The Monitor on Psychology article “What makes good people do bad things?” by Melissa Dittmann analyzes the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Stanford psychology professor Phillip Zimbardo in 1971 and discusses what the experiment can tell us about human nature and what causes humans to be evil. In the novel “Lord of the Flies” the author William Golding discusses the effects of the theories mentioned in the article by creating his own fictional experiment with children stranded on an island during a nuclear war. Throughout his novel Golding explores the focus of Dittmann’s article; that environments and situations can bring out the evil that is inside all of us. People can act good or bad depending on their environment, and these actions are not entirely their fault because when people are not held accountable for their actions their more violent natures are revealed.
Constantly facing the darkness of looming greed and lust, humanity seems to be doomed to trudge in the mires of sin forever. However, while fear and chaos—especially a lack of guidance—can cause cruelty to flourish, it is also where kindness makes its greatest display. In “Why Boys Become Vicious”, William Golding argues that mayhem and terror brings out the evil nature of humans. Without proper order and parental guidance, humans are lead astray and band together only to create more chaos and cruelty. Even so, humans can come together to show kindness and love. Even seemingly barbaric gangs search for order in society and provide security and comfort for the impoverished. People are naturally inclined to help others and act socially, especially
Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt teaches readers that without being taught morals people can be just as wild as animals. In the story the children were obsessed with the Africa simulation. They allowed it to control their lives.When their parents tried to reverse the affects of what they had allowed to happen the children didn't listen. They wouldn’t accept what was going to happen. They valued the tech’s life more than their own parents. They had no problem killing their parents in order to keep the nursery that raised them.
Not many people know that “One in 10 [Millennials] say their parents have accompanied them to job interviews and 3% of recent college graduates report that their parents have actually sat in on the interview” (Stahl). This is a product of overparenting which impairs the growth of children. A great example of overparenting gone too far is Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. In this play Lord Capulet, Juliet’s father, Thinks that he is doing the best for her by choosing that she will marry a man named Paris. He does not ask her if she wants marry Paris at all. Little does he know this leads to her demise. When an overprotective parent tries to help their children by making decisions for them, it is hurting the children more than helping. Because
“... The number of abortions performed annually in the U.S. [is about] 1.06 million a year” (National Right to Life News). This means that in just a single decade, 10.6 million children are murdered in the United States before they are ever born. This sickening loss of life is just the latest link in an unbroken chain of human depravity stretching back to the Garden of Eden. Humans are fundamentally wicked. William Golding, author of the bestselling novel ‘Lord of the Flies’, understood this basic principle. Thus, he wove it in as a theme in his book. In ‘Lord of the Flies’, William Golding discusses the nature of man in order to reveal that human nature is essentially evil by using indirect characterization and personification.
The first contribution to violent behavior is chaos, providing desperation during a time or event. Desperation causes people do things they would usually not do. In “Why Boys Become Vicious”, Golding writes of the effects of chaos with people, telling of a story about gangs of homeless children roaming Russia after the First World War attacking and killing. Golding states, “There was, at the time, social chaos in many countries, and, left to themselves, these children found a kind of elemental cohesion in their viciousness...Without the support
In 1990, over 2,000 youths were charged on account of murder (Murphy). Child murderers are not as rare as one may presume. However, where does this capacity for such horrific intentions stem from in these youths? In 1954, William Golding wrote “Lord of the Flies,” a haunting story about a group of young boys around the age of 12, who are stranded on an island. Ultimately, they become power-hungry and go to extreme lengths for leadership, including murder. Nearly 40 years after his novel, Golding conveys the causes behind the evil capabilities that lie within every human in “Why Boys become Vicious.” He tells the story of James Bulger, a two-year-old boy lured out of a shopping center by two 10-year-old boys, who then proceeded to beat up the
The maternal bond is considered the strongest bond two humans can have. Since birth, a child is enamoured with his mother, the gentle soul who brought him into the world. Nothing compares to a mother’s unconditional love, as she forms an inseparable and essential bond with her little angel. Of course, not every child is as fortunate. If the parent that brings an innocent child into the world neglects their duties, the child faces adversities. A satirical effect of parental neglect can be seen in the timeless tragedy Frankenstein, where the eponymous creator abandons his poor creation. The creation can be viewed as a young child because of his lack of understanding of the real world, naivety, thirst for basic knowledge and childlike temper.
