How is the work related to the themes and issues of its historical period?All literature is a product of its environment. Nothing is created in a vacuum.Therefore, literature is part of the time in...

How is the work related to the themes and issues of its historical period?

All literature is a product of its environment. Nothing is created in a vacuum.Therefore, literature is part of the time in which it is created, a snapshot, a reflection, or a shadow of a time and place. How the work is related to the themes and issues of its historical period? Describe the time and place in which this book is created and explain some of the key relevant issues of that time.

Explain how the text is related to those issues.

Asked on by decar

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jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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"Lord of the Flies" was published in 1954, just after the Second World War and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the death marches and the nazi concentration camps and the bombing of London and...

And it was also the beginning of the Cold War and atomic testing and spying and public school bomb drills and the Berlin blockade and airlift and McCarthyism and the Rosenberg trial.

In short, the world had just come out of another horrific World War and seemed to be on the precipice of yet another one, with the potential for being far more terrifying and lethal than the last two disasters. It was a time of high tension and paralyzing and hair-trigger fear.

It's no surprise that an allegorical novel would come out at this time to ask the big questions of the day: how did we get here and is there any way out for us?

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lkhernandez | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Lord of the Flies was written because of Goldin's experience with World War II. The book also takes place during the war and we see traces of the world at war outside of the island. We do not know exactly what happened to the boys, but it is likely their plane was shot down by another aircraft involved in the war. We also see other signs such as the dead parachutist as well as the arrival of the Royal Navy at the end.

Golding explores the nature of evil in his novel. He seeks to explain, in one form, what it is that would cause people to start a war and where the desire to hurt other human beings comes from. Through his novel we see Golding's belief that this evil is innate and civilization attempts to control it. However, it all goes sour when even civilization cannot stop the desire to kill and the world breaking out into war.

By using children, Golding is able to explore where this evil can come from. Children are products of the society in which they are brought up. Near the beginning we see the "littlun" that recites his name and address as a reminder that within these boys there still exists a clear imprint of their society and civilization. Little by little the boys start to forget and the imprint goes fuzzy as they begin to give in to that innate savagery.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The book was written in 1954, which was very much in the middle of the Cold War between the Soviet Union (and communism in general) and the West (and democracy/capitalism).  People in those days were very much afraid of the possibility of a worldwide nuclear war such as is going on in the book.

Another way in which the book reflects its time is in how it explores the question of whether people have really become civilized or not.  The author had been in World War II (which had ended not even 10 years before the book was published).  That war and the tensions of the Cold War made many people wonder if human beings were still savages who were going to destroy themselves.

These are a couple of ways in which the book reflects its time.

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