LITERATURE: Lord Of The Flies – Conflict

It is especially interesting to be reading this book in this political atmosphere of an election year, where people are divided in their views, in their choices, and particularly, in their priorities of what is most valuable to them in a society.

A small band of boys survives a plane crash on an isolated island and must learn to survive. Organization and leadership becomes the first priority and all go along with the choices made–for a while. Then they become divided by their values. For Ralph, rescue is uppermost and so the keeping up of a fire to attract help from passing ships is his focus. For Frank, hunting becomes primary. But since both keeping up the fire and the hunting of the wild pigs requires a good majority of the older boys, one or the other task may suffer from lack of cooperation. This, fueled by two strong personalities and different driving forces, creates the first signs of a division within the group.

While one may think that the difference in the two boys is that one is reaching for intelligent solutions while the other is relying on basic instincts, there may be more to it. There is the basic adolescent need to establish one’s self-identity. To fulfill their natural instinct to prove themselves. While Piggy is a prime example of a willing follower, Ralph and Frank are more intent on their inner battle to preserve dominance and order. Even Frank’s descent into a savage hunter is a strong bid for leadership.

In this story, there is the condensed version of the human race. I’m not sure how the book ends, but I know the story goes on still, every day.

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