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The real message behind Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies is a classic book which I am sure most of us were forced to read in school at some point in our lives. Rather then discuss the possible meanings of the book, I want us to discuss why it is such a common book to be a mandatory read in classrooms, even today. My thought is that the government wants kids to take away from the book the message that society=good and necessary and that if we were to live without a government, without laws and structure, we would all revert back to animals and begin killing each other essentially. Let me know what your thoughts are!

  • You have the basis for what could be a fascinating article. However, it would be worth expanding this to look at other stories that have addressed the same or a similar theme. How do they compare? Can we find examples of stories in which survivors or a group of humans separated from 'society' do not descend into barbarism? The one that immediately leaps to mind is Eric Frank Russell's short story 'And Then There Were None,' published in the June 1951 edition of 'Astounding Science Fiction' (later developed into the novel 'The Great Explosion', published in 1962). Re 'The Lord of the Flies' in particular - it would be worth taking some time to research the author and understand why he decided his characters should all be male and not female, or a mixture of male and female. This begs the question whether an all female or a mixed male and female group would develop a more mutually beneficial society? Also bear in mind that Golding held religious (Christian) views about morality that would have undoubtedly influenced his writing, although it's interesting to note that Golding personally considered women superior to men! Purely as a piece of trivia - William Golding was my father's English master at Bishop Wordsworth' School (Salisbury, Wiltshire) and my father has memories of his class proof reading early drafts of 'The Lord of the Flies.' – Amyus 2 years ago
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  • It can be a worthwhile speculative endeavor. I was expected to read and submit commentary on it during high school. It wasn't a pleasant experience in spite of the mostly youthful characters and the eden-esque setting. One of the teacher's observations still haunts me to this day. Suffice to say, given the obligation to write this article I would venture into a discourse on the ambiguous, round-robin aspect of the title. Humans can and do reign supreme over most of the creatures on Earth. But, when the tables are turned, the outcome can be disturbing to say the least; becoming fodder for lesser creatures. I can elaborate further if so warranted. – L:Freire 2 years ago
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  • Piggy-backing on what you and the other note authors said, I think what one can deduce from Lord of the Flies is the fact that the relationship between humankind and the unknown, even thousands of years later, remains testy, with the Covid-19 pandemic highlighting the oftentimes raw desire for a return to normalcy (i.e. a chance to conquer the unknown and that which we don't understand instead of embracing the other). All of humankind's fears, hatreds, and phobias can be traced back to the fear of the unknown. – Michel Sabbagh 1 year ago
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