What if laws no longer existed? Would people have the same beliefs as to what is right and wrong, or would their actions change? If there were suddenly no rules against what people consider to be bad, they would slowly accept those behaviors. Some do what other people believe to be wrong but not themselves, while the majority do not just because it is illegal. Which elucidate the impression that some actions are only wrong because they are forbidden. Is everyone capable of doing the ‘wrong’ thing without remorse? In theory, the ability for humans to kill each other is always present. It is believed that what prevents that behavior is organized civilization, which has rules against killing. So if humans are placed into an environment where killing is not prohibited and has no consequence, they could potentially find themselves capable of taking a life.
Kids are young and can be easily influenced, if given the chance, would they be capable of taking a life? In William Golding’s “Lord of The Flies,” kids went from an organized and civilized environment to the complete opposite. It changed them by stripping their away their innocence. By chapter nine in the book, the second death occurs but it is the first murder. The boys killed their fellow peer, Simon, out of fear because they mistook him for the beast. “The beast struggled forward, broke the ring and fell over the steep edge of the rock to the sand by the water. 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”(152). Technically it is ‘accidental’ because in their minds, they were killing ‘the beast’ out of self defense. However, does that justify their murderous actions? This kill may be debatable but the second one definitely is not.
When Piggy dies, the conch shatters, signifying all the order and control and civilization in the story. Once the conch is smashed all chance of civility is gone to the point of no return. In addition to this, Piggy was the voice of reason, with him gone it indicates the end of rational thinking. “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee: the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist.”(181). Roger Kills Piggy because he can, and has realized that no one on the island can or will limit his cruelty. There is no fear of consequence, therefore, no fear of action. Nevertheless, this is talking about a piece of fiction, yet it speaks to many, why? The reason is simply because there is truth to it. Furthermore, if there are no consequences, then people will start to think their actions are not wrong and will not learn or change for the better.
Nikolas Jacob Cruz is a 19 year old boy who has already taken the lives of 17 people, most of them being his old classmates. Was he always capable of a mass murder or did his environment influence it? According to an article from sun-sentinel.com, who interviewed Cruz’s family and peers, Nikolas wasn’t an easy child. He had been diagnosed with a string of disorders and conditions: depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional behavioral disability and autism. His mom told sheriff’s deputies he also had obsessive-compulsive disorder and anger issues. How did these ‘issues’ develop? By the time Nikolas was 3, he was diagnosed with developmental delays, and by the time he was 6, he'd suffered the trauma of witnessing his father's death. In eighth grade, he was assigned to a school for students with emotional problems. He badly wanted to attend a “regular” high school and his wish was granted, the school he shot up, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was that school. By the time he was 16, he was preoccupied with wars, death and killing. Later, his girlfriend left him, his mother passed, and he had been kicked out of his dream school. Nikolas was lonely, angry, and surrounded by negativity. Reportedly, Cruz once took a dead bird into the kitchen of his home and cut it open, saying he wanted to see inside. A similar example of this behavior also took place in the novel, when the boys brutally killed a pig. “All at once, Robert was screaming and struggling with the strength of frenzy. Jack had him by the hair and was brandishing his knife. Behind him was Roger, fighting to get close. The chant rose ritually, as at the last moment of a dance or a hunt. "Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!"(114). Both, the boys from the book and Nikolas Cruz, were bloodthirsty. However, neither of them were always like this, not until a change of environment for the worse occurred. Killing the pig quick and easy is one thing, but making it slow and painful is torturous.
To conclude, the fictional book, “Lord of The Flies,” is not as fictional as it seems. One example is used to connect the book into the real world, but no doubt there are plenty more. Almost anyone could be one if pushed far enough. In the book, the beast is not a tangible object that can be killed or destroyed by conventional means, but an idea symbolizing the primal savage instincts within all people. It is Golding’s intention to illustrate the intuitive evil inside man. In almost all cases of murders and/or mass murders, the suspect has some kind of “mental issue” that is connected with the environment they were raised in and/or the negative experiences they have had. Is everyone capable of evil? Is civilization and their rules the only thing stopping them from becoming ruthless savages? This essay started off as a reflection of two things, the boys from the novel, and Nikolas Cruz. Nonetheless it has ended with a reflection of oneself. If put in a position such as the one listed above, anyone could be able to commit the crime.
Golding, William. Lord of The Flies. New York: Penguin, 2006.Wallman, Brittany, et al. “School Shooter Nikolas Cruz: A Lost and Lonely Killer.” Sun-Sentinel.com, 1 Mar. 2018, www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-florida-school-shooting-nikolas-cruz-life-20180220-story.html.
