Evil Arrived Disguised As Mankind Essay

1155 words - 5 pages

George R.R Martin once said that "there is a savage beast in every man, and when you hand that man a sword or spear and send him forth to war, the beast stirs." In the book The Lord of the Flies, a group of boys are stranded on an island and struggle to form a balanced society and end up removing it completely by destroying all hope for civilization. As the story progresses, the boys use their masks to disguise their identity, to bring out their inner beast, and to intimidate others.
The main power of a mask is to change someone’s identity and to transform them into a new person. When Ralph sees Bill, he says that “this is not Bill (183).” The boy behind the mask is Bill, but the mask ...view middle of the document...

Ralph can see through their new identities and see who they were before. As the boys wear more paint, they are giving the mask the power to free the boys from their old personas to their new savage identities.
The mask brings out the inner-beast within each of the boys. When Piggy and Ralph are eavesdropping on Jack’s tribe, they see a “savage raising his hand, and the chief turning a bleak painted face towards him (160).” The “savage” being described used to be a boy with a unique personality, but now he is a primitive beast. Jack used to have his power limited by the restrictions of a civilization. Now he uses the mask to mark the difference between civilized society and a savage lifestyle. The mask cuts him free of all boundaries and allows him to do all that he wants, including murder. When the savages surrounded Ralph, they “sniggered a bit and one gestured at Ralph with a spear (175).” The savages may sound like they are joking around and having fun, but the mask brings out their kill potential and makes them capable of murder. They poke Ralph with the ends of the spear, but because of the removal of restrictions, they may turn the spear around. Ralph was “defeated by the painted anonymity of the group (178).” The fact that the savages are disguised allows them to do as they please without worrying about consequences because they are unrecognizable. The mask helps them remain anonymous and disguised. Without the mask they are regular boys, but with it they are unknown beasts. The mask removes the civility of the boys and shows their true colors.
A mask is used to create fear and intimidation amongst the island. When Jack first painted himself, he was on his first steps to savagery. He was always on a hunt for blood and death. Once he put on his paint "he began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling (64).” The colors that he paints himself with are red and black, two colors that correspond with evil and villainy. Before when Jack was at home, he would probably smile when he became excited, but when he masks himself behind paint, he acts almost beast like. The mask makes...

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