if you were among the boys were dropped in the island, how will you save yourselves from evil?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both of these answers are fascinating.  My first response is this:  are you, the person being dropped on the island, a male or a female? It seems to be to be a very relevant issue, especially in the context of the "alpha male" response, for indeed that is what Golding is investigating here. If, as some psychologists have suggested, women have a different "way of being," one that fosters relationships rather than individualism and competition, and a woman negotiates rather than tries to overrule by means of force, the dynamics of the situation would be very different. Some critics see the boys playing out the Freudian struggle for power in the form of paternal (male) authority.  What if a female, representing "maternal" authority, were introduced? Would she work to form bonds among the different factions? If we are speculating here, we might think, "perhaps." This is not to discount the reality of "alpha girls" and "mean girls" which have gotten a good deal of attention these days, but just to remind ourselves that Golding is dealing with boys here, very specifically "mankind," not "humankind" of mixed genders.

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ah...but this is the essential question of Golding's novel, yes?  Can mankind save themselves from evil?  Perhaps not.  A penchant towards warring and self-interest appears to be a part of human nature. 

However, respecting others boundaries, not preying on weaknesses and working together might save them (us) from destruction, if not from evil itself. 

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Lord of the Flies

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