War in LOTF


An exploration of the theme of War in Lord of The Flies
Emily Ball
Mind Map by Emily Ball, updated more than 1 year ago
Emily Ball
Created by Emily Ball over 7 years ago

Resource summary

War in LOTF
  1. War is a constant theme in the novel, the boys are surrounded by it throughout the book.
    1. The dead parachutist who lands on the island was gunned down during an overhead battle.
      1. " "If only they could get a message to us," cried Ralph desperately."
        1. This makes the arrival of the parachutists ironic, as it is almost as though the adult world is trying to tell the boys about the destruction of their homes.
      2. Even the naval officer who rescues them is involved in the war - what sort of life would the boys return to?
        1. "What have you been doing? Having a war or something?"
          1. The naval officer who rescues them asks them this. This is sickly ironic and reminds readers of how the boys viewed war as a game at he start of the novel.
            1. This reduces the boys' power and distinguishes ideas of 'the beast' - even allusions to society/civilisation can override the beast. It undermines the prior events - Simon and Piggy's deaths seem meaningless, reduced to a game rather than a display of man's essential illness.
          2. War influences the boys from the start of the novel.
            1. "Ralph danced out into the hot air of the beach and then returned as a fighter-plane, with wings swept back, and machine-gunned Piggy."
              1. Even Ralph, the 'fair boy', finds violence entertaining and fun at the very beginning of the novel.
          3. It is the reason the boys are on the island in the first place - the plane that crashed was evacuating them from Britain during a fictional nuclear war.
            1. "Didn't you hear what the pilot said? About the atom bomb? They're all dead"
            2. The civilisation from which they were trying to escape is being destroyed, or is already gone.
              1. "Roger's arm was conditioned by a civilisation that knew nothing of him and was in ruins."
                1. This shows the power of civilisation - although it is 'in ruins' it still has power over the boys and their beliefs. This is also sad, as it suggests their families are dead - Ralph believed devoutly in his father and he has died without Ralph's knowledge.
              2. Ralph's father is a commanding officer in the navy - he is proud of this. Even the character who tried to keep peace came from a home that revolved around war.
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