When between China and Japan (The Editors of
When a plane crashes, the survivors must not only fight to survive, but also fight to maintain their mortality. The Lord of the Flies takes place in the 1950’s during World War II on a deserted island. A large group of boys,who are being evacuated from England to Australia, end up in a plane crash on a deserted island. On this island, these survivors attempt to form a somewhat civilized government. However, as the book progresses, this “government” slowly deteriorates into pure chaos. The boys begin to display their basic human nature by hunting and fighting. As the book comes to an end, the one peaceful and organized society fades to a state of disarray. Even though the government is no longer pres the boys are now fighting a war against each other. Finally, the boys are rescued when a naval soldier comes and retrieved the boys from the deserted island. Throughout the book Lord of the Flies, political, social, and religious commentary is displayed when the boys first create a form of government, develop into beasts, and the characters representing religious figures through the boys (D’Ammassa, Don). In The Lord of the Flies, a group of schoolboys attempt to escape England due to World War II. The first signs of World War II began with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. In 1931, Japan occupied Manchuria, and there Japan developed the regions’ industry. This industry expanded into China. However, this violated China’s territorial integrity which then led to an anti-japanese movement in China. This dispute occurred between Chinese and Japanese troops Robertson 2on the Marco Polo Bridge outside of Beiping. This quarrel led to a long lasting war between China and Japan (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica) . In addition, France and Britain were forced to declare war on Hitler due to Germany’s invasion into Poland. This invasion was on September 1st, 1937, marking the beginning of World War II. About 27,000 people were killed daily. Approximately six years later, the war was ended on September 2, 1945. It resulted in over 60 million deaths, soldiers and civilians. In the Soviet Union there were about 42,000,000 deaths, 9,000,000 in Germany, 4,000,000 in China and 3,000,000 in Japan. This war is known as the most destructive war in history (World War II). The book begins with two boys, Ralph and Piggy, emerging from their crashed plane. Their plane landed in a scarred piece of land, on a deserted island. The boys discover a conch shell, and blow into it. The other survivors hear the conch and gather. At this meeting, the boys agree upon the fact that whoever has the conch has the power to speak. Next, the boys decide that they need a leader. They vote between Jack, the leader of the choir group, and Ralph. He then puts Jack in control of the choir, and they will be in charge of hunting. The boys are divided into two groups by age; the “biguns” and the “littluns”. Next, Ralph, Jack and Simon traverse the island and find a pig trapped behind vines, however Jack is unable to kill the pig. After this expedition, Ralph summons the boys for a meeting. Here, Ralph prioritizes making a fire in order to signal fire, which is achieved with the help of Piggy’s glasses. It is agreed that the choir group and the other boys would alternate watching over the fire, making sure it would not go out. With the conch, the boys are able to create priorities; the main ones being to fish for food, collect palm trees to build a shelter, and to constantly keep the fire going. These rules and priorities were agreed upon by the survivors, forming a political structure. Nonetheless, the rules of the conch are soon abandoned. In the beginning, the conch was able to punish those who disobeyed its Robertson 3rules. However, this political structure begins to unravel as the boys show their basic human nature and develop into beasts (Lord of the Flies’ and Human Social Behavior in Natural Environments). In addition, at the first conch meeting, the boys voted upon a leader, either Jack or Ralph. When Ralph is chosen as the chief, Jack accepted the fact that he was not the leader however, the passion for leadership was still in Jacks heart. Therefore, Jack began to gain followers in order to create his own army of men. Eventually, him and his army disobey Ralph and the conch and leave Ralph and their camp on the shoreline. As Jack changes their home and jobs, he also reprioritized. This new groups priority is hunting pigs (Lord of the Flies’ and Human Social Behavior in Natural Environments). The thrill of hunting masks the importance of being rescued for Jack. Jack begins to put charcoal and mud on his face when he hunts. The mud on his face exemplifies how the boys are beginning to develop into beasts. Due to this new priority, this group lets the fire on the mountain go out. This fire was used to create smoke in order for ships or planes to see