Lord of the Flies Review
DISCLAIMER: Here is the perspective of a reader whose thoughts are based on his own intuitions, on the most likely. It does not mean to say that everything here is valid.
In Lord of the Flies, Golding clearly creates a world that can obviously be seen in the psychological perspective. His critical thinking of “what-if’s” led to the structure of his “fable”, hence the plot of the book. What if we leave a group of schoolboys stranded on an island? The possibilities one might come to think would be of diversity, but in the end, would lead to Golding’s Lord of the Flies.
Many critical analyses mention human nature as the integral core of Lord of the Flie, indicating Original Sin as inevitable. In the same way, human psychology is also the most fitting for the core of this acclaimed literature. One motive of Golding would be “thinking about thinking”, where he creates the irony of how we, humans, would react. This leads to more approaches that are good to note of:
1. Politically-speaking, humans are basically unsustainable. This example of psychological reaction is the most evident in the book, showing a clear struggle between democracy and totalitarianism. We are shown that democracy clearly overpowers a dictator, although we are shown that this, however sensible it may be, is not sustainable and open for deterioration.
2. Culturally-speaking, humans think similarly in different mediums. Let us take note of the fact that these schoolboys are British — British schoolboys based from Golding’s time, so if we are to put another culture in Golding’s world, then the reaction would be different. They may have a different type of leadership. They may have a different type of resolution, of sending signals, of conflict — who knows? And yet, Golding seems to convince us that Original Sin is indeed inevitable. The end justifies the means, and the ending would still be similar, one way or another.
3. Equally-speaking, humans violate one another. One aspect of this book I would like to point out is that there is always discrimination. Always, especially to piggy. However, in the most logical sense, this would be more intense with the presence of the opposite gender. Take note how no females were present, except for the cutter who appeared at the end of the story. But there is a reason, of course — the plane that crashed was full of schoolboys since girls were differentiated at the moment. However, say we change the situation: the time and the people riding the plane. Say females were part of the plane, then the plane crashes — what would be of the story? Of course, it is likely that there would be a more horrific possibility, considering that psychology drives to sin. And what these girls might fear might be inevitable. Note that this is viewed in the most feminist way possible, but when human nature is involved, feminism or equality can never be considered. Even equality with piggy must be taken note of.
4. Psychologically-speaking, humans are fairly suggestible and fragile. Golding convinces us that we are easily persuaded by one in the need of order. Moreover, it is shown in The Lord of the Flies that when people are in a crowd they tend to act in the most possible way a group would — biased and opposed in the sense of peer pressure (Jack’s tribe). However, when left individually, the person would act in the most rational way possible (Ralph). This characteristic of suggestibility has its downfall, though: overthinking. With suggestibility comes the response of overthinking, such as how the boys thought of a beast. Then, sanity would be lost, for overthinking leads to fragility, hence Ralph’s loss in proper speech and his abrupt snickers and Jack’s animal-like reactions that influence his tribe.
All in all, Lord of the Flies is a serious psychological book that approaches the effects when human nature is put into test. It is in the end of the book where the results are revealed: humans are basically … evil. Or are we?