A Brief Political Reflection on "Lord of the Flies"

Essay by chattering_loryUniversity, Bachelor's February 2006

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What is "Lord of the Flies" about?

"Lord of the Flies" is written by William Golding who was born on 1911. It is believed that the story was influenced by Golding's British background and the World Wars. There are many implications suggested about the book. I am trying to reveal it from the political perspective.

The story is about the emergence of politics in a state of nature. A group of English boys are left on a tropical island after their plane is shot down during a war. Ralph and Piggy are the first people on the island. Ralph blows a shell to gather other boys together. The boys with caps represent the upper-class, while Jack and his choir represent the military. The first political decision on the island was made through democratic election. With seniority, perhaps, Ralph gets more votes and become the leader and has the authority to direct the group.

In a state of nature, people have to compromise and delegate their power to a leader so as to achieve law and order.

Although Ralph is chosen as the leader, Jack is quite powerful because he can direct the choir to go hunting. Piggy stays and plays the mother role that takes care of home. This carries a symbolic reflection of gender roles in society, where male dominates.

When the beast appears in the story, tension of society starts to build. Jack says, "There were no beast, but if there were we could protect you." Military power in real life is very influential, in a sense that a country with strong armies or coercion power can easily affect political decision making and the well-being of the people. The United Nations is relatively weak in military power compared to some states. It may affect...