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Lord of the Flies political analysis

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Maxwell Berry

on 24 September 2012

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Transcript of Lord of the Flies political analysis

Lord of The Flies Political Analysis Setting and historical context The setting of Lord of The Flies is Obviously World War Two, or at least a time period similar to it "The Battle fought at ten miles above" (page 106) We know this is World War two because at the start of chapter six it describes a dogfight, and earlier on in the book Piggy describes an atom bomb, both of which are historical clues that lead to World War Two. Max Berry, Logan Clegg, Laura Sills "Not them, didn't you hear what the pilot said? About the atom bomb?" (page 9) We know that the setting involves world war two, but does that mean that the characters are allegories for major players in the war? Jack Merridew Ralph He represents Winston Churchill (and democratic leaders in general), physically and mentally. Ralph shares many physical characteristics with Churchill, seeing that "he might make a boxer, as far as width and heaviness of shoulders went but there was a mildness about his mouth and eyes that proclaimed no devil" (page 5) While it's obvious churchill was a fit person, you can also take boxer to mean something else... The breed of Dog known as a boxer has a smashed face, but is very muscly. Kind of like Old Winston Churchill. Given the previous passage, it could be seen as referring to a young Churchill or even Older Churchill Ralph represents the ideals of a democratic society, it is he who puts forth the vote for chief in the early moments of the plot. It is worth noting, that he wins nearly unanimously save for one group. From the first few pages of the novel the boys showed signs of a democratic setting. On page 22 the boys on the island voted as group to nominated a chief.
"Let's have a vote!."
"Vote for chief!" However this form of government did not last long when Jack and his followers left to start a new group at Castle Rock. Jack represents a dictatorship.
"Jack turned to Ralph and spoke between his teeth. "See? They do what I want."" page 179 Piggy represents an intellectual figure. Piggy wanted to create a list the boy's names in order to identify them.
"I told you to get a list of names!" page 46

"Piggy leaned down to him. "What's your name?''' page 18

"What's gown-ups going to think?" Piggy speaking to the boys about their foolish behavior ( letting fires out, hunting pigs, etc). page 91

"It's them that haven't no common sense that make trouble on this island." - Piggy page 132 However, the boys did not respect Piggy and his thoughts. They never listened to what he has to say. "I got the conch. You let me speak!" -Piggy
"You shut up." - Jack

"You shut up, you fat slug!" - Jack speaking to Piggy Piggy's glasses are needed to create the fire. The fire is necessary for the boy's rescue. Piggy's glasses = philanthropy symbol No fire = no hope or civilization
Without the glasses, fire is not possible therefore rescue is impossible.

" No fire; no smoke; no rescue." page 184 "Piggy's glasses flashed." page 24

"His specs-use them as burning glasses!" - Jack page 40 Civilization, intellectualism, and philanthropy dies when Piggy is killed. "The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand of white fragments and ceased to exist." page 181 Savagery on the island increases when Piggy is killed. "The breaking of the conch and the deaths of Piggy and Simon lay over the island like a vapor. These painted savages would go further and further." (attempting to murder Ralph) page 184

"They were savages it was true; but they were human, and the ambushing fears of the deep night were coming on." page 186 Thomas Foster explains in "How to read Literature Like a Professor" that authors write about a society that relates to political reality of the present time. "Writers tend to be men and women who are interested in the world around them. That world contains many things, and on the level of society, part of what it contains is the political reality of the time." chapter 13 page 115 The society in Lord of the Flies consist of savagery and death. Since World War II is occurring during the setting, savagery and death is likely in the political system of that time period. Political figure Thomas Jefferson can be related to Piggy. Thomas Jefferson influenced the Declaration of Independence which freed America.
Piggy's glasses were needed to ignite the fire. The smoke from the fire was necessary to free the boys on the island. Jack shows characteristics
that are very similar to those
of Adolf Hitler He seized power by
-Promising food
-promising a better life
-both had scapegoats The death of Simon Symbolizes
the start of savagery on the island,
as does Kristelnacht represent the
start of the Holocaust. Jacks assistant Roger
is similar to Hitler's
assistant Heinrich Himmer,
they both enjoy killing and
torturing. Hitler never preformed
any acts, he just compelled
others to do so, Like jack Roger gathered a handful of stones and began to throw them. Yet there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which he dare not throw. Here, invisible yet strong, was the taboo of the old life. Round the squatting child was the protection of parents and school and policemen and the law.
-Chapter 4 “Jack ignored him, Ralph lifted his spear and began to shout. ‘Listen, all of you. Me and my hunters, we’re living along the beach by a flat rock. We hunt and feast and have fun. If you want to join my tribe come and see us. Perhaps I’ll let you join. Perhaps not’ -- Chapter 7 “The yelling ceased and Samneric lay looking up in quiet terror. Roger advanced upon them as one wielding a nameless authority. (pg 182) “A thing was crawling out of the forest. It came darkly, uncertainly. The shrill screaming that rose before the beast was like a pain. The beast stumbled into the horseshoe. ‘Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!’ "
--Chapter 9 Key Difference between Jack and Ralph: Ralph refuses to acknowledge the existence of the beast (for a time) Whereas Jack encourages the boys to believe, but insists that they are strong enough to overcome the beast. Piggy also symbolizes a philanthropist because he always tries to help everyone. When a six year old child fell and could not get up, "Piggy helped him up." page 17 Sources Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Coward-McCann, 1962. Print.

Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading between the Lines. New York: Quill, 2003. Print.

"Piggy - Lord of the Flies." Shvoong. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2012. <http://www.shvoong.com/books/1721286-piggy-lord-flies/>.
"Democracies don't go to war with each other." - Margaret Thatcher ( former Prime Minister of England The boys were more peaceful as a democratic society. Jack's dictatorship started violence, death, and war with Ralph. "Simon's dead body moved out toward the open sea." page 154 "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" Page 152 "There's another thing. We can help them to find us. If a ship comes near the island they may not notice us. So we must make smoke on top of the mountain. We must make a fire." page 38 "expression of a parent who has to keep up with
the senseless ebullience of the children" page 38
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