Lord of the Flies Paper

Topics: John Locke, Tabula rasa, Idea Pages: 3 (932 words) Published: January 16, 2014
PROMPT: Do you believe humans are inherently good or evil. Support your claim with at least 2 passages from Lord of the Flies

Holly McKinney
Mr. Myers
English 10 H
11/12/13
Lord of the Flies Essay
According to John Locke in his work "Essay Concerning Human Understanding," Locke rejects ideas proposed by Réné Descartes that human beings know certain concepts inherently. Locke believed the human mind was what he called a "tabula rasa," which is Latin for "clean sheet of paper." He believed infants know nothing when they are born, and that all the ideas humans develop come from experience. I agree with John Locke on some accounts, but I believe humans inherit evil naturally. How else do little children know how to lie? No one teaches them, they lie on instinct because it’s human nature. We see this in Lord of the Flies in how the boys naturally move towards meat for food, how they are attracted to Jack as a leader, and how the idea of a beast infects them all. Jack is the cliché evil character. When we first meet Jack we are told he was “tall, thin, and bony; and his hair red beneath the black cap. His face was crumpled, and freckled, and ugly without silliness” (Golding 20). Red hair in literature often represents a type of adventurer or rebel, which Jack is. Jack is strong-willed and egomaniacal, but is a natural born leader. He was the head choir boy at his school after all. He even has a knife for no explained reason. His knife represents violence and danger but can also be seen as a practicality. On the other hand Ralph has fair hair which is a classic cliché for good and light. He has the conch, a symbol of order and peace. He is a representative of order, civilization, and productive leadership in the novel; therefore most of the boys follow him at first. Although the boys are first attracted to Ralph, they soon move onto Jack as his sense for adventure and brashness attract them. As the story continues the food of choice changes. At first the...
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