1. draupnir
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    draupnir Member

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    Lord of the Flies problem

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by draupnir, Aug 4, 2008.

    This has bugged me since I studied the book in school - where are the females in Lord of the Flies? For me leaving them out is a major flaw that undermines the message.

    All we get is Piggy's auntie isn't it? (or do I forget some...) And that's a fairly small mention.

    You may say that adding girls in would confuse the issues, and well it might. But how can LOTF hope to be a successful study of the corruption of mankind or of the human condition or what is innate in us etc, if it excludes a whole gender? I mean any study of loss of innocence is redundant with just one gender.

    Isn't it?
    (Btw I know there are no adults either, but I think that's understandable and needs to be so)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It was a boys' school trip. But it's also a very allegorical piece of writing, and Golding undoubtedly felt that the descent into savagery would be best be exposed through male aggression.

    You call it a study, but I see it more as a statement that Golding was wrapping in a neat package of fiction. There was never an intention to expose the counter-arguments, because it wasn't his job to do so.
     
  3. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    It was a "Boys School" as Cogito said. Co-ed would have been out of place in the story.

    Anything else beyond that is speculation on the readers part.
     
  4. draupnir
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    draupnir Member

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    Thanks for commenting!

    I may have just been a boy's school, but I think we could have stretched our suspension of disbelief to allowing a mixed gender school...

    And that's what I meant, about how it's allegorical. I think its "hidden moral meaning" is compromised by its lack of a parallel with the real world. A big part of human morality is the relationship between the genders.

    I respect that, and I spose it's hard to see what he would have done plotwise with stereotypical girls, but isn't it true that in life a lot of male agression is spawned by women. Although I guess the characters in LOTF are too young to be getting embrolied in tales of sexual jealousy anyway.

    In the end I spose that's true. The story comes first.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Gender-segregated schooling was very common in Golding's time and culture.

    But if you feel the message could have been covered better in a story with a gender mix, it sounds like you have the basis for a story of your own to write.
     
  6. Mousie
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    Mousie Contributing Member

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    We have Simon. That's close enough. :p

    I've been reading too many fanfictions... ./laugh
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Quite true. I have to wonder (pure speculation on my part) if Golding, living and writing when he did, excluded female characters because the theme of the story would have exposed them (literally and literarily) to cruelties not really write-about-able in his time?
     
  8. sfr
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    sfr Contributing Member

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    Wasn't the navy ship that rescued them at the end supposed to draw a parallel to the real world.
    I think to a certain degree that is true, but we all make our own decisions. Finally to Wreybies
    What kind of cruelties would this have exposed them to that they were not already subject to, and why wouldn't Golding want to exposed them literarily?
     
  9. runlikeyastolesomethin
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    runlikeyastolesomethin Member

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    I think another reason why girls couldn't be included is the level of maturity. Ralph, Piggy, Samneric, Simon and Jack are all about the same age, and since young girls tend to mature faster than boys, the interactions wouldn't be the same as it would be in the real world.
     
  10. EyezForYou
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    EyezForYou Active Member

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    Let's not generalize and stereotype men.

    Or boys, for that matter.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The theme of the story is about just how thin the surface veneer of civilization truly is, and how much the animal man truly is just under the surface. In the western literature of the time Golding wrote this book, it was already extremely risky to have used children, but to have had little girls suffering at the hand of man-the-animal would have pushed the envelope more than I think could have been accepted. Purely my conjecture, of course.

    Remember that we are reading this story with the jaded eyes of the 21st century. We get bored if the death scene in the latest action movie doesn't actually make us wipe blood from our faces in the audience.
     
  12. sfr
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    sfr Contributing Member

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    I see.
     
  13. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Oh that was so painfully true it was funny!
     
  14. J Done
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    J Done Member

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    Not that funny.
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I was pleased with it. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Adelaide
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    Adelaide Member

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    I think, in addition to what Wreybies and others have said, the introduction of girls would have added the issue of sexuality which was simply not crucial to Golding's theme (as nicely stated by Wreybies). His intent for writing the book was very narrow, which isn't a bad thing, it just eliminates the call for additional thematic elements.
     
  17. mistressoftheflies
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    mistressoftheflies Member

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    William Golding said that women are better people or something to that effect in the movie commentary (more humorous than offensive)

    I don't think girls needed to be on the island anyways.
    It wouldn't add anything beneficial, in my opinion.
     

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