When The Pink Flamingo was in college, the book I liked least was the Lord of the Flies. I thought it was repulsive. In the paper I wrote about it, I think I mentioned I thought Gilligan’s Island was more socially relevant. I also thought I would never reference that reprehensible piece of you know what – ever.
I was wrong.
I seem to remember the William Golding book was an allegory. (WIKI version of the plot down below)
The way I took the Lord of the Flies, it is a story about what happens when immature schoolboys attempt to govern. It isn’t much different from the weekly crises facing the castaways of Gilligan’s Island (accept it is depraved and repulsive).
I can’t think of a better description of Obama’s Administration – depraved, repulsive, immature, and cast adrift, and so immature and lacking of the basics of civilization that they cannot survive without causing drastic social disasters.
I go back to yesterday’s post about Obama’s juvenile administration and their organizing in high schools and universities. The people he has surrounded himself with are not adults. They have never existed outside of the educational system. They have no other world view.
He truly is the Lord of the Flies!
“The story is set on an isolated island, during a war. A British plane has crashed; there are no adult survivors. Two boys, the fair-haired Ralph and an overweight, bespectacled boy reluctantly nicknamed “Piggy”, form the initial focus, as they begin to make sense of their new surroundings. They soon find a white shell and Piggy suggests that Ralph use the conch as a horn to call for any other survivors who might be nearby. Thus Ralph initiates the island’s first assembly where all of the survivors turn out to be male children, none seemingly over the age of thirteen: “biguns” (a few older boys) and “littluns” (several younger boys).
Two dominant boys emerge: Ralph, and another older boy named Jack Merridew, a bony, freckled redhead who is the head of a choir group that was among the survivors. After a brief election, Ralph is voted chief, losing only the votes of Jack’s loyal fellow choirboys. The newly elected leader encourages everyone to work toward two common goals, the first one being to have fun and the second one to be rescued by maintaining a constant fire signal, which will be lit using Piggy’s glasses. For a time, the boys work together toward erecting shelters, gathering food and water, and keeping the fire going. The choirboys then set their own objective, namely to become the hunters of the local animals.
Jack becomes an immediate threat to Ralph’s leadership, obviously envious of Ralph’s ascent to chief. Actuated by his jealousy, Jack endeavours to empower himself instead by turning his choir group into “hunters”, who are responsible for hunting for meat and taking care of the fire. Together, Ralph, Jack, and a black-haired boy named Simon become the supreme trio among the children, going on a short expedition to confirm that they are indeed on an island. Piggy, the most sensible of the bunch, is quickly outcast by his fellow “biguns” and becomes an unwilling source of mirth for the other children. Simon, in addition to supervising the project of constructing shelters, feels an instinctive need to protect the “littluns”.
The original semblance of order imposed by Ralph quickly deteriorates, with little work being done by most. They fail to put their plans of constructing shelters into action due to their idleness. At one point, Jack summons all of his hunters to hunt down a wild pig, even the ones who were supposed to be maintaining the fire. While they are preying on the pig, a ship passes near the island; however, with no one to maintain the smoke signal, the children are not discovered. Although the chase of the pig turns out to be the group’s first successful hunt, Ralph is greatly infuriated upon learning that they have missed a potential rescue. Around the same time, many of the “littluns” begin to believe that the island is inhabited by a monster, quickly referred to by all as “the beast”. After the smoke signal incident and because of the legendary monster which has begun to fill the boys’ nightmares, Ralph convenes them to refute rumours of such a creature once and for all. The meeting, however, turns into something of a riot and Jack gains control of the discussion by boldly promising to kill the beast, again challenging Ralph’s authority as chief. Later, Ralph envisages relinquishing his position, though Piggy discourages him from doing so while the two of them and Simon yearn hopefully for some guidance from the adult world.
