Good And Evil Lord Of The Flies Analysis

1948 Words8 Pages
Between the Extremes of Good and Evil

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Kahlil Gibran’s “Good And Evil”, from the collection of poems titled The Prophet, express radically different ideas about the inherent nature and presence of good and evil in human beings. Beyond the clear difference between inherent good and evil, Gibran’s viewpoint offers a more thorough look into the gray areas between the two while Golding focuses on the extremes. Throughout Lord of the Flies, William Golding illustrates his belief that humans are innately evil beings. He often references a “beast” on the island - a creature that all the boys fear and aim to kill. Though the boys speak of a real, physical beast, Golding is actually talking about a more theoretical
…show more content…
However, there is a much greater contrast than the mere good or evil nature presented in these texts. The perspective in “Good and Evil” allows for there to be gray areas in life, where a person is neither good nor evil. In Lord of the Flies, Golding expresses a much more simplistic, black-and-white viewpoint. There is a lot of focus on two extremes: the goodness of society and the evilness of savagery. Near the end of the book, after Jack and his gang have split from the group, Piggy shouts a question at him. He asks, “Which is better - to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?” (Golding 180). This question has a very obvious answer and is meant to knock some sense into Jack; however, it does not acknowledge an area in between the two options. Of course it is better to have rules and agree, but isn’t hunting important, too? Hunting is necessary on the island; it is a vital source of food. Killing a pig for food was not what led to the boy’s downfall; the problems arose when the boys started to make a game out of it. There are necessary evils, such as killing animals for food, that Piggy does not acknowledge in his question. In “Good and Evil,” Gibran almost exclusively focuses on the area between good and evil. In one of his examples of being neither good nor evil, Gibran writes, “You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps / Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping / Even those who limp go not backward” (Gibran 22-24). These lines follow a similar pattern as the “staggering tongue” lines referenced earlier in this essay; both portions of the poem discuss how a person can be various amounts of good. While limping is nowhere near as good as walking firmly with a goal in mind, it is not evil because it still allows for forward
Open Document