To What Extent Does a Marxist Reading of Lord of the Flies Lead to a Fuller Understanding of the Novel?

1888 WordsMay 2, 20138 Pages
To what extent does a Marxist reading of ‘Lord of the Flies’ lead to a fuller understanding of the novel? ‘Lord of the Flies’ is based almost entirely on Golding’s view that evil is an inherent force in every man, “man produces evil as a bee produces honey”. Golding acquired this belief while he was a soldier in the Second World War. From that point on, he became extremely pessimistic about human nature, calling it “the disease of being human”. This belief is shown very clearly, as he puts ‘innocent’ children on a deserted island, free of all corruption; free of an external threat, therefore with no need of an army; abundant in food and supplies, therefore with no need to steal. Therefore, what evil was left could only come from the…show more content…
pig Napoli overthrows the power of Snowball because lot of the animals liked and approved to Snowball more, much like Jack overthrows Ralph for the same reason. This gives rise to Karl Marx’s argument that “It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness”. This means that as both novels were ‘produced’ by the socio-political and economic circumstances, namely the Cold War, a dystopian era. The Marxist theory of Class Conflict also helps us understand the novel better. It could be argued that the groups that form on the island can be considered as ‘classes’. As the boys splinter into factions, some behave peacefully and work together to maintain order and achieve common goals, while others rebel and seek only anarchy and violence. It could be seen that Ralph and Piggy are the ruling class, the bourgeoisie, and Jack and his hunters are the working class, the proletariat. This is because Ralph clearly establishes his role as the chief, with an almost unanimous consent from the boys, which gives him the power to rule over them. Alternatively, it could be argued that Jack possesses the highest Class status on the island, due to his ‘ownership’ of the choir, his hunters, he says to Ralph, “See? They do what I want”. Here it could clearly be seen that Jack and his group no longer

More about To What Extent Does a Marxist Reading of Lord of the Flies Lead to a Fuller Understanding of the Novel?

Open Document