Why do most of the boys suffer from nightmares? Are they homesick?In Golding's 'Lord of the Flies.'

Expert Answers
parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although it is nobody's "fault," the boys suffer from abandonment in the strictest sense of the term. As no adult survived the plane crash, they only have one another to rely upon and now face the most gruelling test of all - the test of survival. Plunged into an unknown and even hostile environment, with a limited reserve of food and other necessities at hand, without the assurance of ever being discovered and rescued, these little castaways only have one another and their own self-will to rely upon.

If that isn't enough  bring on bad dreams, then what is?  Add to this the fact that the boys are in complete rupture with civilization, have no contact with the outside world, and must live with the glum prospect of never seeing their families and loved ones again.

In Golding's story, the boys get organized (even if in a primitive kind of way) and endure their hardships until a ship does indeed finally come (attracted by the fire) and rescue them. Given the circumstances, it is a wonder that they got by as well as they did...

Two interesting side notes:

  1. Recurring nightmares are one of the symptoms of the syndrome of abandonment.
  2. A child's fear of abandonment is intrisically related to his fear of death (i.e.,  his inability to survive without adult care).
Read the study guide:
Lord of the Flies

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question