Is Man Truly Good or Evil? The book Lord of the Flies by William Golding delves into the instincts of young boys placed in a situation where no adults are near to rely on. Many of the instincts the boys now show are destructive, although the youngsters believe them to be righteous. The children’s’ original intentions were good; however their small society turns into anarchy.
When I reflect back on what we have learned this last half of the semester, one of the main questions that comes to mind is, “How could so many people follow someone like Hitler?” We often wonder how it is that a person can become persuaded to follow a man or woman who does nothing but evil destructive things to other human beings. Those who are able to get followers come across as powerful leaders, those who have the know-how when it comes to speaking to the public. They tend to be strong speakers who know what words to use to draw people in. In some cases, the person doesn’t have to be a strong speaker but a person of “importance” in the public’s eye, such as doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, etc.
There are many variables that affect why people react the way they do. Henry David Thoreau states, “The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think is right.” Although a person’s human instinct is to do what is right, it is not always fair. Thoreau’s theory shows in the famous “Stanford Prison Experiment.” The “Stanford Prison Experiment, performed by Philip Zimbardo, showed how test subjects think and react.
Throughout life, people often lose track of what is really meaningful and important. In Lord of The Flies by William Golding, this element of human nature is portrayed through the children’s failure to complete necessary tasks due to their inclination on the island. It is simply human nature to fulfill desires before priorities. When the children first arrive on the island, the priority is to “be rescued” (37). The group decides that the best way to fulfill this is to build and maintain a signal fire (38).
Since the beginning of the human existence, man has always dominated and ruled over one another be it empires, corporations, or small groups. Authority and obedience has always been a factor of who we are. This natural occurrence can be seen clearly through the psychological experiments known as The Milgram Experiment and the Stanford Prison Experiment. Both of these studies are based on how human beings react to authority figures and what their obedience is when faced with conflict.
Can you name a species that kills living things just for the thrill of it? Chances are, if you could think of one, it was humans. No other species on the face of the planet hunts for sport, tortures, or murders the way that humans do. Humans are one of the only species that kills without the purpose of food or survival. They murder, they torture, they engage in warfare, they seek revenge.
The Stanford Prison Experiment University (Haney, Banks, & Zimbardo, 1973). Haney and associates created a functional prison simulation in which healthy, psychologically normal male college students were assigned to role as prisoners and guards. All subjects signed contracts that included instructions about prisoner and guard roles for the planned two-week experiment. Guards were given minimal instructions, most notably that physical aggression or physical punishment of prisoners were prohibited. The researchers planned to study how both guards and prisoners reacted their roles, but guards were led to believe that the purpose of the experiment was to study prisoners..
Correspondingly, prioritizing rehabilitation programs in American prison systems would greatly reduce the recidivism rate because of the mental health epidemic in these correctional facilities. Today, somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of people in prison are mentally ill, according to U.S. Department of Justice estimates. "Prisons have really become, in many ways, the de facto mental health hospitals," says former prison psychologist Thomas Fagan, PhD. " But prisons weren't built to deal with mentally ill people; they were built to deal with criminals doing time. "
Lord of the Flies Essay “Human nature is complex. Even if we do have inclination toward violence, we also have inclination to empathy, to cooperation, to self-control.” Steven Pinker. Humans are naturally complicated.
“Human nature is not black and white but black and grey,” quote by Graham Greene. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding published in 1954. The boys are stuck on an island where they experienced their true nature. Ralph, the leader, controlled, the civilized tribe, until Jack becomes chief leading them to the downfall of savagery and terror. Fear eats the tribe up until a savior( the adult) comes.