Present day setting in Lord of the Flies Just finished reading Lord of the Flies.What would happen if the people I am surrounded by, or people that are in my age group, were put in that...

Present day setting in Lord of the Flies

 Just finished reading Lord of the Flies.What would happen if the people I am surrounded by, or people that are in my age group, were put in that situation (n my early 20's ). Even in university I see that most people do what they think is popular. The guys and even girls love watching things like UFC, which is just two people getting the crap beaten out of them. They like to get hammered on weekends, be permissicus. They are still very influenced by each what they think is popular. Even if not in school, on weekends, they will go to clubs, and may even get into fights themselves. Girls are still attracted to guys that may not treat them with total respect. Ultimately, popular kids dominate over the intelligent not so popular ones. And these are people being uncivilized in a civilized world! Not to say that there are not others, there are people who volunteer their time to charity for their resume!), who are genuinely deeply good and not just because it would put them in a better place. Taking all of this into account, I would say that the outcomes would probably be horrid too, but I dont know to what degree. I am happy to say, and through many years, that I am actually one of the good guys. What do you think of all this, am I just really pessimistic? Or do you agree? 

If this were true how would you respond to people, etc. For example, I find it hard to be friends with certain types of people, it is actually a long list, and find myself devoid of social circle.

Expert Answers
ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, you have done what good readers do.  You made a real life personal connection to the reading material. What you have described, however, is pretty typical teenage/young adult behavior prior to the maturation process that most will hopefully go through on their way to becoming adults.

The difference is that in the novel, the kids were put in adult situations before they were emotionally or cognitively capable of being adults. My concern is that while you have perhaps matured faster than those around you, that you are failing to see the inner selves these young people might develop into, and as such you might be missing out on developing some meaningful relationships along the way.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It may be that things would be as bad as you say.  But it may also be that people your age would rise to the occasion if they were forced to.  College is kind of an artificial environment where people have so much less in the way of responsibilities.  If you put people in a situation where they have more responsibilities, they might well respond in a good way.

This also shows the importance of civilization, I think.  Civilization teaches us, eventually, to restrain our impulses and act in ways that are better for us and for society.

galib96 | Student

It’s kind of like how the masters of horror films don’t actually show you the horror, because what you can imagine is worse than anything you could see. Of course, it’s interesting that Golding chooses to make this manifestation of the boys' fear a man -- and not just a man, but a solider coming in from the war. Not only that, but the parachuting man flies in, in response to Piggy’s request for a “sign” from the adult world. It’s ironic that the best the adults can come up with is a man dead of their own violence, and it hints at the allegory and the end of the novel. This is the point where we start getting some real insight into the beast, via Piggy, who says the beast is just fear, and via Simon, who insists that the beast is “only us.” This is an interesting comm

galib96 | Student

The smaller boys are afraid of things they see at night; rather than be blindly afraid of The Great Unknown, they give their fear a name and a shape in their minds. You can’t defeat a "nothing," but you can hunt and kill a "something."The next evolution in the myth of the beast is the dead parachuting man. It’s no coincidence that the boys catch a glimpse of a dark, UNKNOWN object and immediately call it the beast; we wouldn’t be surprised if they were relieved to finally have seen the thing.

galib96 | Student

In the most important pighunt scene, we are given a vivid description of the slaughter of a mother pig, and we see that the boys have taken on a new viciousness in their desire to hunt. This is no longer about just having meat to eat – the boys are obviously enjoying the power that they feel over the helpless animals and are excited by the blood spilling over their hands. Many critics describe this as a rape scene, with the excitement coming partly from the blood and partly from their newly emerging feelings of sexuality. As the story continues, we see the boys acting out this pighunt over and over, in a sort of ritual, using various boys to act as the pigs, and this “play-acting,” takes a horrifying turn when, in a frenzy of violence, Simon is beaten to death by the mob of excited boys.In Lord of the Flies, the beast begins as a product of the boys’ imaginations.

