Lord of the Flies - Girls instead boys
Incredibly tough topic: What if there were only girls on the island? (e.g. Ralphine, Jacqueline, Pinkie, Simone, Samanthanerica, etc.) How would this change the events, struggles, conflicts, and themes?
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Great topic, I agree it's pretty tricky. I think one thing you need to do is first gather some evidence on how girls might react to a stressful group situation. One humorous but perhaps somewhat accurate source could be the movie "Mean Girls". By introducing some general evidence on how girls might react, you'll bolster your argument.
Next, you'll need to create brief character sketches of the major characters as girls. How would they be similar/different if they were a different sex? How do girls form cliques differently from boys, etc.
Next, you need to break down the "big events" described in the book, such as the struggle for leadership, the groups that are formed, etc. Then I think you can combine the character sketches and some sociological info on how girls might react in general and describe how the book would be different with girls instead of boys.
Good luck and please let us know how it goes!
Deborah Tannen is a linguist who has made a career out of looking at the differences between men and women. You might want to look at some of her work.
This website simplifies her findings some, but it has some really good points. Women tend to do more negotiating for power, asking questions and trying to decide where other women stand on an issue before taking a position themselves. So, someone like Jack who demanded power would be right out on his/her ear.
But at the same time, women's negotiations for power can be just as nasty. Women want to build connections and friendships, and when they perceive others as trying to "co-opt" their "best friend," they can get quiet aggressive.
I hope this helps.
When thinking of boys vs girls in the Lord of the Flies situation, most people would assume the girls would form a stable colony where everyone got along. But I really disagree. I think the LOTF situation with the boys would seem like paradise after spending time with girls in the same situation. You leave people on an island long enough where they make up the central authority, especially people under the age of, I'd say even 25, and there will be trouble.
Boys have a lot of testosterone, so I'm sure nobody was *really* surprised with the way things turned out in LOTF. But girls, though portrayed usually as meek and docile and "let's get along", would not stay that way for long if thrown into the same situation. If you had to choose between being picked on by a mean boy bully or a mean girl bully, I don't care if you're a guy and think you could handle it, but you will always pick the boy bully. Why? Because it doesn't matter how evil this boy may seem - and believe me, I know a guy who fits this term - or how emotionally scarring he is, if you give the same traits and scenario to a girl, she will be worse.
On the island, a few headstrong girls would take charge and keep everything in order. Like in LOTF, this would work fine for awhile. But after a time, it would break up. The smaller girls would whine and cry about how they miss their parents and want to go home, and I will guarentee you one of the older girls will get real sick of it real fast.
You thought the boys and their beastie was bad? The little girls would be FREAKING OUT over everything in the dark that moved. The older girls will see reason to this, but may also be a little scared themselves, and try to seem tough and take out their fear on the small girls, yelling at them and probably hitting them. Then the older girls in charge will bicker with each other. Girls are masters of the nasty and well-known talking-behind-your-back-and-make-everyone-hate-you trick. Any and every girl, even the sweetest, has this talent, and it can and will reveal itself under dire circumstances. The girls don't need to become savages to outcast someone. But savages they would very well become anyway.
And don't think girls are unwilling to lash out physically, or even sexually. Gender roles would be lost, and sexual exposure or humiliation (rather than dancing around and hitting a boy playing the pig, they'd tie up a naked girl and hit her, rape her, spit on her, and call her dirty names, all in front of a crowd) would be commonplace among those who lost favor with the leader(s). The girls would have little to no mercy, and would not blink an eye at killing someone, rather like in LOTF.
I am not so sure that things would be different. I think there would be at least one death to to jealousy or rage, and I believe that with no authority and no hope for rescue, I don't think it matters at all what the outcome would be if you changed the boys to girls.
Girls are always stereotyped to be nice, less violent, more caring, etc. However, if a group of girls were thrown in to a situation like this, i doubt they will be able to maintain these characteristics. Like i mentioned above, when there are no social constraints in an environment, the outcome will vary greatly. Whether it being a girl or a boy, humans are selfish and will seek their own gains before considering the gains of others. This indicates that girls could act the same way as boys, considering the circumstances and surroundings. I don’t think there is a greater possibility that girls will cooperate better than boys, and maybe they wouldn’t be prone to violence as much as boys. However girls are mental terrorists, and that will definitely be a huge conflict. It is likely that the girls with more leadership will have the authority over the other girls, and take control of the situation.
One thing you might want to research is the ability that girls have to work together. It seems that in most cases girls are better team players than boys are, so perhaps there wouldn't be as blatant a rift between the two leaders. Girls tend to want to get along with others, and while they are competitive, they tend to work things out in a more peaceful matter than with violence.
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