William Golding’s novel, "Lord of the Flies", may be set on a remote island sparsely populated with young boys who have become stranded and who are trying desperately yet ineffectively to establish and maintain order; however, the lessons that "Lord of the Flies" holds for the reader about the purpose and peril of government remain relevant as metaphors of modern politics. The naïve, inexperienced boys who have unexpectedly found themselves dropped into a place where there are no adults, no social institutions, and no order try to mimic the social organization that they think would reflect the adult world faithfully. One of the most important themes in "Lord of the Flies" is government and its creation and shape. It is created out of necessity: they identify a leader, select symbols that give their society-building enterprise significance, establish rules and norms, and make attempts to fulfill their basic human needs while maintaining workable relationships with one another. Although all of these activities mirror the society from which they have become alienated—a society, which it is worth noting, is experiencing its own collapse due to war—the boys are ultimately unsuccessful in maintaining a workable and livable microcosm. What Golding seems to be saying about government in "Lord of the Flies" is that its institutions and norms will only have meaning and will only be effective if the people who make them and the citizens who agree to them are truly concerned about the greater good and if they understand why these elements of society were established and how they function.
When the boys wreck and find themselves stuck on an island, they are shocked to discover that there are no adults anywhere, and no immediate possibility of rescue is evident. They decide to impose order amongst themselves in a setting that is clearly without order. In terms of the theme of society and government in "Lord of the Flies" the boys... [continues]
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