In the novel "Lord Of The Flies", what was Golding's purpose in having only young male children for characters, and what impact did it have on readers?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Lord of the Flies was written after Golding's own experiences in World War II.   Though many women played important roles in the war,  soldiers were only male which is why Golding uses only males in the story. Having only young children be the characters in this novel  emphasizes the contrast between the innocence of normal children and the savagery these children descend to in the story. Despite the boys being British school mates, order and reason are lost, and chaos and evil take over the island.  The contrast makes the reader even more aware of the  savagery children are capable of, that even children are willing to kill for power, and that war makes no sense.  The officer who rescues Ralph at the last minute will be taking the boys back to the nuclear war they fled at the beginning.  Even though it presents war as awful as it is in real life, readers are left with the horror of the boys' past and the bleakness of their future which is discouraging. 

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Lord of the Flies

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