Enablers (LOFT Essay)


Can children be born evil? Most people believe that children learn the most during their first few years of life, and during that time they are always distracted with toys, games, and the T.V. while their parents work. Therefore, the kids have the freedom to do whatever they want with their imaginations, not knowing what is good or bad because there is no one telling them what to think. When a child “acts out” or does something that is “inappropriate,” they are not punished because their peers believe children have room for growth and don’t explain to them why something is wrong. Young people get away with bad behavior because their peers enable them to behave however they want.

In the novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, a group of young boys on a plane crashed onto an unknown island. The boys unite together in order to survive. One of the things the boys agreed on doing was keeping the fire going so they can get rescued. Shifts were established between the boys and at this moment in the book it was Jack’s, one of the hunters, turn. Despite that, Jack ends up leaving the fire to seek after the pig. “I was chief, and you were going to do what I said. You talk. But you can’t even build huts-then you go off hunting and let out the fire-” (70). Ralph, the chief, was aware of the inappropriate behavior from Jack since the beginning of their time on the island. His rebellion against the chief could be because he was jealous of him for being the leader of the boys, thus giving him a reason to act out. As a hunter, Jack would kill animals which can be defined as violent behavior. Because of his unsuccessful first attempt, he was even more motivated to catch it this time. Although Ralph addressed the problems, he did not punish Jack. He allowed him to remain a hunter which is enabling his bad decisions and actions. Jack apologized to end the argument between them, but he wasn’t sincere because he does not believe he did anything wrong. In his eyes, it was a great accomplishment that he killed the pig and was looking forward to doing it again. Not only did Ralph allow the hunts to continue but the other boys loved it. They admire Jack for his bravery and skills in hunting which normalized the violent behavior. Their admiration gave Jack confidence and power which only enabled his behavior to progress for the worse.  

Throughout the novel, the idea of a “beast” arose from a littlun. The beast frighten the boys even though there haven’t been actual proof of its existence. Jack, who is portrayed as the brave one among the littluns, was driven to find the beast in order to befriend it or kill it. One night, they all thought that they spotted the beast and attacked it. The boys believed that they were defending themselves against the beast but in reality, they were murdering Simon, a fellow survivor. At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore. There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws” (99?). They were determined to kill the beast because they only pictured it as something bad. Their imagination urged them to hurt it back because they were surrounded by aggressive and brutal behaviors that were often praised for, such as killing the pigs. When they realized that it was Simon, they ignored the fact that it was him because they were used to the murderous acts. Also, there was nobody there to tell them that it was wrong or to punish them for the murder. The boys came from an environment full of war so killing and violence was often present in their lives. This gave them reasons to think that they did what they had to do in order to protect themselves. Even though Ralph knew it was wrong, he didn’t do anything to explain it to the boys, therefore, enabling their evil behavior.

Violent behavior is also present in the real world. School shootings are one of the most frequent incidents that are happening in America. One of the world’s most fatal school massacres is the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018. Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz was charged for the murder of seventeen people. Prior to the shooting, Mr. Cruz showed numerous signs of his disturbed behavior.  “A Snapchat video shows Nikolas Cruz cutting his arms and talking about guns.  A message sent by Cruz to a Mississippi bail bondsman says, ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter.’ An anonymous tip warns the FBI of Cruz’s potential of ‘conducting a school shooting.’” Nothing was done to prevent the incident despite the clear warnings that were given. Multiple people (students, teachers, police, FBI, his guardians) let him be his mentally and emotionally unstable self. His behavior could have trigger because of the passing of his mother in November 2017. Not only was he already challenged in life but he fell into a great depression after her death. If he was approached about his behavior, he could have learned that shooting people is something he should not do, someone could have been watching him, or he even could have gotten help. Instead, his uncommunicative environment only became an advantage for him to express his fascinations for guns. This is similar to the novel where Ralph did not stop Jack from killing despite knowing all the signs of what he was capable of.

Although what Nikolas Cruz did is unjust and horrific, young girls send him fan mail praising him for what he did. The families of the victims are disgusted at the fact that he can receive mail in jail knowing that his court case has not been determined yet.  “Cruz is getting mail, too, including fan letters from teenage girls. ‘He’s famous,’ Finkelstein says. ‘They want to be connected to him. They’re star-struck. I’m ready to call the parents and say, ‘You need to know what your daughters are doing.’” The girls are admiring Mr. Cruz similarly to the boys admiring Jack. This only makes him think that what he did was acceptable in some way. If he wasn’t getting the mail, he wouldn’t know what people were thinking of him. The girls are supporting his murderous behavior that should be corrected as unjust and evil. The parents of the girls are enablers because the girls think similarly to Mr. Cruz and are not being informed of the problems. They are normalizing violent behavior and seize to see the wrong in the shooting. This is like the boys following Jack’s commands and beliefs when they murdered Simon.

Enablers are why bad behaviors are becoming widely accepted among young children. The children are not informed of or punished for their mistakes, therefore they continuously grow worse. In cases like the novel and the real world, people get hurt and die because of evil behaviors and the person who should be held accountable are the people who allowed it to happen. People need to teach children that violence is not acceptable. If this was a standard lesson, then these problems could have been prevented. Simon didn’t have to die and those teachers and students didn’t have to part from their families. It’s unfortunate that we have to learn why awful things happen this way but now we can learn from these incidents and continue to fix our ways for the better.

Comments (6)

Charles Langley (Student 2020)
Charles Langley

I learned that enablers are people who allow the behaviors of others to continue. In this case, the enablers are allowing bad behavior to continue. This behavior could be solved if they just stopped enabling and actually do something to help solve the problem.

Laila Kerbag (Student 2020)
Laila Kerbag

I learned that if people are not held accountable or shown consequence for their actions then they will never know better. They will live out their lives believing that their actions were not wrong, which could lead to worse outcomes. This can be avoided by making sure a person recognizes their wrongful actions instead of just hoping they'll get learn or grow out of it.

Kishara Erwin (Student 2020)
Kishara Erwin

I learned that people can change after a traumatic experience. If there is no one to help them, then that person will change forever for the bad. They will be determined to let someone else feel their pain. This behavior can be avoided by supporting people who go through traumatic experiences. Also having support groups or support systems to let people know you are there.

Valerie Berta (Student 2020)
Valerie Berta

From reading this essay, I have gained more of insight of what leads to a traumatic experience, which in the end, was the boys/people. However, to solve a problem such as this, I feel as if, more people need to be aware of what having a gun means. The responsibility it holds, similar to the power that Ralph and Jack have, but since they are children they can not really comprehend that responsibility.

Cianni Mack (Student 2020)
Cianni Mack

From this essay, I learned plenty of things but importantly I learned that traumatic experiences like losing a loved one can drive you to do something terrible. This behavior could be avoided by being someone support system because you never know what they are going through. Being kind and asking people how they are doing could help a lot of situations not occur.