As shown in many great novels, civilization can become corrupted by evil. The Lord of the Flies and Fahrenheit 451 are outstanding examples of these amazing novels. We, as a society, can take note that evil is with us even when we are mere infants.
This theme can be represented throughout Lord of the Flies. During this ground-breaking book, two of the characters, Ralph and Jack, argue intensively over who will be in authority of the others. A quarrel is the main reason behind the splitting of the two different groups.
A symbol used in the course of the book, is the head of the sow. The head of the sow was attained through violence and savageness. Not only is a pig killed, but it is killed viciously. “Jack was on top of the sow, stabbing downward with his knife. Roger found a lodgement for his point and began to push till he was leaning his whole weight. The spear moved forward inch by inch and the terrified squealing became a high-pitched scream. Then Jack found the throat and the hot blood spouted over his hands. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy and fulfilled upon her. The butterflies still danced, preoccupied in the center of the cleaning.” The pig that was killed just so happen to be female. My insight to the book lead me to believe that this was, in fact, a representation of loss of hope.
In Jack’s mind he is not doing evil, rather helping advance the group. If you have read the book you would know this is not the case. The temptation of attaining more meat, drove the group into utter convulsion among the collection of people. Meat is a metaphor for power and the temptation for power led to the progressed killing of multiple people. The Lord of the Flies himself had an encounter with Simon. “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?”
Fahrenheit 451 is a complete opposite look at how humans have the innate ability to be evil when left on their own. From the first page to the last page, the book is a page turner. The society created in this amazing piece of literature, believes in burning books. “Trivial information, in this culture, is good knowledge, and knowledge is evil.” Firefighters do not stop fires, rather they start them.
Guy Montag, the main character, is one of these fierce and unruly firefighters. Guy along with the rest of the firefighters are taught to burn anything that may confuse or upset anybody. “You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right? …. Well aren’t they? Don’t we keep them moving, don’t we give them moving, don’t we give them fun? That’s all we life for, isn’t it? …. Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it.”
Without letting anyone read, they are primarily brain-washed into what everyone else believes to be true. The Bible, expositions of Shakespeare, and other astonishing works of art are burnt to the crisp.
The knowledge of these books and their themes demonstrate humans innate ability to be evil. People are evil, along with the societies they make up. Power is the root of all evil in the world or at least the pursuit of power is where evil is born.