galib96 | Student

Because they aren’t equipped for roughin’ it for real, they have to rely on some remaining relics of their old world. So, of course, the glasses breaking mean they are in danger of losing touch with the civilized world they’ve left behind. With one lens broken, they’ve got one foot over the line.But let’s also remember that the glasses are, in fact, a pair of glasses, primarily intended for looking through. Looking = vision, and vision = sight, and sight = a metaphor for knowledge. Piggy knows things the other boys don’t, like how to use the conch, and the necessity for laws and order. Part of the reason he gets so upset when they take his glasses is that, without them, he can’t see anything. “Seeing” is Piggy’s greatest attribute; it’s the one reason the boys don’t ostracize him completely; it’s the one way he’s useful. Without his glasses, then, he’s useless, something that no one wants to be.the pighunts are used throughout Lord of the Flies to symbolize not only man’s capacity for destruction and violence, but the basic idea of bloodlust, mass hysteria, and ritual.

galib96 | Student

With no conch, power is once again up for grabs, and Jack is feeling grabby.Fire is used in several ways in Lord of the Flies. From the very beginning of the novel, Ralph is determined to keep a signal fire going, in case a ship passes near to the island. That’s fine until the first signal fire the boys light begins burning out of control, and at least one boy is missing (read: burned up). The fire thus becomes a symbol, paradoxically, of both hope of rescue and of destruction. Ironically, it is because of a fire that Jack lights at the end of the novel – in his attempt to hunt and kill Ralph – that the boys are rescued. What could that possibly mean, the fact that rescue equals destruction? It brings us back, as all these symbols do, to The Big Massive Allegory of the novel. If the boys’ world is just an allegory for the real world, then they’re not being rescued at all; they’re just going on to a larger scale of violence and, yes, that’s right, destruction. Hence, rescue equals destruction.While the boys on the island revert to primitive ways with their hunting, nakedness, and face painting, there is still one symbol of advancement, of innovation and discovery. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about Piggy’s glasses. The boys find themselves at an utter loss for a way to start the fire. Jack mumbles something about rubbing two sticks together, but the fact is the boys just aren’t wilderness-savvy enough to do this.

galib96 | Student

Before we get down to the details, we should address the fact that Lord of the Flies is one big allegory. Symbols aside, the boys as a whole can represent humanity as a whole. You can see where the pieces fall from there; the island is then the entire world, the boys’ rules become the world’s varying governments, two tribes are two countries, and so on. The boys’ fighting is then equivalent to a war. The only time we pull out of the allegory is at the very end of the novel, when the other “real” world breaks through the imaginary barrier around the island. Yet this is also the moment when the real message of the allegory hits home, when we can ask ourselves that chilling question, “But who will rescue the grown-ups?”The conch is used in many scenes in Lord of the Flies to call the boys to order. No boy may speak unless he is holding the conch and once he is holding it, he cannot be interrupted. They boys have imposed this “rule of the conch” on themselves, and thus the conch represents society’s rules, politics, and speech. The conch is a big part of the boys choosing to vote for a chief, and it also allows anyone to speak when they hold it. Notice that, after the conch is broken in to a thousand pieces, Jack runs forward screaming that now he can be chief? The reason he couldn’t be chief before, at least not his kind of chief, is that the conch still allowed Piggy to quiet all the others boys down and demand they listen.

epollock | Student

The universal appeal of the book is its central theme that without boundaries, people will act in selfish ways which could lead to harm and injustice to others. It would probably happen again, not to that degree in the book, but close to it, if the circumstances were reproduced.

snagglepuss7 | Student

I think that there is a huge difference in college age kids of today that those boys from Lord of the Flies.  With the advent of a gross amount of reality TV and the easy access to other streaming media genres prevalent in today's culture, the outcome on an island in would lean towards the macabre.  Not all college students mind you, but some would quickly capitulate to their more baser needs.  In Lord of the Flies you have pre-pubescent boys.  College age boys would not exhibit the same type of social manifestations that would stop at merely beating each other to a pulp.  There would be violations of the strong to the weak in other areas.  Reference the actions of the tough inmate to the weak inmate in our prisions to get an idea.

I draw these conclusions based on the reference made to the watching of the UFC and our access to a much broader range of TV, Movie, and internet entertainment that is part of our main stream society.  The boys in the book were of a different time, with different social morales then we have today.

This is not saying that all college age guys are like this, but all it would take is one to convince and lead others to his following.  Just like in the book.

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Lord of the Flies

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