Mr. Moseley !
October 13, 2014!
To Kill a Mockingbird Vs. Lord of The Flies!
Thousands of years of human history, and we still know next to nothing about the nature
of human behavior. People have attempted to describe their own views on the subject, deeply affected by their own experiences in life, through a myriad of mediums including art, music, and literature; the latter being the most prominent and widely employed. Spanning from the philosophers of ancient Greece to the most recent worldwide bestsellers, nearly all literary works contain some sort of reflection upon human nature. Other types of writing contain specific and targeted messages regarding inherent attributes to people; two of the most prominent titles in this category are “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Lord of The Flies” by William
Golding. Both authors make a clear argument regarding their views. In the Lord of the Flies,
Golding makes a clear and present argument regarding his view on human nature; evil. By having his characters commit atrocities such as murder, robbery, and other morally derogatory actions without the authoritative order of society, he declares that humans, even children, are capable of doing such things; furthermore, he states that people will commit such acts when the environment permits it. Harper Lee makes a hidden argument regarding her view. Throughout her novel she delineates that the surroundings upon which a person exists have a deep impact on the basis of the individual. This skews the true “human nature” attributes upon characters and therefore renders them invalid to qualify for analyzation on Lee’s perspective since the
results would be based on the character’s environment rather than his/her nature. Only characters who have had limited exposure to society should be used to determine Lee’s stance.
These criterion reduce most of our available characters for analysis down to a few individuals, namely Dill and “Boo Radley”. From these determinants, we are able to conclude that Lee views human nature as naturally good. One could argue that Lee’s view is more accurate since she includes a more drastic change of behavior due as a response to the external influences.
Golding includes this too in his novel, but to a lesser degree. Despite this, William Golding makes a stronger argument regarding the basis of human behavior since he proves that even though the environment of the boys in his novel was not perceived as hostile in the beginning, they morals broke down anyways. !
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is one of the most read books in the history of the world. It carries
within it’s simplistic externally viewed plot deep symbolism, metaphors and a perspective on human dignity. The story can be viewed as being relatively over-simplistic when no further thought is attached to the words. It is the story of a girl, Scout, and the events that occur in her small home-town of Maycomb, Alabama. A friend of her and her brother comes over for the summer and they have fun together, most prominently agitating “Boo Radley” since he had a reputation based on rumors attempting to explain his self-imposed home arrest. Atticus is the father of Scout and the climax of the story is when he must represent a negro who is accused of raping a white girl. !
Scout is motherless and must learn different skills that should have been provided by a
mother to a girl from multiple different people including her father, Miss Maudie, Alexandra, and
Calpurnia. The lessons she learns from these people at different times could be used to deduce
Lee’s point of view as they all relay a message regarding her perspective. Many of such messages could be inferred or indirectly derived, but the ones that are explicitly or sub-explicitly contain messages such as the lessons Atticus teaches Scout about putting yourself in other
people’s shoes to