Do the natural outdoors have a big enough impact on someone to make them go ¨mad¨? In this day in age people are used to their luxuries. Even the littlest things that people may use everyday such as air conditioning or heating or the ability to flush a toilet are in fact luxuries. These functions are now now considered normal. So if someone with these luxuries were dropped on an island with nothing but their will to live, what is their first thought? Survival.
In the novel ¨The Lord of the Flies¨ by William Golding, a group of boys were stranded on an island and could be described as crazy. The author had been in a situation related to the boys when he served in the Royal Navy for about six years. His experiences may have influenced his writing of the novel. After days of surviving on an unknown island, in ¨Lord of the Flies¨, a young boy by the name of Simon starts to see what he perceived to be a demon. The poor boy was being chased by a pig's head on a stick that was held upby the older boys. But through his exhausted eyes, it was a beast, something the children had dubbed “The Lord of the Flies”. This was Simon's fear being brought to life to terrify him, but was also a way that the other boys could have fun terrorizing the young boy. As the ¨beast¨ followed Simon through the woods, it spoke, ¨There isn't anyone to help you. Only me. And I'm the beast.¨(143) The fear that Simon had been experiencing had caught up to him in an abrupt moment causing him to imagine the pigs head on a stick to be alive. The Lord of the Flies received a small victory when Simone looked deep into the beast's eyes and blacked out.
In an article about the studies of APA President Philip G. Zimbardo, it talks about the reasoning for certain behaviors that may be viewed or even diagnosed as ¨mad¨. Zimbardo had a theory that maybe madness is a symptom brought on by an unexpected event or change in a person's everyday life. Zimbardo did a study on a few college student volunteers and found out that if the student is under a lot of pressure and stress, or if his/her surroundings are stressful or any other emotion to the extreme, that their response to it can be influenced by the amount of one emotion being forced onto them.
In relation to the book, Simon had been influenced by the over producing fear that him and the rest of the boys were surrounded by. The boys had experienced a huge change in their day to day pattern when they were dropped on an island and relied on each other to survive. Simon, being one of the younger boys, was more susceptible to fear, causing his emotions to get scattered more easily and in result, he started to go mad. Zimbardo had talked about when someone is put in a situation they cannot deal with, that their coping mechanisms may result in behaviors labeled psychopathology. ¨When the volunteers were unable to come up with acceptable explanations or social comparisons for their arousal, their inability to deal with it would eventually lead to predictable symptoms of psychopathology.¨ This can relate to Simon in that he could not find a way to deal with his fear, and so it soon turned into a beast.
The novel ¨Lord of the Flies¨ by William Golding represents the fact that normal people can go mad, and this relates to the real world because there have been studies proving the how and why normal people go mad. The environment in which a person is placed can have a big enough impact on that person to make them go mad. This study can help society by recognizing that it is possible to go mad due to a situation or surroundings of a person.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.
“Jacob, you can't keep doing this. Its getting out of hand. Let me see your face… This is unbelieveable!”
Your face is worse than last time, the old cuts are reopened and now bursting with blood and puss. Why do you do it, and don't tell me ‘it's fun’ because I know for a fact that you don't do this for a hobby. Ugh, and those sneakers! Take those off, their soaked, i'll throw them in the dryer for an hour while I get you cleaned up.
What did you say?I hear your voice doing that ‘I don't actually want you to hear me, but I need you to know’ thing. I’m just gonna ignore you if you ramble like that. If you wanna tell me something then tell me and stop that under-your-breath bullshit, it really gets on my nerves.
“You got in a fight with our dad? Look i'm sorry I slapped you but but I had no choice, the fact that you even had the nerve to do something like. Turn your head and let me get that disgusting mucusy blood off you jaw. Thats disgusting. So how'd it happen? I'm not gonna ask who started it cuz I already know it was you, it's always you”
I can't believe you did this again. Haven't you learned by now? How could you fuck up that bad? How could dad fuck up that bad?maybe this was my fault, maybe if I had just listened to dad and stop trusting you then I wouldn't be in this situation, cleaning my screwup of a brothers bloody face. Why do I even comfort you anymore? your a jerk! But you're my big brother.
