There are more good people than evil. Society is the source of individuals wrong -- doing, or evil. In William Golding's Lord of the Flies readers are introduced to characters of good and evil. The Milgram Experiment tested the reaction of people told to give painful electric shocks. Many people are good in the world but only few are really great because they control how their environment influences their behavior.

The Milgram Experiment showed that while more than fifty percent of the teachers gave maximum electric shocks to a human being, many did stop earlier. The commands and prompting of the scientists influenced the teachers to give the maximum shocks. It was outside forces, in this case authority, that pushed man to do evil. Most of the teachers did not want to hurt another and wanted to stop when they heard the screams of their partners. When the scientists were not in as much contact with the teacher, the teacher would stop administering the shocks earlier. This would happen because the teachers would be able to think for themselves and not be pressured or persuaded by anyone else. If the teachers were able to see their partner receive the shocks, the teachers were less likely to administer increased voltage.

The strong character, Ralph, in William Golding's Lord of the Flies, never gives in to the weaker, less rational revolutionary Jack. Therefore, Ralph, a common sense person is a good and true leader. Jack, the self-nominated leader is a mean guy who orders the boys to kill not only pigs but other kids as well. This shows that good people are needed because if Ralph had shifted to being bad, they would have never been found because the fire would have gone out. There also would not have been shelter or a group atmosphere if Ralph would not have taken a leadership role. Ralph gave orders for some to hunt and some to build the shelter and watch the fire which resulted in keeping some sense of order. In contrast, Jack would have everybody hunt with no one to take responsibility for overseeing the fire or the shelter so there was chaos. The island's environment changed some of the boys, making them evil, and others were kept good as illustrated by Ralph who looked after the well-being of the group.

In the end good triumphs over evil. Ralph, the good, is saved at the conclusion of the story. It was his idea to keep the fire going so that he and all the stranded boys would be saved. Ralph was the keeper of the light, or knowledge, and Golding could only have him rescued. The naval officer thought that what he saw on the island was a big game until he realized it was actually war. The naval officer saved Ralph from immediate death when he came upon the island. Ralph is saved because the naval officer, who is a trained to command the waters and persons to safety, finds him and does his good deed. So if man is really bad by nature, the officer would have passed him by without saving him.


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Ralph, as good, provider of fire, shelter and order, eventually is found by the naval officer who brings to safety all the surviving characters. Ralph, despite the change in his surroundings, maintained his goodness. The Milgram Experiment proved it was outside influences that pushed the teachers to be hurtful. Both Golding and the Milgram Experiment prove people act differently, or act not as good, when under the influence of others. Society stimulates the evil in individuals.