Lord of the Flies by William Golding is a classic novel that is known as one of the greatest pieces of literature and has been for decades, because of how it relates to people and events that have happened. As the island is a microcosm of the world, the book mirrors what’s going on in the real world. The main themes of the book are Good Vs. Evil, Civilization Vs. Savagery, Power and Survival, which can easily be related to by most people – both now, when the book was written and probably also in the future.
Personally, the book taught me a lot about how people deal with situations when under pressure, people’s need for power and how easy it really if for a war to break out and I found that in my mind I could easily link what was going on in the book, with recent events I had heard about. It also let me think about similar situations that I had been in and how my reactions compared to the characters in the book.
When the book was written in the 1950’s the fight for power in the book seemed a lot like World War Two and I found that Jack could easily be compared to Adolf Hitler, as they both gained their power in the same way, by giving the people what they wanted. Jack offered the boys on the island food and shelter, and even though Ralph had better intentions than Jack, he couldn’t give them what they wanted as he knew he had to look at the bigger picture, rather than just show them a comfortable lifestyle.
Jack did the opposite, he didn’t think about how they needed to be rescued, he focused on giving the people what they wanted to gain their loyalty and as most people would they didn’t think about the future and chose what was best for them now. The main problem was the Jack’s want for power grew, just like some other leaders such as Saddam Husain who led the Ba’ath Party and Slobodam Molosovic who was president of Serbia and Yugoslavia. You can see this when Jack says, “I’m going off by myself… Any one that wants to hunt when I do can come too. I think this shows how great his lust for power was, as it made him break off from everyone else just so he could lead his own group. Saddam Husain was like Jack as he promised his followers he would get more land for his country, but failed and instead made his people suffer, while Slobodam Molosovic refused to give up his rule over Serbia and Yugoslavia, because he didn’t want to lose power and ended up killing a lot of them in the process.
Also the way the war ended was similar to the end of the book, as the war was finished when America stepped in, while the book ended when an adult found them and put an end to it. The book also shows a lot about the survival of the fittest, which can be seen when looking at the character Piggy. I think Piggy was shown as the smartest boy on the island, he had good ideas and he was very level headed and because of the he should have been the leader. He knew what had to be done to survive and to get them rescued, but because of his physical appearance he was looked down on.
This can be seen right at the beginning of the book where he offers to go with Jack and Ralph to explore the island, but Jack turns him down saying “You’re no good for a job like this” as he was overweight and has asthma. Although there are no famous examples showing this, it is common thing that I’ve come across and I think that most others have as well. What happened on the island in Lord of the Flies is also similar to the split of Korea, which happened in the 1950’s. Although there were a lot more people and events involved in the split of Korea, the two events have the same basic idea.
Korea split up because they couldn’t agree on how Korea should be governed. Some thought that communism would be better, while others though democracy, which is a lot like Lord of the Flies as the groups split up for similar political reasons. Piggy’s death was also a lot like an event that happened Korea, where a North Korean soldier killed a South Korean tourist at Mt. Keumgang, a popular mountain resort. Both deaths were completely unnecessary and neither of them had a good reason behind it.
In conclusion I think that Lord of the Flies relates to the world in many ways, as different characters and events in the book are similar to ones that have really happened. The links between the fictional and non-fictional events are apparent and because of it Golding managed to add a lot more depth to the book. Before I really analyzed the book, it seemed like a story about a group of boys stuck on an island, but when I took the time to look at it, I found there was much more to the story and it made me realize a lot about human nature that I hadn’t seen before.