I hear your apology and although it does sound sincere, which is weird coming from you,it's not gonna work this time, you screwed up. Your rambling is getting out of hand just speak. Yes I heard you, and I know you're sorry I know you do it for me and I know you will never stop fighting for me, but this is unforgivable, he's our dad and you need to get that through your thick head. I don't know why I continue to hurt myself like this maybe I do get myself into these situations, because I know for a fact that you'll be back out on the street again tomorrow sending yet another guy to the hospital for looking at me the wrong way. You're a liar! you lie to dad, to mom to your friends, just stop it and maybe people will stick around longer! Just try. ok?
stop crying. No, no I don’t think you’re a liar. At least not to me. You're my favorite person in this crazy world and I know you'll protect me. You're my big brother.
The rain started at 12 am. At that moment in time,I was on watch sitting in the center of the sailboat in the cockpit. Our crossing was 14 hours that night and we were 8 hours in. The he bubbling sea was an alluring dark blue. The rays of the bright moon struck it with force, almost causing it to shake and splash. My eyes widened as the cold drops of pure and utterly beautiful rain fell from the dark sky. My shoulders were bare and I could feel each drop as it hit me with vitality. My body told me to take cover but I stayed, betraying myself. I was content. I was already soaked from the long day's treacherous sail. The salt from the warm ocean waves that sprung up the side of the boat was now in a thick layer on my skin, the cold rain slowly and steadily brushed the salt from my arms and legs. My surroundings became very clear to me. The bright sail flapping in the unforgiving wind was in front of me. Beside me sat the round wheel that I turned every so often to point us in the correct direction. Above me was a star, it was being launched across the shadow-filled sky. I stared at this amusement for what had felt like hours but had, in reality, only been seconds. Those seconds were lit up by that bright creature soaring across the sky. This creature had wings, I thought to myself, to be able to exist in flight. My thoughts went wild as I explored the characteristics of the ball of bright lights. A stream of luminescence gleamed behind it like children following their mother. The object was gone in seconds but the memory of it is almost as vivid as the moment.
My father sat beside after the rain stopped and handed me a warm blanket. He talked with me about the island that we were headed to that morning and the sights we would be exploring. His words brushed my ears but never fully dissolved into my mind. The thought of the bright creature still filled my thoughts with questions begging for answers. His voice was calming and warm. My feet were numb but I stayed by my father's side until we reached our destination.
The island was small and not one person lived there. Asi walked along the unbeaten path through bushes and under tree branches I started to think about that creature. I wondered if it was a warm creature or if the presence of it was warm but if you reached out to touch it, it would punish you with pain, that is cold. This thought soon drifted off to be with the forgotten thoughts and my legs carried me elsewhere. The sky was bright and clear with no evidence that a storm had once passed through.
My feet sunk into the light sand and crushed beneath my heels, the water brushed over my right foot and I felt a chill go up my leg. The wind was still a repetitive motion through my hair, it pushed it back behind my shoulders and slowly but gently started to tangle it, a task for when I arrived back on the boat. I loved the fresh smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves crashing continuously on the shore. I did not want to leave this sacred place, but just like the islands before, I was forced to go. I took a deep breath and leaped into the chilling water to swim to the boat. Climbing up the ladder i was greeted with a splash of clean rainwater from my father. ¨Get that salt off you and dry off before we set sail.¨
I did as I was told and we were off. The creature. It was all that swept through my mind that cloudy night, and the few nights to follow. The brightness followed by complete darkness amused me and drew me in closer to the object. The thought of seeing it all over again thrilled me and gave me hope for the next one I see, if there is a next one.
The first and only time I've seen a shooting star was on a cold and stormy night in the middle of the ocean on a 33-foot sailboat.