How important is the presence of war within Lord of the Flies?

Essay by english_summer May 2004

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In Lord of the Flies the presence of war is very important. It gives a basis for the plot; the setting is often likened to that of a war; the boys' society is similar to an army; the boys take part in a war against each other and the moral of the book is that war is an evil that everyone is capable of instigating.

In Lord of the Flies War is important as it gives a basis for the plot. It is because of the Second World War that the boys land on the island in the first place. We know that the author of Lord of the Flies, William Golding fought as a Navel Officer in the Second World War and wrote many other books that took place during the War so it is the Second World War taking place in this book also.

It is not mentioned explicitly that they are being evacuated from England but it is the reason that so many boys are on a plane from a variety of schools without their parents.

We also know that they are British because The Navel Officer asks them the rhetorical question at the end "'British boys, aren't you?'"

The presence of war in the lives of the boys before they arrive on the island is implied. There are several mentions of war which suggest that the Second World War, is taking place. For example, the 'Atom Bomb' is mentioned. Piggy's immediate conclusion as to why the plane crashed on the island is that "'We was attacked!'" a conclusion that a small boy might not necessarily have come to unless he was familiar with the idea. Also the parachutist who lands on the island in the middle of the book and the navel officer at...