Violence in "Lord of the Flies" Do you think the same violent and cruel tendencies would have occurred if a planeload of marooned girls, or a mixed group of girls and boys, instead of all boys had...

Violence in "Lord of the Flies"

Do you think the same violent and cruel tendencies would have occurred if a planeload of marooned girls, or a mixed group of girls and boys, instead of all boys had crashed on the island?

Asked on by rivkah

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auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Golding's idea--that living without rules or restrictions or expectations of civilized behavior would ultimately lead to the worst elements in human nature--could have been carried out with any group  in similar circumstances.  Adults would have ended up in the same circumstances, as would mixed-gender groups or all-female groups.  In Lord of the Flies Golding used the purest grouping--young boys who had been ultra-civilized (as boarding school boys will be) but were now free to explore their darker instincts and influences.

teachertaylor's profile pic

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

Posted on

I agree with Post #5.  If the group were of mixed gender, a sexual element would certainly have come into play with the older children. 

However, if the group were all girls, I agree with an earlier post that violence would have likely erupted; however, the girls' violent behaviors may have played out in different ways.  As the novel currently stands, the conflicts arise from the varying views of power that the boys have and this would not likely change if the group were girls.  The girls would still have to work out some sort of social structure for themselves, and conflict would likely occur because they would lack the maturity to deal with the situation.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Adding females to the scene would probably cause other conflicts that do not exist in the society of all males.  With the smaller children the conflicts may not develop, but there is no doubt that with any of the boys who have active testesterone, then a new rivalry would be present.

Besides, Golding's novel is a response to the Victorian novel, Coral Island which also has boys, so the comparison would be mitigated with a different gender on his island.  Of course, in Golding's time, boys were respresentative of mankind, as well.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

There is no doubt that the same sort of violence would have occurred on the island if a different group of children had been stranded on the island in, The Lord of the Flies.” The problems came about because the children were put into a situation that called for a developed sense of maturity before they had the developed maturity. The only thing that might have changed the situation was if they had clear-headed adults to supervise.

coachingcorner's profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

In the novel "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding, the author has deliberately chosen a plane load of boarding school boys to be marooned on the tropical island. This was partly because he was writing about what he knew - when he was growing up, his father worked in such a school. It could also have been just mirroring the circumstances of the times - boy and girl boarders were mostly educated at different establishments. Maybe a group of girl boarders would have been more inclined towards hiome-making activities and therefore more productively occupied. However, in any group, the chances one or two will have personality problems, so crises would probably still occur. The bloodthirsty hunting activities would probably have been less though.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I have often wondered about, and I figure that you can get in a fair amount of trouble no matter which way you go with this.

If it were mixed, I think there would have been more of a possibility of civilization.  I would think that maybe the boys would feel like they had to behave differently around the girls.

However, if it were all girls, I think there is a good chance it would have turned out just the same.  I think there is a good chance that the same sorts of conflicts might have erupted.  Maybe the "bad" ones wouldn't have wanted to hunt, but it still seems there would have been bad ones who would have a lot of conflict with the "good" ones.

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