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The Nature of Man: Lord of the Flies, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the Mist

  • Date Submitted: 05/30/2012 09:49 AM
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The Nature of Man: A Trilogy of Interpretations
April 17, 2011

"It's not where you're from; it's where you go. It's not what you drive; it's what drives you. It's not what's on you; it's what's in you. It's not what you think; it's what you know." Why do people in society act the way that they do? Many people believe that it has to do with influence from social constructs of society. The above quote, skillfully written by an unknown author, summarizes the quintessential aspects of social constructivism. By definition, social constructivism focuses on an individual's learning that takes place because of their interactions in a group. An example of social constructivism would be a group of students doing an essay assignment - not only do the “shapes” of text format, proper spelling, and grammatical tools indicate certain things about the way essays should work, but the activities and texts produced within the group as a whole will help shape how each person behaves within that group. Children are encouraged from an early age to construct an understanding of the world for themselves, but are also guided by the moral compasses and values of their guardians, as well as other adults surrounding them. When they mature to adulthood, the children will have then fully developed their own, hopefully altruistic, behaviors and worldviews. However, in contrast, what would happen to the children if somehow the tenuous leash of civilization was to be eliminated from their everyday lives?

An example of how humans are affected by freedom from the imposition of societal rules would be the major conflict in William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies. In Lord of the Flies (LOTF), a group of young English boys find themselves marooned on a tropical island as the only survivors of a horrendous plane crash in the early 1950’s. Left with no adult leadership, the boys struggle with the conflicting human instincts that exist within each of them — the instinct to live by rules and act...


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