Theprimitive and animalistic nature in us can sometimes foster fear, brutality,and savagery that exists in us. In Lord of the Flies, William Golding’seffective use of characterization conveys that all humans are capable of evildue to their inherent human nature. Golding depicts this theme through the littlunsand Jack. Golding reinforces that humansare innately evil through the most seemingly innocent children. After the firstsuccessful pig hunt, the littluns decide to re-enact the pig hunt using atribal dance. But later, they are unable to distinguish between theircompanions and the pigs they kill for food and entertainment, thus leading toSimon’s death. This shows that the boys’ impulse towards savagery growsstronger and their lust towards blood intensifies, leading them to the processof dehumanization. The murder of Simon also demonstrates the littluns’ completetransformation to savagery.
Furthermore, when the boys re-enact their hunt,they scream, “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!” This quotedemonstrates the littluns’ brutal desire for killing and blood. Even though it is ferociously uttered by such littleboys, this belligerent verbal expression conveys their thirst for the tortureand brutality the hunt brought. The littluns are now oblivious to the moralrules of the civilized society and their inner bestiality has finally emerged.
The animalization of the littluns justifies Golding’s point that all humans cansuccumb to their inner beast. Golding usesJack as another example to solidify his point that humans are inherently savage.In the beginning, Ralph accuses Jack of being “a beast and a swine and abloody, bloody thief!” (179). This intensely descriptive characterizationof Jack as a beast and a bloody thief show that he has exhibited the capacityfor barbarism and brutality. Moreover, Jack is quickly adapting himself tonature. When hunting, he paints his face as a mask to liberate himself fromself-consciousness and to hide from the rules of the civilized society.
After killing the first pig, Jack’s mind iscrowded with “memories … when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge thatthey had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away itslife like a long satisfying drink.” Jack enjoys the feeling of killing apig and wants to impose his will upon the beast. He feels pride and excitementnot from finding meat for his companions but from killing the pigs. This showsthat Jack’s inner savagery is waking up.
Later on, the desire for blood,wildness urges Jack to put his evil ideas in motion. He paints his hunters’faces with red, white, and green, occupies the castle rock as his shelter andrules his tribe as a dictator. Without any sense of morality, Jack governs withabsolute and dominate power, punishes anyone who impedes or disobeys him. Inthe end, he transforms into a dictator, a savage, and more importantly, a true “beast”.
By usingcharacterization, Golding conveys that all human beings have the capacity to beevil and he also reveals the true primal nature of the littluns and Jack. Thenumerous brutal act done by Jack and his tribe support Golding’s argument.Golding shows us that children are born with savagery hidden in themselves.When they are exposed to the vile world, their primitive instinct emerges andtheir innocence can be lost forever.