In the novel "Lord of the Flies", what is symbolic about the fact that Ralph wasn't killed by Jack and his hunters?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the main themes of the novel is that there is a beast inside everyman. However, that beast can be controlled by strong government and laws. Ralph had been unable to establish a strong government because he allowed Jack too much power at the beginning. He did not understand that people like Jack cannot be placated but, like Hitler, must be dealt with quickly and with strength so they cannot consolidate their power. Ralph was never strong enough to defeat Jack. However, he did keep trying and never gave up. Thus, Ralph was finally rescued by a stronger force, the British navy.

I think Golding is making a case that sometimes stronger nations must come to the aid of weaker ones in order to protect the world ( in this case, the island and its inhabitants) from total annihilation. This is eventually what occurred in World War II, which occurred just before Golding wrote his novel. The United States finally came to the aid of England and the other allies who were being beaten by Hitler. England, like Jack, had tried to placate Hitler by offering him Czechoslovakia , but that did not stop German aggression. It was not until a more powerful force, the United States, came to the aid of the British and together with other allies, were able to stop the Hitler's grab for power.

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Lord of the Flies

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