For nearly ten years, Germany’s chancellor, Adolf Hitler, was the most feared and most influential man of his decade; however, while he was also considered the most evil, there’s much more to this ruthless leader than one could imagine. The human brain has endless responsibilities and functions that determine how the person reacts and/or develops in the course of its lifetime. There is a cause and effect to every situation the body has to endure. Beginning at the stage of adolescence to adulthood, ones physical, psychological and mental abilities can either cripple or advance. People chose to believe that Hitler was conceived through evil and that is due to the ignorance and lack of knowledge that generations have been subsided to. Humans are not born evil, it is the matter of the environment in which they grow up in that causes their person to change.
Whether working with a co-worker, learning with a classmate or hanging out with a friend, the thought of any of them having the potential to be evil does not cross the mind. Everyday people are not typically evil beings, but if people are not evil beings then why do they commit actions like torture, killing and genocide? Could it be that the certain people committing the acts are just monsters deep inside, or could the actions be mere products of circumstance? In his article "The Genocidal Killer in the Mirror", Crispin Sartwell, a journalist and philosopher, advises his audience to take a look at the heinous acts people have committed throughout history as a way to show us how anyone could commit evil acts, including ourselves. Marianne Szegedy-Maszak,
Throughout our lives, we will be met by situations and obstacles that we fear, it’s how we react to these obstacles and fear that shape us as individual and as a society. In the Article “Can a Playground Be Too Safe”, author John Tierney explains how we must be afraid for there to be success, risk taking behaviors pushing our limits and proving to ourselves what we are capable of. Along with risk taking: fear, pain, and dangers are all necessary for humans to grow mentally. Eliminating danger and fear from society and daily activities, stunts the growth of the brain and people now have the disadvantage of going into obstacles blindly. Some fear and pain is necessary in the natural growth and development of the human brain, to learn what is wrong from right and what we like and dislike.
Kluger opens up the chapter by summarizing the harsh views of psychologists G. Stanley Hall and Abraham Arden Brill. They argue that only children have no hope in becoming acceptable human beings and cannot change this fact. Hall goes as far as to use words such as “pampered, narcissistic, [and] socially inept” to describe only children (224). Hall’s opinion is nothing compared to bold statements made by Brill. Brill exclaims that, “’it would be best for the individual as well as the race that there
“If we never give our children permission to get things wrong...they’re unlikely to ever learn how to get things right” (Glass and Tabatsky xxi). Jennifer Finney Boylan discusses in The Overparenting Epidemic that when parents try to drive their child to be perfect and do not allow them to make mistakes, it usually results in children who fear taking risks or failing. Helicopter parents become too invested in the lives of their children by doing their best to prevent their child from experiencing failure or danger in any way. Although they believe that they are preventing their child from feeling sad or disappointed, they are actually causing destruction, damaging the child’s self esteem and creating trust issues. These hyper-vigilant parents, or over involved, restrict their child’s freedom as a result of having a fear based perspective on the world which causes the child to have anxiety and create the same fear.
Humans have the ability to be evil inside them ever since birth; and British Literature is a good analysis on how evil is presented in people’s lives and how people ‘become’ evil, such as how Grendel and Macbeth become evil in their respective stories. There are many theories on why people act evil, including theories from, Hannah Arendt, Elaine Pagal, and Thomas Hobbs. Most of the theories say generally the same thing. Evil is essentially a part of a human’s character and nature, and the evil inside of one can be triggered by a number of things, such as self interest and being influenced to do evil.
The Lucifer Effect by Phillip Zimbardo aims to provide psychological explanations in occurrences of evil. The book provides a framework to examine ordinary human transformations from good to evil. Zimbardo makes the point of stating that people should be held responsible for the actions they make, however, both situational and systemic factors should be observed. In this book review, I will use points of analytical framework to analyze the main points of Zimbardo’s text.