Sam Brandt English 10 Honors Ms. Hedrick 8 October 2010 Fundamentally Virtuous As Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung once said, “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of a mere being. ” In other words, man’s purpose in life is to help one another find the good in a world of malevolence. In Lord of the Flies by William Golding, it becomes apparent to the reader the contrast in shades between the good and the bad. Each person here on Earth has two parts of his or her being: light and dark. It is the side people choose which defines them. Take for example Ronald Reagan.
He could have easily continued with his successful career as a movie star. But instead, he chose to move into the realm of politics, where greed and corruption rule. His mission? To be the voice for those who have none, and to fight for the common good of our nation. The world would be perfect if everyone chose the light side. But like a classic movie, if there is a ‘good guy’, there must also be a ‘bad guy’. And so a divide is created. Humanity must speak up for what is right and moral, see the goodness in everything, and to realize that each small random act of kindness is equal to many unkind acts.
Therefore, one must agree that human nature is essentially good. On any given day at any given time, someone is committing a random act of kindness. This is anything from helping pick up someone’s spilled books to defending animal rights in front of a large crowd. In Lord of the Flies, the majority of the events are melancholy and violent. But here and there, the author slips in a few small things that counteract the cruel, showing that even the smallest things can make a difference. For example, when Simon is walking to his secret spot on the island, he stops to help the littluns’ get fruit.
Simon also lends a hand to Piggy when Jack refuses to give him meat, so he gives his portion to Piggy. Or when Ralph, after winning the election, offers Jack charge of the choir. The author describes, “Jack and Ralph smiled at each other with shy liking” (Golding 23). Before the rift occurs between Jack and Ralph, the author discloses that the two boys actually liked each other. This is not necessarily a random act of kindness, but it demonstrates how, even though he was angry Ralph beat him out, Jack was able to get past that (for the time being).
Likewise, one of the reoccurring kindnesses is the bond between Simon and Piggy. It is not constant, and sometimes waivers, but the reader sees it several times throughout the book. As Golding writes, “Again the pressure of the assembly took his voice away. He sought for help and sympathy and chose Piggy. He turned half toward him, clutching the conch to his brown chest” (128). Simon has become somewhat unpopular among his group, like the ‘town idiot’. When he tries to speak during the meeting, everyone laughs at him. He looks to Piggy for aid, knowing that Piggy has a soft spot.
Simon realizes that not all the boys on the island are mean and nasty, and knows he can count on the integrity of Piggy. Piggy understands this as well, and takes it upon himself to lend a hand to the other boy. From what the reader has read, he or she can feel the atmosphere of the story is leaning towards an angry, mischievous, unpleasant feel. To diffuse some of these emotions, the author is able to manipulate the character’s personalities to fit one another’s, like puzzle pieces. Where one child has a problem, another has the answer. Furthermore, the author uses symbolism to show the morality and virtue of the civilized world.
There are four, the conch and three boys: Ralph, Piggy, and Simon. The conch symbolizes a variety of things, like power, sanity, leadership, and civilization. The author writes, “and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch” (Golding 22). Had Ralph not discovered the conch, who know what kind of chaos the small island might have experienced. The shell is revered and respected, even when the two rivals are fighting. Even the little kids know that when someone is holding the conch, they are not to speak. The shattering of the conch shell symbolizes the end of sanity on the island.
Similarly, Ralph, Piggy, and Simon all symbolize different parts of ‘light’. Ralph is the one who keeps stability. He is the leader; he keeps order as much as possible. Piggy is the brains behind the vast majority of the operations on the island. He is clever, and without him, there is a high chance the condition on the island would have deteriorated much more quickly. As for Simon, he shows a sort of connection to nature, an innocence. For instance, “ The candle- buds opened their wide white flowers glimmering under the light that pricked down from the first stars.
Their scent spilled out into the air and took possession of the island” (Golding 57). Simon is arguably the most agreeable individual on the island. He does not fight or quarrel, and the reader often sees him doing nice things for the other boys on the island. Without this ancient bond with nature and goodness in society as a whole, one would find that the world would be full of brains and leaders, but nothing to connect people to that place where humanity began. In addition, every person in this world has a passion, an idea that they feel strongly about.
But if there is no voice behind the zeal, who is to hear? One must speak up, and express their ideas and beliefs. That’s exactly what former president Ronald Reagan did. Elected in 1981 to his first term, he began a new era in America. The economy soared, thanks to ‘Reaganomics’. One of his most noteworthy achievements is the Berlin Wall. Not building it, but calling for it to be torn down. Built in 1961, the Wall divided East and West Germany for almost 30 years. Set up by Soviet-controlled Democratic- Communist East Germany, it was there to prevent Germans in the east from migrating to the west.
Reagan was open about his dislike for the Soviets, and that was probably on of the reasons he felt so passionately about helping the Germans get rid of the barrier. In June of 1987, he honestly dared Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall! ” The response took a while, but after a little more than two years, the Berlin Wall was opened and then later fully taken down. Because the former president felt passionate about this decision, his attitude gave momentum to the cause, and lit the sparks of others to share his fervor.
Without a fiery excitement to support an idea, what is the point in trying to bring others onto the bandwagon? If a person wants to bring about change, they must be that change, and encourage the people around them to continue the domino effect. Thanks to the effort and encouragement of Reagan, Germany is now a single body again, united once more. In the end, the reader must be aware of human nature. It is both good and evil, but the side a person chooses depends solely on that individual. Lord of the Flies by William Golding demonstrates how good and bad are two hings, but there are many places to stand between those sides. With the aid of one another, humanity can declare what is just and ethical, appreciate the kind actions of others (no matter how small), and learn that when life gives you one hundred reasons to cry, give it a thousand reasons to smile. Works Cited Tear Down This Wall! Wikipedia, 7 October 2010. Web. 6 October 2010. East Germany. Wikipedia, 6 October 2010. Web. 6 October 2010. Ronald Reagan. Wikipedia. 6 October 2010. Web. 6 October 2010. Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin Group, 2006. Print.