This is the essay I wrote recently. I used The Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine and Lord of the Flies by William Golding.


Corrosive Corruption Consistently and Constantly

Humans are all similar despite differences in appearance. For this reason it is possible to compare human nature throughout history. For example, St. Augustine lived in the late fourth century and early fifth century. He believed that man by himself was corrupt and corrupted others. It is possible to compare Augustine's views to Golding's views because human nature never changes. For instance, Golding's Lord of the Flies' character, Jack, exemplifies Augustine's views of anthropology through the way he acts as an independent entity and how he comports with the other boys while they are stranded.

Jack's independent actions show that his soul and nature are corrupt. Jack is the first to wear the mask; he derived it from his hunting of the pig. It liberates him "from shame and self-consciousness" (Golding 58). The mask hides Jack, but what is he hiding from? Something incongruous to another thing inside Jack is causing "shame and self-consciousness" (Golding 58). He knows something inside him is causing shame. Shame is like a physical allergic reaction to something wrong. So, Jack must have something wrong inside if he is trying to be liberated from this shame. Augustine may know what is at fault inside Jack. In paragraph one of chapter one of The Confessions of St. Augustine, Augustine notes the "carnal corruptions of [his] soul." Augustine realizes the filthy nature of his soul, which he also compares to the desires of a meat-eating animal. Both Augustine and Jack have problems with their souls. It can be assumed that they have the same issue because Augustine explains some of his feelings of shame (Augustine 17) and society's push for him to be without shame (Augustine 17). So, if in both cases shame is present and suppressed, there is a shared state of the soul. If Augustine and Jack share the same state of their souls, then Jack has a soul of "carnal corruptions" (Augustine 1) the same way Augustine does. Jack's being is then corroborated to be exactly as Augustine describes. Jack's essence, just like any humans', influences his actions.

Jack's actions also hints to Jack's corrupted soul. This is most exemplified in the passage of Lord of the Flies where Jack commands his tribe to dance. "Do our dance," (Golding 138) he entices without diffidence, "Come on! Dance!" (Golding 138). The "our" shows that he owns the dance along with the other boys. But it is important to distinguish that Jack created the dance because he is the harbinger of the evil that is associated with the dance throughout the book. Everything that makes up the dance is condoned by Jack. He even encourages it. This connects to Augustine's admission to "his own wickedness" (Augustine 11). Even in wickedness, there is a need to take responsibility. They are also responsible for the repercussions of the dance. Jack's influence spreads through his social circle. This is why their society is "demented" (Golding 138). Not just one person makes up society, but if some are corrupt, it changes even the nature of society. This is seen when Augustine says his crime of stealing apples was produced by "the company of [his] fellow-sinners" (Augustine 16). In the same way, Jack's corrupt heart will begin to influence those around him no matter their own heart's condition. On top of that, once their whole society is corrupted, it will continue to induce a decadent state of the soul. Jack's own corruption directly influences those around him and what they do.

Humans are corrupt in nature, but still have similarities in their corruption, Jack and Augustine being examples. This makes all humans equal because they all need a radical change to their nature. If they are all corrupt, they all have the same intentions and hearts. Without this tantamount nature, the coming of Christ would not be needed. With all humans at the same level, it makes them all understand their present state more clearly and allows them to see their choice to look at God humbly and thankfully, who died for them in their corrupted state.


Please read and Review. It will be interesting to hear your ideas on the topic.

Carolyne