From a worksheet I had to do:
Okay, here's where you can voice your opinion! Is Goldberg onto something? Are we really that way? Do we really need some sort of rules/order to live by? Do we have an evil side? Do we do negative things to each other without noticing just how bad they are? OR do you think Golding is just way too pessimistic (negative, gloomy) and traumatized by the war? Give me some examples to back up your opinion.
And my reply:
The problem with 'good' and 'evil' is that the terms are entirely subjective based on cultural and personal view. For Americans, eating dogs or blowing people up may be evil, but in Korea eating dogs is perfectly acceptable and for Radical Islamics, killing Christians is almost a religious mandate; it's how you get to heaven.
Golding poses the proposition that humans, when left without rules, degenerate into murderous savages who live by 'survival of the fittest'. Technically speaking, humans do not need rules. You could live completely by yourself with no rules and survive perfectly fine. The problem is that humans are social animals, and society demands at least some sort of rules, even if it only be "Do not kill or harm other members of the community". As soon as you get two or more people in one place, you need rules or guidelines of a sort. Those rules and guidelines increase proportionately to the size of the community. Depending on the resources and conditions, 2-5 people could probably live fairly close to one another with an understanding to not get into each other's business. This gets increasingly harder as you get to the 6-9 range, and once you hit 10 you will probably need some sort of authority figure and cooperation system in place. The more people, the more cooperation needed.
I think Golding makes good points about power struggles and 'entropy in the system'; but simply saying things must happen that way fails to address the free will that each character was in the book. The choir/hunters and the little ones CHOOSE to follow Jack and to not do the work that Ralph and Piggy outlined. The little ones, likewise, choose not to do the work. Ralph and Simon end up doing most of what needs to be done, along with Samneric for awhile and occasionally Piggy (without whom the group would never have been able to stay together as long as it did). Everyone chose to keep following Jack even after Simon was killed and Samneric were tortured and Piggy was murdered. They could have chosen not to, but they did. It is on this that I chose to argue that 'Lord of the Flies' is simply one scenario of a quite a few that could have happened.