According would do. What went wrong” (Golding
According to Lord of the Flies by William Golding, man is fundamentally evil at their core and war is inevitable.
The boys on the island, much like men within war, suffer the fight within themselves between good and evil. Some of the children on the island, such as Piggy and Ralph, notice their loss of innocence but characters such as Jack and his hunters do not see this change because they are blinded by their own evil misdoings. From the plane crash to the inevitable rescue by the British naval officer, Golding uses irony to prove that war shows mankind’s hidden evil.
Irony is shown through the plane crash which was caused from war within the real world. After the plane crash, the boys come to the realization that they are on a stranded island. Piggy, being an intellectual boy, points out that “we was attacked” (Golding 8). This becomes ironic because the children became stranded on the island because of war the grown ups have at the end of the novel. This is also ironic because the children on the island also conduct their own war another example of irony is when Piggy states, “We did everything adults would do. What went wrong” (Golding 8).
This is ironic because the children on the island believed that adults symbolized good and worshiped them, but they realize that adults also have an evil nature and can’t prevent it from coming out at some points. Golding believes that adults and children have the same ability to become evil in their nature but this is only after a loss of innocence like jack experiences when he kills the pig for the first time. Piggy also poses the question “What are we? Humans? Or animals? Or savages?” (Golding, chapter 5) this is ironic because Golding is attempting to symbolize the characters as savages and animals; a quote from Golding States that “Ralph launched himself like a cat; stabbed, snarling, with the spear, and the savage doubled up” (Golding, chapter 12) Simon and Ralph realize what they are becoming while the others cannot comprehend this. Golding believes that humans are animals and savages within their true state of nature and that evil is found within everyone.The naval officer who rescued the boys is made out to be heroic but he can also be seen as evil at his core.
The officer who saves the boys is a savage also; just like the war that has been raging on the island, in the real world the British are in a horrific war themselves. Jack states “We’re not savages. We’re English” at the beginning of the story. This absurd and ironic quote from jack is denial of the true state of man which is inherently evil. This also proves there is irony within the novel because the officer who rescues them is also British and he is now considered a savage because he is in war. This is also proven through imagery when Ralph was looking at jack he saw “the madness came into his eyes again” which was man’s true and hidden state of nature shining through. Simon being an introvert and a character who is considered divine could always see this evil within jack and the others yet he himself never showed true evil.
Simon could also see the evil within himself although he didn’t show it because when he met the lord of the flies he could see the himself and his fellow people on the island were the true beasts and should be feared. When society has no rules or regulations it is easier for people to be hypocritical and irony becomes more apparent to the reader.Irony becomes very noticeable when there are no rules or regulations within a society. At the beginning of the novel society has regulations because of the “shell” (Golding, 2) which keeps everyone in order but as the novel goes on and the shell becomes less important irony is further developed. When the shell is broken and “shatters into a thousand white fragments” (Golding 11) society is symbolized as broken and irony becomes its most prudent; this is shown through Jack and his full blown war towards Ralph when he was a good choir boy in the real world and in society. This is ironic because at jacks core and in reality he is evil like he is on the island but in society he is expected to be good so he puts on a different face for society in order to fit in morally.
Society’s rules prevents people from expressing their true evil state of nature which changes how people act.William Golding creates irony throughout the novel and through the island to show what happens to people when society has no rules or regulations. Within this state of nature children and adults tear themselves apart and progressively lose their innocence and their controlled state of mind. Through irony Golding is able to. Show that within everyone evil is present. Golding shows that some people have a strong mental fortitude than others such as Simon and Ralph while evil is naturally present in people like jack and the rest of the hunters who are followers. Everyone has the ability to be evil but it is those who can constrain their temptations who will be used in society.