Environmental influences can change people’s behavior and rationality when put into vulnerable situations where they have no assurance of survival on an uninhabitable island. Fear let’s darkness overcome people to do heinous acts for survival. In Lord of the Flies and Naked and Afraid Darkness manifests in both the boys and Matt; a common theme portrayed between both once civilized people turned savage through influences in the environment that triggers an inner evil within all of them. While there are some differences between Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Naked and Afraid, they share a similar theme of savagery, fear, and evil in human nature that intertwine through the use of fearing the unknown and inner darkness.
Fear is portrayed in both Lord of the Flies and Naked and Afraid, a common theme used to display turmoil within the boys and Matt. For example, in Lord of the Flies the beast arises fear within the littluns and causes disagreement between Ralph and Jack which in result splits in the group into two and allows savagery to run amuck once order and civility ceases to exist within Jack and his boys. Similarly to Matt; he fears being unable to hunt food because he is vegetarian and without meat he lacks stamina and protein to endure physical hardships in the wild and will eventually die of malnutrition, which triggers moral turmoil within himself. “Quiet! Shouted Jack, ‘you, listen, The beast is sitting up there, whatever it is… ‘Hunting,’ said Jack. He remembered his age old tremors in the forest. ‘Yes, the beast is a hunter’” (Golding 126). Jack utilizes fear as a tactic to win power and authority over the boys. He uses his “said” hunting ability to hunt down the beast and keep the boys safe. As the boys submit to savagery, Jack strengthens his power by showing himself as a barbaric hunter who can protect them. Which eventually shatters order and civility they once had on the island. Similarly to (Day 9 Episode 1) Matts moral turmoil within himself; his fear of killing animals comes to an end once he realizes he enjoys hunting because the fear of dying had overcome him more than the fact of him being against animal killings. It has been shown that in the novel Lord of the Flies and television show Naked and Afraid both displays fear in unique ways but still share a common theme throughout the story .
Another theme portrayed is savagery/ priminity. For example, throughout the book Jack rapidly transitions into savagery when he slaughters his first pig similarly to Matt when he kills his first rabbit. As time went on savagery became more evident within them, cruelty towards people and animals had no moral effect of them and became their everyday life. “Kill the pig, cut her throat, spill her blood” (Golding 69). This chant exemplifies how far gone their “civilization” has become creating chants about slaughtering the pigs in an inhumane way and turning death into pleasure. Comparably to (Day 26 episode 3) Matt begins to kill animals to feel superior and using mud to his face for camouflage like a barbarian shows how far from human development towards civilization has gone backwards for both Jack and Matt. It has been shown that both Lord of the Flies and Naked and Afraid portrays savagery in similar ways by showing how far gone both boys have severed from a civilized society.
The third and final theme explores evil in human nature. From both themes I talked about previously; fear and savagery intertwine with each other to convey the overall message of human nature. In the novel as soon as the boys and Matt are taken away from civilization they try to preserve society but however this doesn’t last long for. In both the novel and TV show it shows that humans are savage by heart and when put into an environment where life or death is on the line humans gear towards brutality, selfishness and dominance. “Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill!… You knew didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are” (Golding 206). This quote from the Lord of the Flies severed head towards Simon during his hallucinations shows he is the only person who realized the beast wasn’t a physical monster who could hurt them, it is the beast within all of them that created the chaos on the island and also comparably identical to Matt who changed his attitude towards animals and people once his life felt threatened he turned to animal brutality and savagery. It has been shown that in both Lord of the Flies and Naked and Afraid each theme falls hand in hand with each other to create the overall theme of the evil in human nature which is shown in the majority of the story.
In conclusion, the overall conveying message is without rules and order people will go back to primitive ways, Golding depicts that humans are naturally evil and without rules to tell people how to behave there will be chaos. While there were some differences between Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Naked and Afraid they both share similar themes of savagery, fear and evil in human nature. Although circumstances differ between them the similarities between the two undeniable.