How would Lord of the Flies be different if it was girls instead?i just need some ideas

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sagetrieb's profile pic

sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

You might also read (or read about) Rosalind Wiseland’s Queen Bees and Wannabes:  How to Help Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence. Not fiction, this book provides profound insight into the competition and aggression in the behavior of teenage girls, destroying all theories about the “niceness” of girls as opposed to the “violence” of boys. In an attempt to find their place in the world, young girls will bully and attack each other (usually through gossip, exclusion, and small gestures only they can interpret) to create a social order, hierarchical and defined by power, within their own groups.  This has everything to do with the situation in which the boys find themselves in Lord of the Flies. The “girls’ version” would be, simply, The Queen of the Bees.

bmadnick's profile pic

bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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This is a great question! I'll share with you some differences I've found between boys and girls who are about the same ages as the boys in the novel. Remember that these are generalizations of boys and girls who are ages eight to about twelve. It's not unusual for girls to be tomboys at this age, displaying many characteristics typical of boys. 

It's been found that in almost every culture, boys are more aggressive than girls. Boys spend time playing competitive games, so focused on the rules that they often argue with their friends about them. ("You broke the rules!") Girls are more likely to settle their differences by talking them out. Instead of arguing about the rules, they'll usually suggest a compromise of some sort to either change the rules or change the game they're playing. Girls also tend to play games that involve taking turns so everyone gets a chance to play.

Boys are also sometimes encouraged to be assertive and outspoken. They're very physical at this age, wrestling and playing roughly, to prove who is stronger, faster, etc. They have lots of energy, seeming to be tireless. Girls tend not to be as assertive as boys in this age group, but they can be outspoken and noisy. Their games aren't as physical on the whole. Girls don't feel the need yet to outdo each other, but they definitely are as energetic as boys at this age.

The age group is what's important here. As teenagers, things change. I hope this helps.

jamie-wheeler's profile pic

Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Well, as the movie "Mean Girls" says, "they'd just tease each other into eating disorders."  :)

Seriously, this is a great question.  You'd probably want to avoid stereotypical "girly" behavior expectations like everyone working in some seemless community festooned with butterflies and rainbows.  I doubt, however, that girls' would act as Ralph and Jack and Piggy do either.

My best suggestion is to recommend several books to you where female protagonists act outside patriarchal norms.  These novels treat women respectfully and in an interesting way. Like Golding's novel about boys who live in single sex communities, these novels are all about girls who live in communities of all, or mostly all, girls.  They are:

1) Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

2)  A Door into Ocean by Joan Slowzewski

3) The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper


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