Lord of the Flies Antrhopology Essay

Words: 990
Pages: 4

Thomas Hobbes was one of the most controversial philosophers of all time. He argued that the, “Life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes 77). Clearly he didn’t think that humanity was a good group of beings. In the Lord of the Flies by William Golding, one character, Jack Merridew, displays many characteristics of Hobbes’ philosophy on man. Time after time, Golding subtly refers to Hobbes’ philosophy through Jack and his reactions with other characters in the book. After Golding introduces the boys, they want to elect a chief, and already, Golding is using Hobbes’ anthropology. In Hobbes’ Leviathan, he states, “And therefore, if any two men desire the same thing which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they …show more content…
‘Jack!’” (Golding 161). The key word of this scene is “hopelessly.” This simple word makes Ralph’s plea seem impossible; henceforth, Jack is not giving mercy at any cost. Jack wants the twins to leave Ralph and join his tribe. This essentially gives him pleasure because he knows that Ralph is hopeless. Whatever plea Ralph makes will not be granted because it will hinder his pleasure. Justice will not be served because it will hinder his pleasure. Mercy will not be served because it will hinder his pleasure. Hobbes directly says that people will not give justice or mercy when it will hinder his own pleasure. For Jack, to offer mercy is to rid himself of pleasure; therefore, he will not give the mercy according to Hobbes’ philosophy. Golding clearly thought of Hobbes’ philosophy when he was contriving Jack. Jack displays almost all of the qualities that a human being should display according to Hobbes. First, his enmity toward Ralph is solely based on a thing that he can’t have, which is what Hobbes predicted would happen. Second, he and Ralph, because they are both opposing leaders, have weapons pointed at each other, symbolizing how opposing leaders always quarrel with each other according to Hobbes. Third, his lack of mercy and justice for those who deserve it is nonexistent because it will hinder his pleasure according to Hobbes. In conclusion, in almost every act that Jack does, he relates back to Hobbes’ philosophy pertaining to human