Hobbesian Theory In Lord Of The Flies

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Hobbesian Theory in Lord of the Flies
The question of whether man is inherently good or evil has been debated amongst religions, philosophers, and many great thinkers since the beginning of man itself. On one hand, there are those who believe we as humans are naturally moral beings, and it is society that makes us evil. However, others argue society is not only good, but needed to control our inhumane and animalistic tendencies. One of the most famous believers in this theory is English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes. In 1954 novel Lord of the Flies, his idea is expanded upon. Set on an uninhabited island, a group of stranded British boys attempt to govern themselves with disastrous results. This essay examines how Thomas Hobbes’s theory of human nature is represented thematically and proved throughout Lord of the Flies by author William Golding.
Thomas Hobbes was a 17th century philosopher known for his
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Through examination of Lord of the Flies, Golding seems to share this point of view. When left in an environment lacking authority, the boys attempt to follow the fundamental rule of nature, electing Ralph as their leader and for a time, following his rules. However, when another boy desired the same position, competition arose and Ralph was revealed to be less powerful and disrespected by the group. Jack found his power in feeding off the other boys’ fears, and using violent, animalistic techniques, which proved to be what they truly desired. War broke out between the two, as Hobbes predicted would happen in such circumstances, and morality was only restored when a powerful figure of authority finally arrived on the island. Through an understanding of Thomas Hobbes’s theory and further analysis of Lord of the Flies, it is obvious the Hobbesian theory of human nature is applied thematically and therefore proved throughout Golding’s
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