In August of 1971 a psychology…
In August of 1971 a psychology professor at Stanford University by the name of Philip Zimbardo conducted an experiment along with a team of researchers which explored the psychological effects of being a prisoner or prison guard. They took 24 like-minded male students and randomly gave them the role of either a prisoner or a prison guard. The experiment was initially expected to last 7-14 days but because of the overwhelming results of the experiment, it was cut off after only 6 days. The guards were torturing and humiliating the prisoners, both physically and verbally to an atrocious extent. The results of this experiment are very similar to, and perhaps can even explain in part, the events of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies . After Jack is given power, much like the guards in the experiment, he abuses it by ordering around the other boys and by stealing and harassing Piggy, Ralph and Simon both physically and mentally.
This leads to the deaths of both Piggy and Simon and the attempted murder of Ralph. The power that is given to both the individuals in Lord of the Flies and the individuals in the prison experiment allow them to do things that wouldn’t have happened under the circumstances of their normal lives. It was found that even Zimbardo himself got dragged into the experiment due to his position of power. He acted as a prison warden of sorts and although he could clearly see the abuse that was going on, it took a third party observer to put an end to the experiment. This is similar Lord of the Flies where it took the arrival of the naval officer to stop the violence that was happening on the island. The Stanford prison experiment gave people a glimpse into the atrocious actions that innocent men are capable of, much like how the boys in Lord of the Flies are portrayed in the novel. They both show that even the most innocent of human beings are capable of evil when put into the right circumstances.
The evil inside of us can be controlled; many times it can be stopped. It can appear in insignificant and little ways but when people do not control it, the beast really comes out. For example you can see in this quote that evil or the “beast” is slowly showing. “Roger stooped, picked up a stone, aimed, and threw it at Henry- threw it to miss. The stone, that token of preposterous time, bounced five yards to Henry’s right and fell in the water. Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them.” (Golding, 62).
In the quote above, you can see that Roger, the character that started throwing rocks into the beach and to the little boy, Henry, wasn’t throwing rocks to him to hit him but he was throwing and it was dangerous. Here is the point where you see that Roger is a psychopath and has sudden urges to do something dangerous or kill. Roger, in his case didn’t control the beast inside him and it was only a matter of time for it to come out. What started as throwing rocks at someone and trying to miss ended up as killing various characters like for example, Piggy and sharpening a stick at both ends to perform another kill.People might say that there are people “too good” to become evil. They say that they don’t have what it takes to become evil, they might even say that they know themselves and they would never become violent and do the things the boys in Lord of the Flies did, or in other examples, what the soldiers in Abu Ghrabi did, or even in the Stanford Prison Experiment. I know everyone says that they don’t believe themselves to do that, but I do not think that they are in this types of situations.
I think that people can’t say what they think if they have not been in this situations. You need to get in the shoes of the other person to see it for yourself. How can you be so sure there is not even a bit of evil inside of you? There is a “beast” inside all of us, and sooner or later, it may come out. It may not come out at all, but if you are not careful it may come out, so how do you know you won’t change and turn evil? Every person in this universe has evil inside of him or her. Even though most of the people don’t believe they have it in them in any second it could change without you even noticing it. Evil could be controlled, but once it is out you could have some trouble keeping it inside. Everyone has a beast inside of us.
Everyone has evil inside of them. Everyone can change in a second and become a different person. It is just a matter of the right circumstances for the evil inside of us to explode. So my final thought or question is, what will you do to keep the “beast” inside of you in?