There are events in history that everyone looks down upon because they are horrific acts of evil, such as the Atlantic slave trade, the genocide of the Holocaust, World War I and II, and the terrorist acts of 9/11. But one thing people can never figure out is why. Why would people kill? Why does brother turn on brother? Who in their right mind would crash a plane into a building? People reading Lord of the Flies, written by William Golding often find themselves asking similar questions even though it is a fictional book. Lord of the Flies is about a group of boys who crash on an island in the Pacific Ocean while the world is at war. Without any adults to surprise them, the boys, ranging from age six to twelve, must find a way to, any way to survive. The boys in the book become evil, and turn on each other, doing anything to keep their power, even kill. Although no one fully understands the exact reason why people become evil, Philip Zimbardo, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University has studied and concluded his theory for what is responsible for someone turning evil. Zimbardo's idea includes three steps, the first being that there is a bad barrel, the second step is, a new experience brings something out of the person, and finally, the third step is, negative traits emerge from the person given certain conditions or situations. These three steps are showcased clearly throughout Lord of the Flie, proving that Zimbardo theory is right for why people turn evil. .
The first step to why the some of the boys in Lord of the Flies turned evil is they were placed in a "bad barrel or that the system there are in is diseased," as Zimbardo would call it. In the case of Lord of the Flies, the bad barrel is most of the adults around them at home are fighting in a war. Here, Piggy and Ralph are debating with each other how they ended up on the island in the first place.