In his novel, Lord of the Flies, what does William Golding demonstrate about human nature?

Background: For the last portion of second semester, and the last ½ of first semester, we have been taking a look at human psychology – what are our idiosyncrasies (behaviors); what makes us tick? We have looked at Asch, who says that we will go along with group norms, even if we don’t agree, out of fear. We have looked at Jung, who suggests that rules and morals create a “dark side” in us that we call ‘the Shadow’. We have looked at Erikson, who says that every ‘checkpoint’ we go in our quest through life puts us at a crossroads, where we must answer existential questions about our identity. We have looked at Zimbardo, who suggests that humans with uniforms and weapons will fall into corruption.

Prompt: Golding is ‘holding up a mirror’ to humanity; and, what do we see in this mirror as we reflect back on ourselves? Using multiple sources from the Psychology packet, and from the articles on the State of Nature, respond to the following question: In his novel, Lord of the Flies, what does William Golding demonstrate about human nature?

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Directions: Respond to the above prompt in a 5-paragraph essay. Please use the following format for your essay:

II-IV. Body Paragraph (x3 C-BEC-BEC-W)
V. Conclusion

Each of your body paragraphs should logically focus on a different aspect of human nature that Golding is demonstrating in his text, and this aspect of human nature should be tied to an external source or reading.

Skills Assessed: This is a ‘synthesis essay’ – or, an essay that requires you to use 3+ sources in order to prove a larger, general thesis. So, you will be graded on your ability to:
Create a generalized, implicit thesis statement (that introduces your perspective and the various ideas you will discuss)
Create logical and complete claims that stem from your thesis
Use multiple lines of relevant evidence from different sources in each of your body paragraphs
Demonstrate the conventions of standard, college-level English grammar (commas, semi-colons, prepositional phrases, etc.)
Brainstorming space: What are some aspects of human nature you can think of? This will help you analyze the text, as you look for similar characteristics in the characters’ behaviors and personalities.

Hook & Background & Thesis

Hook: 1-2 sentences opening the reader to your topic. This section should include the Title, the Author’s name, the date (in BC or AD), and the “big idea” you will be writing about (social classes, patriarchy, moral conflict, etc.)

Background Information: 4-5 sentences that explain basic information about the story or the context you are writing about. You can talk about a basic summary of the conflict of the novel/play, or basic information about the time period/civilization (if the play takes place in Ancient Greece, explain some information that is relevant to your “big idea” – Social classes/Patriarchy/Morality – you are focusing on.

Thesis Statement: 1-2 sentences explaining the overall point you wish to make about the story using the “big idea” and specific references to the story you will use to prove your point. Ex: The Epic of Gilgamesh demonstrates the ancient Sumerian views of Patriarchy in the characterization of Gilgamesh, the description of Enkidu’s transformation into a man, and in the conflict between Gilgamesh and Humbaba.

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