ones good side and evil nature in adults, but the effects of evil can grow even more apparent in

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