The Theme Of Child Abuse And Violent Nature In Lord Of The Flies And The Veldt
Children in our society are often thought to be clean slates, innocent and free of any grim intentions. The idea of a child killing or feeling any need to kill, is not seen often in a civilized society. However, actions like these were seen in the Lord of the Flies, disconnecting the boys further from society. The desire to be violent was present in even the more rational boys like Piggy and Ralph. Both Simon and Piggy’s deaths were preventable had the others been able to repress the need to kill others even if there were no consequences. The boys in Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, were often found being consumed by the need to harm others, like Roger who ended up responsible Piggy’s death. The desire to kill depicts how violent the nature of mankind is.
The need to kill first manifested itself as the boys were all very excited to hunt and it was clear that for some of them like Jack, it was the priority. Jack often left to go hunting and when a pig was finally caught, the hunters spared no details on how they took the pig’s life. Though Ralph thought hunting to be frivolous compared to keeping a fire, this didn’t stop him from feeling the thrill of stabbing a pig with his spear. Ralph then, amidst all the excitement, joined in on their hunting dance with Robert playing the pig. “Robert snarled at him. Ralph entered the play and everybody laughed.
Presently they were all stabbing at Robert who made mock rushes… “Kill the pig!” “Bash him in!”…The desire to squeeze and hurt became overmastering” (Golding, 114-115). Although Ralph’s decisions are usually very sensible, it is shown that he too felt the urge to be violent with Robert. It was only a game they were playing but this still was enough to put forth an emotion that drove them to stab at and scratch Robert, who is a boy just like them. Ralph’s excitement was enough to push away this knowledge that would have prevented him from participating. This true nature of mankind is seen in the hunters often but for it to be seen in Ralph, the chief, shows just how it can affect anyone and drive the person to do the unfathomable. It is in the heat of the moment where the boys act more instinctual and much more violent.
Some children like Roger were shown to be more violent and detached than the others. Roger, like most children, believed them all to be safe from harm’s way because of people like their parents, policemen and the teachers giving them security they need. Roger was at first seen to acknowledge this safety bubble and go around it, careful not to break it. Then he slowly realized that such a thing couldn’t exist on their island and there was nothing stopping him from doing whatever he wished. Without any real reason, Roger later killed Piggy proving the absence of this bubble. “High overhead, Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on a lever” (Golding, Page 180). Roger’s act of violence showed what a person is capable of if left to do what they please with no civilization to check them. In The Veldt, by Ray Bradbury, Wendy and Peter are able to detach themselves from their parents and kill them so that nothing could take what was most precious to them, their nursery. “Why they’ve locked it from the outside ”… “Don’t let them switch off the nursery and the house,” he was saying” (Bradbury, Page 13). Wendy and Peter, like Roger, disconnected from what was necessary for them, Roger with civilization and Wendy and Peter with their parents, and resorted to violence when given the opportunity. Their immediate turn to violence demonstrates just how human nature behaves when left unrestricted. This also displays a correlation between how detached a person is and how violent their actions are.
Jack was also seen to disconnect himself but by using the facepaint that was meant for hunting pigs. He used the paint to dissociate himself from the heinous actions he was doing. However it was only when he became chief of his own tribe that his true violent nature was shown. In “The Stanford Prison Experiment ” the police officer known as “John Wayne ” was also able to hide and detach himself from his actions, only he was using reflective sunglasses. John Wayne was also a very violent character and was especially cruel towards the prisoners. One prisoner said, “He yelled at me and threatened me, and actually sort of smashed a sausage into my face to try and get me to open up” (Stanford Prison Experiment, 18:10). One of the fake prisoners decided he would not eat until he was out which angeredWayne. He decided to use his authority as a cop to be cruel and punish him because he wanted to. The reflective sunglasses help dissociate him from his normal self to become someone who was violent and reckless. Jack also became necessary violent when he decided to tie up Wilfred for no real reason. “He’s going to beat Wilfred. ” “What for?” Robert shook his head doubtfully. “I don’t know…” he giggled excitedly- “He’s been tied up for hours, waiting-”(Golding, Page 159). Now that the boys are left to their own devices, they’re making impulsive decisions that show how violent they’ve become. The boys are no longer conditioned by a society that would find this unacceptable.
Regardless of their youth, the children have proved how inherently violent human nature is and how easily they can fall into the desire to use it. Anyone can become victim to such desires and the proper connections to society are necessary to keep it in check. It is important that people are aware of how violent anyone is capable of becoming to ensure our safety.
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