What comparison can be made between the boys and the naval squadron?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Lord of the Flies" the naval officer who has landed on the island in order to investigate the fire acts as a "deus ex machina" (a device for unraveling the plot and saving the hero).  When he encounters the boys in the midst of their savage, deadly chase after Ralph and he witnesses the sobbing and shaking of the boys, he turns away, "moved and a little embarrassed" by these "noises."  Significantly, the officer "allows his eyes to rest on the trim cruiser in the distance."

This significant gesture of the officer indicates that World War II continues and the rescuers of the boys from murder will themselves soon be killing their enemies in war. The officer's resting glance is no mere coincidence on the part of the author. Here Golding alerts the reader to the parallels between the aggressive, murderous acts of the hunters and the acts of those at war.  It is in the nature of man to be cruel and brutal; this is the beast that lies near the heart of every man.

Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question