and rescue them. This is a major turning point in the novel. Since the fire went out, a ship that had passed the island was unable to see nor rescue the boys. When the fire goes out, a flame of anger and frustration is ignited in Ralph. Keeping the fire going was one of Ralph’s top priorities. During the time that the fire goes out, the boys have hunted a pig. Cruelty is displayed when they steal the glasses from Piggy and break one of the lenses. Another meeting is called in order to reevaluate the rules. The “littluns” express their fear of the beastie. Jack, trying to be tough, tells the younger boys that if there is a beast, they will hunt it down. The same night, a dead parachutists lands on the island. Jack, Ralph and Simon go to investigate this “beast”, but do not recognize it as a parachutist. When they return to the shelters, Jack calls a meeting. Jack calls Ralph a coward and encourages the boys to join him and leave Ralph (Plot Robertson 4Summary: Lord of the Flies). However, the boys do not leave so Jack does. While Ralph tries to restructure the group, most of the older boys leave discreetly and join Jack. The next day, Jack and his hunters capture a pig. They cut off the pig’s head, put it on a stick and leave it in the woods. When the boys return to camp, Simon is in the woods clearing his mind. When Simon encounters the pig’s head, he hallucinates a conversation with it. After this conversation, Simon falls unconscious in the woods. Meanwhile, Jack and the choir boys are reenacting the savagery and cruelty in hunting the pig. Then, when Simon wakes up, he discovers that the “beast” was only a parachutist. He then goes to tell the rest of the boys however, during this frenzy, they kill Simon. During this time, Ralph, Piggy, Sam and Eric are alone at the shelters. In order to start the fire, Jack and his group need Piggy’s glasses, so they attack the boys on the beach and take Piggy’s glasses. Infuriated, Piggy and Ralph go to Jack in order to reclaim the glasses. Due to the fact that there are no consequences, Roger releases a massive boulder at Piggy, breaking the conch and killing him. Now that Piggy and Simon are dead, Ralph is left on his own. Eric and Sam then warn Ralph that Jack is planning to capture him, and Roger sharpened a stick at both ends. In return, Ralph tells the twins where he is going to hide however, the twins end up informing Jack of where he is hiding. Jack and the choir set the island on fire, giving Ralph a chance to escape through the smoke. Once Ralph makes his way back to the beach, a naval officer appears. When the boys are rescued, the savagery and cruelty is forgotten, as the boys begin to sob. Throughout the Lord of the Flies social commentary is displayed (Plot Summary: Lord of the Flies). Religious commentary is shown through the characters representing religious figures in the Lord of the Flies. At the beginning of the story, Ralph and Piggy emerge from the plane in a scarred area. Before they meet the other survivors, they find an area of garden-like fruit. Next, Robertson 5the boys take a bath in a pond. When Ralph undresses, Golding makes note of the serpent clasp on his belt. When he is swimming naked, he finds it “pleasing”. Lastly, the island that they have crashed on represents the Garden of Eden. This represents the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. Next, one of the younger boys, Henry, traps plankton in his footprint when the tide comes in. Meanwhile, he is being watched by Roger who is throwing stones around Henry. Although Roger has control over Henry, he also has the urge to do harm to him, just as Henry does to the plankton. In addition, when Jack mounts the beasts head on the stick, it is a representation of the devil (Neighbors, Ryan). In all of these circumstances, evil is represented in some way. When this head “talks” to Simon, it becomes clear to him that Beast is a part of the boys, not a monster. Once Simon discovers the truth, he is coincidentally killed right before he can share it. In this situation, Simon represents Jesus Christ. In each of these examples, religious commentary is exhibited (D’Ammassa, Don). The Lord of the Flies was written by William Golding in 1954. The time period in which the novel was written helps influence the nature of the characters and stresses the importance of the setting. The novel begins with a group of young boys, stranded on a deserted island due to an almost fatal plane crash. In an attempt to preserve their humanity, the boys attempt to create a civilized society with rules and a balance of power. However, as the novel develops, this society is torn apart and turns into a complete and utter uproar. Throughout the novel, Lord of the Flies, political, social, and religious commentary is displayed when the boys first create a form of government, develop into beasts, and the characters represent religious figures through the boys (Plot Summary: Lord of the Flies).