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All humans are inherently evil. Science has proven time and time again that humans are born with many malevolent possibilities, even though not everyone may show it. Different factors, such as the way each human is raised and the environment they grow up in are what set the moral guidelines that suppress such evil. Although not everyone acts upon the darkness within, they are all born being capable of great destruction.
First, science has shown that chimpanzees are some of the most violent animals to ever roam the surface of the Earth. Assuming that humans evolved from chimpanzees, as science suggests, this would pass on the aggression trait. If people had evolved from bonobos, a less violent cousin to the chimpanzee, they would be genetically designed to be less aggressive.
According to the Discovery News, a study on primate jaws concluded that over time they got larger and stronger. This is so they could withstand a tough punch to the face (DNewsChannel). Such a theory would help to explain why human faces do not look identical to that of chimpanzees, as they would have had to evolve over time.
The book, Lord of the Flies, supports the claim that facial structures would have to evolve because people are often punched in the face, as in chapter four, “Jack smacked Piggy’s head” (Golding 71). This is not the only example of the boys fighting in the book, but it clearly shows Jack hitting Piggy in the face. Similarly, everyday people hit each other in the face when fighting, as it is a highly vulnerable spot.
Next, depending on the environment a person is raised in, they may never show their dark side. Being brought up in a place of high morals and strict rules will often cause a person to suppress these villainous thoughts and actions. Though not everyone shows these actions, they are still there, hidden deep within.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “civilization, not nature, shaped the human propensity for violence” (Glowacki). This means that how a person is raised, and by whom they are raised, has the biggest impact on whether or not a person lets their violent side loose. This is prevalent in the Lord of the Flies. Jack was raised in a strict way and environment, and is “‘a chapter chorister and head boy’” (Golding 22). However, despite being such a great child, he got his tribe to “‘Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!’” as well as act in such a savage behavior (Golding 152).
If a person is raised without any rules, they are more likely to become savage. At first, the boys in Lord of the Flies decide to elect a leader. Ralph lifts the conch and says "seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things,” which gives the conch leadership powers (Golding 22). However, near the end of the novel, the conch is destroyed. This sparks Jack to say to Ralph, “‘there isn’t a tribe for you anymore! The conch is gone-’” (Golding 181).
Lastly, humans are naturally violent due to competition. Today, humans compete for the best job or the best car. However, this need-for-greed stems back to chimpanzees who would compete for things, such as a mate or food. Competition was “the key to their survival 100,000 years ago” (Whipps). As competition for survival became less important, people found other things to compete for—materialistic objects.
This is present throughout the novel, as Jack and Ralph compete for leadership of the boys. When Jack loses the vote to become leader a second time, he lets his violence take over after “humiliating tears were running from the corner of each eye” (Golding 127). At this point, the only way for Jack to become the leader is to get rid of Ralph. Being blinded by anger, Jack sets the forest aflame to capture Ralph by providing him with no escape.
Some people believe that “childhood stressors and life experience” are what cause aggression. Although it is true that those who have experienced things such as trauma and stress in their past tend to be more violent as adults, this ties back to a previous statement: everyone has the ability to be violent by nature, but not everyone expresses such violence (Fuentes). As stated before, it is the environment a person is brought up in that causes them to act out.
For example, Piggy went through some severe trauma as a child. Piggy is introduced at the beginning of the novel as a young boy, who struggles with asthma, living with his aunt. He is stuck living with his aunt because his parents have died (Golding 13). Such events would cause most children to become violent or have some issues. However, Piggy is still one of the strongest and most caring boys within the novel.
Everyone is born with the ability to be aggressive. This stems from the Theory of Evolution in which humans come from chimpanzees, who were known to be violent towards one another. The environment in which a person is brought up in also has an impact on weather they expose aggression or not. Everyday competition can also cause a person to emit their bad side. Despite popular belief, childhood stressors and trauma do not cause people to be aggressive. Even though not everyone acts upon their aggression, everyone has it within them.
“Are Humans Naturally Violent?” DNewsChannel. YouTube, YouTube, 12 June 2014,
Fuentes, Agustín. “Bad to the Bone: Are Humans Naturally Aggressive?” Psychology Today,
Glowacki, Luke. “Are People Violent by Nature? Probably.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles
Times, 19 Jan. 2014, LA Times.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. Penguin Group, 2003.
Whipps, Heather. “The Evolution of Human Aggression.” LiveScience, Purch, 25 Feb. 2009,