The identical twins Sam and Eric, referred to collectively as “Samneric” are in charge of the signal fire that night, but fall asleep. When they awake, they come across the corpse and the open parachute of a fighter pilot who has landed on the island; reckoning it to be the “beast” they report it during the next assembly. In an expedition to locate such a beast, Ralph and Jack come upon a cavernous part of the island which they christen “Castle Rock”. Ralph and Jack together discover the dead pilot atop the mountain and also fearfully mistake it to be the sleeping beast. Jack blows the conch to call another assembly, over the course of which he confirms the beast’s existence to the others. The meeting results in a schism, splitting the children into two groups. Ralph’s group continues holding the belief that preserving the signal fire is the necessary focus. Jack becomes the chief of his own tribe, focusing on hunting while exploiting the iron-clad belief in the beast. As Jack and the hunters have already slain their first pig, they beguile defectors from Ralph’s group into joining them with the promise of meat, fun, and, most importantly, protection from the beast.
Jack’s tribe gradually becomes more animalistic, emphasising the practice of applying face paint from coloured clay discovered by Samneric and charred remains of trees. The narrative voice in the story reveals to the reader that these painted faces represent the hunters’ masking their more civilized selves in order to liberate their inner “savages”. The face paint becomes a motif which recurs throughout the story, with more intensity toward the end.
Simon, a part of Ralph’s tribe, who had “cracked” and went off looking for the beast by himself, finds the head of the hunters’ dead pig on a stick, left as an offering to the beast. Simon then undergoes a peculiar experience, presumably by hallucination, in which he sees the pig head, swarming with scavenging flies, as the “Lord of the Flies”, and believes that it is talking to him, identifying itself as the real “Beast”. It discloses the truth about itself — that the boys themselves “created” the beast, and that the real beast was inside them all. Simon also locates the dead parachutist who had been mistaken for the beast, and is the sole member of the group to recognise that it is a cadaver instead of a sleeping monster. Simon eventually arrives at the peak of a tribal ritual at Jack’s tribe, pursued by the ravenous flies, and endeavours to explain the truth about the beast and the dead man atop the mountain. However, Jack’s tribe, still reeling in bloodlust from their most recent kill, blindly attack and murder Simon, whom they mistake for the beast. They kill him in the shadows in their now tribal dance and ominously chant “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”. As Ralph took part in the murder along with Piggy, though both indirectly, he now feels intense remorse.
The savages then raid Ralph’s camp and attack the non-hunters in order to steal Piggy’s glasses for making a cooking fire (having grown tired of raiding their camp for burning sticks). By this time, Ralph’s tribe consists of just himself, Piggy, and Samneric, among the remaining “littluns”. They all go to the rock fort of Jack’s tribe at Castle Rock to try to get back Piggy’s glasses so that he can see again. In the ensuing confrontation, the dark boy Roger triggers a rock ambush in which Piggy is struck by a boulder and thrown off the edge of the forty-foot cliff to his death. The conch is shattered simultaneously. Samneric are captured and tortured by Roger to become part of Jack’s tribe. Ralph is forced to flee for his own safety, now completely alone.
The following morning, in the final sequence of the book, Jack and Roger lead their tribe on a manhunt for Ralph with the intention of killing him. Ralph has secretly confessed to Samneric (believing them still loyal to him) where he will hide. The twins, however, are forced to betray Ralph’s position. Yet he escapes with his life in many close calls as the savages tear apart the island to track him down. Jack, now nearly complete in his demonic role as the ultimate savage pursues Ralph. During the pursue, an unnamed savage sets the island foliage ablaze, which has until then been the only source of food and shelter for the boys. Ralph skilfully evades capture on multiple occasions but soon is so stricken by terror and exhaustion from running that he abandons all hope, expecting to be discovered and slain. However, the fire which the unnamed savage has started attracts the attention of a nearby warship.
A naval officer lands on the island near where Ralph is lying, and his sudden appearance brings the children’s fighting to an abrupt halt. Upon learning of the boys’ activities, the officer remarks that he would have expected better from British boys, believing them only to be playing a game, unaware of the two murders (of Simon and Piggy) that have occurred and the imminent occurrence of a third one. In the final scene, although now certain that he will be rescued after all, Ralph cries, in mourning for his friend Piggy, his own loss of innocence, and his newfound awareness of the darkness of human nature.”