Literary Criticism of Lord of the Flies

Topics: English-language films, Literature, William Golding Pages: 2 (426 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Raef Sengupta
2 English H, 7
Literary Criticism of Lord of the Flies
This article was very interesting in that it embraced the idea that perhaps authority figures should not be authority figures, maybe everyone needs to work together. I agree with their conclusion that a balance needs to be formed, this is nearly my view on this matter. First a look needs to be taken at the roles of authority figures and what they really do. Authority figures exist because people need some form of guidance or society will fall down in ruin. If everyone was left to do whatever they wanted, everyone individually would be better off but eventually when the society was inevitably destroyed through a lack of care by the people, they would be much worse off than they would have been originally.

Authority figures’ roles in society are to enforce the rules put up by the government (or higher form of rule whatever that may be). Where do these rules come from? They come directly from the needs of the society, which is formed by the people. In short, these rules seem to hurt the people and help the society, but by helping the society, they are indirectly helping the people.

Onto my view on the topic: I believe that a balance must be reached, but this balance may not be equal as David Spitz’s criticism suggests. Because the rules hurt and help the people both in different (but sometimes very similar) ways, these are the values that must be evened out. “[Piggy] ‘You and your blood, Jack Merridew! You and your hunting! We might have gone home—’” (70). When Jack destroyed the groups chance of going home by going against the rules and hunting instead of watching the signal fire was an example of when the rules need to be enforced better. In this case there wasn’t a balance between how much the rules hurt the people and how much they helped them.

Discussion Questions:
1 Was creating a small-scale society with a leader a smart choice for the boys on the island?...

Bibliography: Spitz, David. "Power and Authority: An Interpretation of Golding 's 'Lord of the Flies '." The Antioch Review 30.1 (Spring 1970): 21-33. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Roger Matuz and Cathy Falk. Vol. 58. Detroit: Gale Research, 1990. Literature Resource Center. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.
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