Lord of the Flies: World War II’s Impact
Lord of the Flies by William Golding was influenced strongly by his experiences as a naval officer during World War II. Golding’s wartime service gave him a darker and more realistic look on life, and contributed to the novel’s imagery. As Golding described, World War II woke him up from his falsified beliefs about human nature by showing him the true human condition (“Lord of the Flies,” Novels 175). Lord of the Flies, as Golding explained, is “an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature” (qtd. in “Lord of the Flies,” Novels 189). William Golding based much of Lord of the Flies on his World War II experiences, which provided for a more realistic and accurate…show more content… It provided the Allied Forces with roughly $45 billion of support, nearly $30 billion of which went to the British Empire. However, even with US aid, Britain was still devastated by bombing raids, which destroyed not only public works but private estates as well. Britain economy steeply declined and luxuries her citizens once took for granted, such as meat, bread, and tobacco, were rationed even post-war. For the first time in history, Britain was a debtor nation (“Lord of the Flies,” World 228-231). Although her economy is relatively stable in the 21st century, the United Kingdom was never as great as she was pre-World War II.
The rise of the Soviet Union (USSR) as a new world superpower brought tension between the USSR and the United States. Although the 1950’s was generally nonviolent, confined to only minor conflicts, there was a threatening, looming tension between the two world superpowers. The tension reached its peak when the US completed its first successful hydrogen bomb test. A second, more powerful bomb was successfully detonated in 1954 by the US. Public fallout shelters were established in major cities, and bomb drills were practiced as frequently as fire drills today. The nuclear war that Lord of the Flies suggested was not out of the realm of possibility at its time of publication