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Some Historical Context for LORD OF THE FLIES
Transcript of Some Historical Context for LORD OF THE FLIES
Before beginning a novel, it is important to learn about
the historical conditions that existed at the time the
novel was written. Global events/situations that were
occurring at the time of publication may have influenced
the writing and the topics discussed. With Lord of the Flies,
this is DEFINITELY the case!
Fill in the blanks on your handout as we go along...
This novel was written by William Golding and
was first published in 1954. At the time the novel was written, the world was still getting over the devastation of World War II, and had entered into The Cold War.
The Cold War
The war began in the years after WWII (1945 - )
and it officially lasted until the fall of the Berlin Wall
in 1989. The threat of nuclear war after the United
States used two atomic weapons on Japan was the
primary cause of The Cold War.
The world was on edge and it seemed that
a nuclear fallout was inevitable. A divide in ideologies between the Communist countries and the Republican/Democratic countries caused the world to fear a nuclear war.
The war was mainly between the Communist countries,
such as the Soviet Union (now known as Russia) and the
Democratic/Replublican countries, such as the United States.
Although no nuclear weapons were used during
The Cold War, both sides demonstrated an ability to
use them. Citizens around the world prepared for
attack by building bomb shelters, stock-piling food,
and even having "nuclear drills" in school. It was not
until the Soviet Union broke apart and the Berlin
Wall fell that the war ended.
The Berlin Wall represented the divide between East and
West Germany - the communists in the East and the
democratic citizens in the West.
This historical event is significant to
Lord of the Flies
because characters in the novel become trapped on an
island after their plane crashes. The plane is evacuating
from England because a nuclear war has started.
Throughout the novel Golding explores how a seemingly civil
society can break apart and deteriorate because of a few leaders'
decisions. Those themes reflect Golding's lifetime experiences.
He was born in 1911 in Cornwall, England.
He was part of the Royal Navy and served
during WWII. Once the war was over, he began
a teaching career. He is most known for
of the Flies.