Comparing Violence And Human Nature By Howard Zinn And William Golding

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Howard Zinn argues in “Violence and Human Nature” that humans resort to violence by means of obedience, which is comparable to William Golding's “Lord of the Flies” in which the boys on the island conduct violently because of the absence of condition, with war occurring when the Freudian “Id” overpowers the ego and superego. Zinn explains the concept of a human being sculpted by their environment or society to become violent, rather than being born with that personality trait or genome. When placed in a threatening environment, Zinn describes violence as, "desperate attempt[s] to survive brought out aggressive destructiveness" (Zinn 603). They are merely working in a pattern to be obedient to their instincts. This war-like state of man comes …show more content…

Freed by the paint, they had tied their hair back and were more comfortable than he was,” (175) The superego and ego are suppressed, resulting in pure and inherent savage desires. They no longer need to make civil or moral decisions. Their id is running free, and their physical selves are deemed anonymous as they commit acts that satisfy their internal wants. Both Zinn and Golding touch upon the basis of violence found within humans, owing it to both environment and psyche within each person. Zinn argues that it is under conditions that humans resort to violence, and in a sense, Holding agrees. Golding uses allegory to show that people alongside their prominent psyche change alongside their environment, becoming people in a civilization that is much less civilized than they are accustomed to. Zinn refers to the psyche, saying, “...the erotic, or love, instinct and its opposite, the destructive instinct. But the only hope he could hold for the erotic triumphing over the destructive was in the cultural development of the human race…” (Zinn 598-599) Humans, rather than living with a lack of a moral instinct, actually live with an exercised belief of different moral rights and

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