Male, Female. Nothing but two meaningless words. Or did it mean something that I put one before the other? Could it have anything to do with the fact my mother treats me differently than my brother? Na. Male, Female. Nothing but two meaningless words. Created by man to erase confusion. ‘Created by man,’ that’s just what we say it’s not intrusion. Male, Female. Nothing but two meaningless words. Told we’re both going down the same road but are given different dress codes. Male, female. Nothing but two words. But what could they possibly mean? Could it have anything to do with the fact that only one of us is expected to clean? Be yourself they say, oh but not like that. If I stand up for myself i’m considered a brat? Male, female. Two words. That’s all it took to separate us, to make us different. Who are you to tell me that if I dress like this or like that I am no longer innocent? Male, female. Why is one seen more superior than the other? Why are we expected to just hide and take cover? Don’t neglect me, you’ll regret it, I guarantee. My parents say americans are the ones with arrogance. But they tell me sit still, look pretty, no you can’t go out to the city. Of course you brother can go, he’s a boy honey you’re a girl, don’t you know? You’re different. I don’t mean to spaz, but mom I want the same choices he has. Get real and go make a meal. You’re different. Male, female. I used to look at life like a fairytale. Then I started wearing a bra and suddenly things began to fall. I’m not supposed to wear certain clothes or i’ll be loathed. If this is the world I don’t wanna live here anymore. But I left syria, this is suppose to be ‘the land of the free.’ So how come just because he’s a he I am on a lower degree? I don’t know about you but it makes no sense to me. Male, female. I don’t care if you’re black, brown, or white. We don’t need a knight just give us a sword we can fight. Fight for our right to live in a world where being ourselves isn’t absurd. Instead it’s preserved. Male, female. Female, male. Just two people, but don’t be fooled, we aren’t equal.
Laila Kerbag English 2
My Mother’s Perfume
I have always loved the smell of my mother’s perfume. It filled our home with the smell of a crisp spring morning. However to me, the aroma was a scent of love and happiness. The perfume followed her when we went to boisterous family parties, and I came to associate the smell with our family. Wherever the spring breezes blew I knew my family was nearby. I remember the extensive dining table we would all sit at after months of not seeing each other. Over the smell of the food, over the smell of the home, wherever I was sitting, wherever she was sitting, there was the smell of my mother’s perfume.
It became a marker, an indicator that I was being loved and cared for. It became not only a smell but a place I felt safe. My mother enjoyed having nice dinners at home every month, and she always wore the perfume. I remember helping her set the table: six plates, six forks, six knives, and six spoons. After dinner, It was the perfume I last remembered before going to bed. She would read me bedtime stories and give me gentle forehead kisses that made me feel as though a protection spell was put on me.
It was the perfume she wore when her eyes screamed love and compassion for my father instead of anger and regret. When she fell out of love with my father the perfume also fell out of use. My parents signed the divorce papers on that very same dining table we sat at as a family. She has not worn that perfume since. When my mother stopped smelling like love and happiness, my father started smelling like beer and liquor. He had the stench of late nights and strange women. I never smelled that perfume again.
The rhythm of dinner changed: one plate, one fork, one knife, and one spoon. My mother’s lips continued to feel gentle on my forehead, and her protection never broke despite the change. Even though she was broken. I was young and confused. Divorce was something I would hear about from my friends when they talked about their parents, but never something I was supposed to experience. My mother and I never had a good relationship, and somehow I have always blamed my father for it. I believed that if he had not taken her happiness away, I would not have to feel like she was always trying to take mine. He always understood me more than she did, but she was more involved in my life. The situation felt ironic.
Her past pain made her overprotective. When I first told my mother I wanted to be in a relationship with a boy, she panicked and forbid me from dating. At first, like any teenage girl, I thought she was against me and only did it to make my life miserable. After more time and experience, I realized she intended to protect me, to make sure I was safe.
My parents fought a lot, and my brothers would tell me, “do not worry, this happens when two people love each other,” to make me feel better. However, I knew that love was long gone between them, they would look at each other with stormy turbulent inflamed eyes. At age eleven, in some way I understood that love does not last, even when two people spend over twenty years together, and raise four kids. Although their marriage ended way before, they divorced when I was twelve. I did not think much of it until I was older, until I was faced with questions such as which one of my parents would be coming in for the parent teacher conference or if they wanted to take pictures with my brother and his bride together, or separately. On the spot I felt very normal about it, but later on when the sun set and everyone was asleep I started to think.
This was not how life was suppose to be. Or was it? Honestly, you will just never know, and that’s life, all one big mystery. Although I believed love did not last, I have found myself fighting for it. It seems as though one good thing came out of my parent’s divorce, a lesson. My mother wears a different perfume now, it is a smell I had to learn to get used to. I have accepted it and although it will never compare to my favorite perfume, I have grown quite fond of it.