Hobbes and Locke vs. Lord of the Flies – History Essay
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two of the great political theorists of their time. John Locke thought people acted just as how people do in the Canadian society, and examples are shown in the movie Lord of
the Flies. Thomas Hobbes believed that people were not guided by reason, but instead were guided by our inherent ancient, animalistic instincts. Hobbes thought that moral concepts such as the ideas of good and evil did not exist in the state of nature, and that man could use any force necessary in order to protect his life and goods around him. Locke is more politically correct, because people do act on their morals and most people do not harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions. Hobbes outlook on a society was very bleak and lifeless, which is more of what portrayed when you watch the movie, especially when the two groups of boys separate and go against the other. Even with that thought, John Locke is more accurate about people in many of today’s societies, such as when it comes to natural rights, human nature, and government.
When people are young, the society and people around them choose who they become, because they are the person’s main influence and they grow up following what they seen those people do. In Locke’s view of the state of nature, he states that while there were no civil societies yet formed, people were able to live in peace and all people were equal. He thought that the state of nature involved people living together and using reason to govern their lives, which does happen regularly nowadays. Individuals also know instinctually, that two wrongs do not make a right, but this does not apply to Lord of the Flies. Similar to the movie, Jack got the people to want a better government and many of them gave their independence to him, but nothing stays good long. Near the end of the movie, when Jack and his group go against the others, they are more following Hobbes beliefs, because they are just trying to make sure they stay alive at any cost. Jack is not necessarily doing his best though to try to keep himself alive, because he just cares about catching the pig for food.
Everyone who is born into a humane society is born with natural rights that are life, liberty, and property. In most cases, the people are who chooses the government that is in control of making these rights accessible, but sometimes a leader is not fair. John Locke believed that the best form of government would be one ran by the majority of people with common views. This meant if you became part of the government, you should follow the will of the majority of people and the rules set forth. Jack is not a very good leader, because he takes away the citizen’s right if they do not agree to give their independence to him. Jack wants to be in charge of both groups, but if people chose not to be in his group, he will take their right to property and life. Citizens have the natural right to rebel against their government, which is what Piggy’s group did. Simon starts imaging that the Pig’s head is threatening him, which foreshadows his death in the end. Near the end of the movie, all of the boys start beating at Simon, even Ralph and Piggy; while calling him the beast.
The most important thing to protect your rights is choosing the government you think will best do that. When Ralph says not enough work is being done, Jack decides to take over and many of the boys follow, because Jack says Ralph cannot hunt. Also the government should respect what is right for it’s society, which is not exactly what Jack seems to do. He asks the citizens of his tribe, if they think Ralph should not be chief and when no one disagrees, he runs off upset. Later in the movie, Ralph tries to persuade the other boys to follow him and keep the fire alive, but most of the boys are already overcome by Jack’s leadership. Locke believes in many types of governments such as Democracy which is the type of government North America has. Unlike John Locke, Hobbes favoured one single person to be the lawmaker, or thought it should be an absolute monarch, which is how it was in Lord of the Flies.
An astonishing fact in this movie is that, Ralph is similar to Locke and Jack is closely comparable to Thomas Hobbes. Jack was greedy in his attempt to become the highest leader and did not benefit the boys’ societies, but he is a great example of Hobbes beliefs. Thomas Hobbes believed you should do anything you can to keep yourself safe, even if you have to go against people that could have benefited you. John Locke was much more civilized and believed the best way to progress, was to work as a efficient team. Locke’s ideas were better, because it is more beneficial to learn to fish then to get a fish for a day. Natural rights, human nature, and government are all major things that need to be concentrated on in a society, and John Locke has the best understanding of how these areas work.