If we take a look at the definition of human nature, we can see that it is the set of traits or characteristics that all of us as human beings posses. This includes compassion, love, hate, selfishness, etc. From the day we enter this world, these qualities have been implanted in us and they determine what kind of a person we are. For example, is a convict sitting on death row equal to Mother Theresa? According to human nature we all posses the same essence, so what makes the two so different from each other? Has one altered their nature? A group of English boys are stranded on an island after the plane they were on was shot down. This is the central plot of William Golding's, "Lord of the Flies." It is the internal struggle between "good" and "bad." Each character represents a component of society.
Ralph possesses leadership, creativity, and responsibility. He is elected leader of the group and tries to organize everyone under a single civilization on the island. Jack represents the barbarous, savage, and crude attribute that we all own. Piggy is the intellect and voice of reason of the group. Simon represents spirituality and a deep connection with nature. He is compassionate and kind hearted; always thoughtful of others.
We, as humans, are not perfect. Some are crude while others more sensitive. Rules and punishment restrain our inner "monster." Following rules and orders is infringed by a system of laws; it is not part of our human nature. If put in an environment without these laws or fear of consequences I think that all of us would be different. These boys were used to life in England, raised as stoics in a preparatory and singing in the choir. How then did those same choirboys turn into a chaotic and murderous group? Let's face it, if we were left alone in a room with no supervisor taking a test many of us would cheat.
We would not worry about getting caught or what consequences it would bring. That is our human nature. It can never be changed. Even Ralph, who has never been to a hunt, gets caught up in the excitement of the chase and gives in to his inevitable nature when he participates in the killing of Simon.
When the boys were first stranded on the island the first thing they wanted to do as recreate the society they had grown up on and try to get rescued. Towards the end they were only concerned with having fun and begun killing each other without even a second's hesitation. They lose sight of the limits and boundaries that were set up in the "adult" world. They turn the Lord of the Flies into their common enemy and fear him yet they make him the center of their tribe and venerate him as a god. Belief in him brought the downfall of their society. Jack preyed on their fear and used it against them.
I think that indeed human nature cannot be changed. William Golding proves this point with his list of characters. Ralph and Jack represent the balance in society; those who give it to their savage nature and those who are afraid of getting caught and punished, but when granted the opportunity give in (human nature modified). Simon is the only character that is arguably neither. He never showed signs of weakness and proved to be naturally good.
In conclusion, this book has proved that no one is really who he or she may seem. Even the most civilized and moral of people cannot help but give in to their nature when they are isolated from a society that helps regulate and retrain the individual.