Fear is what's to Blame

Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by a belief that someone or something is dangerous and might hurt you.  Violence may not be the best way to handle our emotions but we humans have that instinct that we either kill or get killed, and this is why our behavior changes when we get scared. Because of this instinct, fear changes behavior because people become violent towards the thing they fear.

In William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies, fear plays a huge role throughout the book. The story is about a group of boys who were stranded on an island and they try their best to survive. In the novel, the Lord of the Flies, after a good amount of time, the group of boys habituated to the island, giving them more comfort in which they developed a certain savagery upon one another to survive. One example from the book, William Golding gives us a scenario where one of the characters picks up the conch while chaos was already happening, when they pick up the conch it shows how there was order being restored amongst the boys.

“This toy of voting was almost as pleasing as the conch. Jack started to protest but the clamor changed from the general wish for a chief to an election by acclaim of Ralph himself. None of the boys could have found good reason for this; what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart.” (180)

Towards the end of the novel, Jack started a mission to hunt down Piggy and Ralph, because he thought that they were a threat to him, especially with the amount of power he held on the island. Just like the power that Israel has over Palestine. They are fighting over land just like Jack and Ralph are fighting over leading the young ones. Israel is a country that wants to take over the land of Palestine, even though native palestinians lived there way before the Israelis traveled from Europe to the land of the Palestinians. The war between the two lands has been going on for over a century. The Israelis bomb homes and buildings with the Palestinian people usually at unexpected times just so it would make it easier for Israelis to win the war. There were many times where Israelis were sneaking on Palestinians, and Palestinians sneaking on Israelis. The Israeli-Palestinian war is a perfect example that supports my thesis that when we humans get scared, we become violent towards the thing they fear. In this situation, the Israelis fear the Palestinians, that’s why they kill Palestinian people, not to mention, babies, and the Palestinians are killing the Israelis all because they all have that mindset that ‘If I don’t kill him, he’ll kill me’.

When it comes to power it brings fear. With the fear that comes with power it gives off to the people. Just like any leader ever put in power they always look on both sides of them for fear of people overpowering them or some force cutting them at the knees. Lord of the Flies, uses the beast as a figment of the characters imagination. Since the boys were on an island with bugs, animals, and strangers, it wouldn’t be hard to believe that the young boys were a little paranoid which might’ve caused them to believe that Simon was a scary beast. And to nearly all of us, what’s more scary than a scary figure on a deserted island? I’d say most humans are afraid of death, and humans might do anything in order to survive. So what the boys did was survive and they got rid of the obstacles in their way.

“I'm frightened. Of us. I want to go home. O God I to go home." "It's was an accident," said Piggy stubbornly,"and that's that." He touched Ralph's bare shoulder and Ralph shuddered at the human contact.”

“Which is better -- to be a pack of painted Indians like you are, or to be sensible like Ralph is?

Which is better -- to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?

Which is better, law and rescue, or hunting and breaking things up?”

The answer to the second question of this quote is: when it comes to humans and fear, violence becomes our way of handling our emotions, it may not be the best way to handle our emotions but we have that human instinct where we either kill or get killed, just like in the Israel-Palestine War, just like how the boys killed the beast in the Lord of the Flies, behavior changes as we become violent towards the thing(s) we are afraid of, therefore the answer is hunt and kill.

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York Penguin, 2006.

Comments (2)

Aysha Siddiquee (Student 2019)
Aysha Siddiquee

Your paper did convince me the examples that were provided were very strong as well. The examples supported your thesis very well and made it easier to believe and agree with. A real world connection or example that you could have used would be the Syrian Refugee Crisis or the war itself, and the role that fear plays.

Christina Santana (Student 2019)
Christina Santana

Did the paper convince you?:

For the most part, your paper convinced me that your thesis what correct. You had strong real world examples and a great use of quotes, but your thesis seemed to be reiterated too much. With that being said that same reiteration of your thesis took away from the amount of background that you had to support your point, so that explains why I was not fully convinced.

What additional examples of human behavior can you share? Real world or Book Examples:

A good example that could have been used is The Stanford Prison Experiment that we learned about during our freshman year. Seeing as how the experiment had to be stopped because the guards started to become too aggressive, this is the perfect example to show how fear affects human behavior and how it causes people to react differently both physically and emotionally.