How Can People Change With Great Power Essay Example

Great, power is a dangerous thing. It can consume a person until they cannot see right from wrong. Making the person more hungry for power. This is why leaders commit evil acts is because the person is given power.  This can be shown and compared to the actual events that happened at the prison of Abu Ghraib, which is in Iraq and the events that happened at the Stanford Prison experiment. In L.O.T.F., the boys do things similar to what occurred in Iraq. This makes people turn into savage leaders.

In Abu Ghraib, people are murdered for no apparent reason, and similar events also happen in L.O.T.F.  It is when Piggy and Simon are both killed off by Jack’s group with no remorse that then Jack and his group start to enjoy the rush of power they feel when they can do whatever they want. “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee… causing him to fall forty feet and landing on his back across the square red rock in the sea..”(180-181). These actions reveal why people do what they do when given power.

As Abu Ghraib, shows people can be turned into savages when inside the wrong environment. The same is also shown in Lord of the Flies by William Golding. L.O.T.F. is about a group of boys who get stranded on an island after a plane crash.  It is not known why the boys were on the plane, but it is speculated that they were escaping England during WWII.   When a group of soldiers are transported to Iraq to play the roles of the guards at Abu Ghraib, the only order they are given is to get information out of the prisoners.” I questioned some of the things that I saw … such things as leaving inmates in their cell with no clothes or in female underpants, handcuffing them to the door of their cell—and the answer I got was, “This is how military intelligence (MI) wants it done.” (said by Seymour M. Hersh.) The way the guards did this is now looked back on and seen as horrific acts that they used. 

The prisoners were living in vile conditions and were tortured, There were also weekly executions.  Eventually some news was going to get out, and it did, when news became public through photos published by CBS News in April of 2004. There was a lot of controversy whether the events were isolated accidents or just torture overseas.  In L.O.T.F. something similar happens when the kids are on the island and start to argue who should be leader.  Once that’s decided, some of the other boys start to form their own groups and want to fight against the other groups. Jacks group ends up killing multiple people in the process. This shows when people are in an aggressive environment it can lead to very violent things.

Also people can be turned into savages when given enough power, similar to the Stanford prison experiment when the college students were given the duties of guards they took advantage over the prisoners by beating the prisoners, making them go to the bathroom in a bucket, and making them sleep on concrete are only a few examples of what happened during this experiment. Also “In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress.”( Professor Philip G. Zimbardo) This shows how normal college students can be turned into completed monsters after just three days of power. Also in L.O.T.F. the boys also turn savage, once Jack declares he is a better leader than Ralph and starts to gain a following he announces that he will “keep everybody safe from the beast and will go on lots of hunts.” Then after a span of a few weeks Jack has already killed a pig and decapitated it and put its head on a stick, viciously murdered Simon because they thought he was a beast and Roger murdered Piggy with a boulder by pushing it off a cliff, all because of Jack was leading them to this life and just being in the presence of Jack forces them to act violently. This shows how fast people can gain power and how nothing is able to stop them from keeping it.

In conclusion, there are many times in history when people were put into power and then nobody really could make a change in that power no matter what they did. Even in current countries such as North Korea and the was Kim Jong Un leads the country with an iron fist. Like Abu Ghraib, the prisoners could do nothing to stop what the guards did nor could the children in L.O.T.F..

The Stanford Prison experiment relating it to L.O.T.F, the college students as guards did extreme things to maintain control over the prisoners just like Jack and his savage actions.  Both examples of real life situations are very similar to what took place in L.O.T.F.  They all have leaders who used their strengths to maintain and reinforce their leadership roles.



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