Newspaper articles-What is happening in Europe during this time period when Lord of the Flies published? (World War II) newspaper format.

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

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This novel was published in 1954. World War II ended in 1945. After World War II, Europe was trying to rebuild under the terms of the treaty (Axis powers Italy, Germany and Japan were not allowed to re-arm, much of the Allied countries of France, England, etc. were rebuilding after the destruction of the war). The United States entered into a Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Although the U.S. was uneasy allies with Russia during World War II, it soon became evident that the Russians were not our friends. Some figures report, in fact, that Stalin killed more people than Hitler. The U.S. did not agree with the Soviets on how to re-configure Europe after the war. The Russians established what was called the Soviet Bloc of countries, taking control and establishing Communism not only in Russia, but in the countries of Eastern Europe. Germany was divided into East and West Germany. What followed was a continuing state of tension, strained relationships, military conflicts and competition that did not end until the collapse of communism in the early 1990s. The U.S. and Russia were racing each other to build up the most powerful military and racing each other into space.

Lord of the Flies was written out of the disillusionment of the war. Golding was a Brit and lived through the bombing of England. He saw first hand how man had the capability to destroy himself. The novel illustrates how man is basically evil, and left to his own devices, he would destroy himself, even if removed to a deserted island with no outside influence. The fact that a group of school boys could turn into savages even when NOT exposed to the so-called evils of society was a chilling indictment of the evil that lives within us.

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