Heichal Hatorah Beyond BadThe struggle with evil Itiel WilkEnglish 9Mr. Mayer01/15/18 The struggle with evil lies within every person. We fight it, each in our own way, both internally, and externally, but those who have the endurance to battle and defeat it come out stronger, As such, the belief that only bad people struggle with evil is incorrect. Not only do the best of men battle with it but even children are subject to this struggle. Even though evil can be defined as the absence of good, this is not its only definition.Evil can manifest in our brains in a number of different ways. An idea can start off being positive and have a common goal between all of the people taking part in it. Yet as we see in The Lord of the Flies if given the chance to do so, evil can manifest inside of a person or group of people until that individual or society loses focus of the ultimate goal. Once they start down the path of evil they may become something beyond reason. They will do things they never thought to do, and speak in ways unknown to their previous selves. It may also be due to a number of other things such as greed and mental illness. As we see in The Speckled Band, a man goes out of control and kills one of his own step daughters. He does this because he is so greedy that he becomes sick with the fear that he will lose the money given to him by their mother.(Doyle, 2017) This idea can also be seen in The Wave, that not only is it that people don’t always realize that they are becoming evil until somebody outside shows them, but even an entire society can become evil if they aren’t stopped and told that what they are doing is evil. We see from these literary sources that even when an individual or an idea starts out with good intentions, over time they can become something which was never intended.The struggle in The Lord of The Flies can be seen physically between ralph who believes in moral civilization, and jack who ultimately turns to brutal savagery and uncivilized animalistic behavior to get his way. At the beginning of the story they are all equally helpless boys stranded together on an island. Once Ralph is elected leader, everybody is given a job on the island and people begin to feel as though they are part of a functioning society. The problem is, once they settle down, some of their imaginations begin to set in, and they begin to fear that there is an “evil beast” on the island. This fear leads to a change in leadership from Ralph, who knows that the beast is just the children’s imaginations, to Jack who decides real or not he is going to “kill” the beast. The children now believe that the beast is the real and it is out to get them. Thus they side with Jack who decides that this is his opportunity to seize power. Once everybody joins Jack, he gets a taste of power. This is jacks tipping point. Even though he was mean before, this power is the catalyst that brings out his true evil colors. He becomes a savage dictator who feels superior to all, and with an army to do his bidding he feels unstoppable. Once he sees himself as superior he has no problem killing any of the boys who do not agree with him, since they are beneath him.Evil can also manifest through greed. This aspect of it can be seen in The Speckled Band, when a girl believes that her stepfather murdered her sister just before she got married. Now she is scared for her life, for she too is getting married. The motive for this is that he does not want her to inherit money from her mother. Her mother’s will stated that her stepfather was to be given a sum of money each year to split between the three of them. His problem was that if the girls got married, a larger sum of money would be given to them out of his share. Her stepfather knowing this, devised a plan to keep the girls from getting taking his money. He would stop them by any means from getting married. If they tried, he would kill them. A contributing factor as to why his plan was so cruel, was due to his mental instability triggered by his lust for money. This ultimately led to his own demise when the speckled band literally came back to bite him. The Wave portrays a third way in which evil can manifest, and that is through societal pressure. A group of high school students were having a hard time understanding how society in Germany during WWII, committed such atrocities and participated in inhumane behaviors. The teacher, Mr. Ross decided to conduct a social experiment without their knowing, where he created a group that simulated the circumstances and societal pressures of the youth in Germany during the Nazi era. Initially, the experiment was supposed to be a small lesson in how seemingly typical people could be so easily overcome with the desire to fit into to a social group. As is seen through their slogan, ” Strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action,” brought them a feeling of equality, their common focus unified them and the students quickly felt that they had purpose and were part of a larger vision.(Scott, 1996) Without realizing, the students began to exclude those who were not part of their group and even became violent toward them. Individuals within the group felt comfortable behaving in hateful and offensive ways which they would not have otherwise done, due to the inherent power of the masses. The movement spread throughout the school and soon became their primary focus. Although the students had previously believed that fascism was a thing of the past and that Nazi Germany could never happen again, they were shown by Mr. Ross that societal pressures and norms could blind them to the fact that what they were doing was truly evil.In Both, Lord of the Flies and The Wave, a similar theme is evident that when unified, a group can abuse their power and behave in a way that they would normally reject and label as evil. In analysis of the psychological aspects of Lord of The Flies, Meg Fairclough states, “The novel shows power of social conformity. This can be seen in how the boys choose to group together and display similar behaviour; ‘A member of a tribe of cannibals accepts cannibalism as altogether fitting and proper’ (Asch, 1951).” (Fairclough, 2013). She also discusses how humans feel more powerful in a group situation than on their own. Additionally she seems to support the same concept, of the need to conform in order to gain social acceptance in society, a central idea in The Wave. “The boys felt compelled to change, in order to ‘fit in’ and therefore survive on the island”(ibid).Inside every person is not only good or only evil, rather a combination of both. And while some people have a predisposition to do something good, it doesn’t mean that they are only thinking good things all the time. But even somebody who is inclined to do evil things can still fight the urge to to do so. The same way that not everybody who wants to cheat or steal does it. Evil is also subjective. So while one person believes that something is wrong another might see it as right. While the struggle in one person’s mind may be whether or not to kill somebody, not everybody is challenged with that level of evil. And while some people might have the inclination to shoplift, but think murder is truly evil, others may only have a tendency to lie but believe that stealing is the definition of evil.The reason that the struggle is considered virtuous is because if you’re brave enough to face it, it shows strength of character. If you are strong and you overcome evil it makes you a better person. The struggle with evil is also what makes us human. If everybody was completely good all of the time we would have no free will and we would be considered like animals, solely controlled by instinct. Evil is also the very thing which defines good and gives us the ability to make our own good choices. In my life I struggle with evil on a day to day basis. Whether it be going to davening or talking back to a parent or teacher, I’m always struggling with whether or not to do these things.In these types of evil there is no physical antagonist, It’s all in my head. Therefore when i overcome the struggle I feel better about myself and I feel that I have Purpose. There doesn’t have to be a physical antagonist, because even if the evil is not physically present it is always there lurking at the back of our minds. bibliographyGolding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Penguin, 1999. Print. Scott, Evelyn. The Wave. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1996. Print. Taylor, Steve. “The Real Meaning of ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 26 Aug. 2013. Web. Fairclough, Meg. “Lord of the Flies.” The Art of Psychology! N.p., 11 Sept. 2013. Web. “Dr Roylott.” Marked by Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2018. Doyle, Arthur Conan, Michael W. McClure, Tijana Tumbas, Sidney Paget, and Anna Sushchenko. The Speckled Band. Chester, IL: Baskerville Productions, 2017. Print.