Superficial Moral Systems Exposed in Lord of the Flies, Crime and Punishment, The Scarlet Letter, and Pygmalion.
"The superficial nature of human moral systems" is a valid concern in society today. This has always been a factor in society that authors have felt the need to address. People see the hypocrisy in themselves and know that it exists in others. The manners that are so commonly used in public are rarely practiced in private. Most people are ashamed to say and do what they believe is right when they are in public. This understanding causes people to worry what other human beings are doing out of the public view. If it weren't for the opinions of others, most of the popular ideas on morality would not be implemented at all. .
In The Lord of the Flies, the morality of apparently civilized boys gradually seems to vanish in direct relation to the amount of time that they are separated from society. They never understood why they had behaved themselves before they were stranded on the island. They only repeated the moral systems of their parents just as any other perfunctory gesture. As soon as they are on their own, they begin to do what is easiest rather than what is "proper." This concept is not far from what the reaction to any person would be in this situation. If someone found that suddenly he were not longer responsible to anyone, his life would greatly change from the way it was before. People do many things to please family and friends. People only do what is expected. If moral behavior is no longer expected, it will stop being practiced. .
A perfect example of this human hypocrisy lies in The Scarlet Letter's Arthur Dimmesdale. To his congregation, Dimmesdale is an icon of morality, but he knows better. Every night he beats himself with a "bloody scourge" because he knows that while he is preaching against adultery, he has committed this act. In his Puritan society, what he has done is not allowed.