When humans are pushed to survive, they are willing to do anything to do so, or at least that is what William Golding believes. But is he right? In the novel “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, a group of boys are stranded on an island and have to survive, however as the story progresses a majority of the boys become barbaric and savage, taking it so far as to kill each other in the process. The vision that Golding is trying to capture is the notion that under the pressure of a dire situation, human’s natural instincts come to light and we become narcissistic, evil, and savage. Using the development of Jack and his gang, Golding tries to show us that even kids aren’t immune to the savage instincts all humans have under the right circumstances. But sadly, in my opinion, I feel he missed the mark entirely. It is TRUE stories, like the Andes and Chilean miner survivors that show us what humans really do when under survival circumstances. I believe with all of my heart that under even the worst circumstances, people will work together to survive and can do so without any fighting. Although I do agree that when in a situation happens like the kids were in, it can become easy to lose touch with reality and do abnormal things with the goal of survival, but the way Golding used that concept to help his point is simply false. I also think that if the goal of the story was to help his point, which he could have done a lot better. For starters, the two people I would consider “evil” in the story clearly had mental problems before they even got stranded. Jack was only in the academic/military institution the other kids were a part of because he had a knack for trouble, narcissistic attitude, and drove his parents car on the highway. It can be reasonably guessed his parents sent him away to avoid dealing with his obvious problems, which only manifested on the island. Roger on the other hand simply likes hurting people and is downright evil. In both the book and movie Roger is considered someone who always took things too far and “someone who kept to himself with avoidance and secrecy”. (pg.33) It is obvious that the survival situation did not create the people Jack and Roger became, the situation simply brought out the worst qualities inside them and enabled them to do what they wanted to do without any repercussions, using fear and promises of food as a way to gain followers. Nobody is born with a darkness inside of them, it is something that is developed either from abuse, neglect, or lack of a role model. Have had troubled lives and sadly succumbed to their own demons. But even with this perceived “gateway to savagery”, it is not a guarantee the person will become one. A majority of people do not even have this quality, like Ralph and Piggy, who just want order, respect, and equality to make things work for everyone else on the island, going as far as to take turns using a conch so everyone’s problem/opinion in the group could be heard. Golding using the idea of everyone being savage at heart was just not a good fit for this movie, because only two people were truly the savages, while the rest of the kids were just caught in the whirlwind and chaos that followed. I firmly believe that in most cases if people resort to savagery, it does not happen “naturally” like it did to Jack and Roger, nor is it traditional savagery where you are resorting to barbaric instincts as portrayed in Lord of The Flies.  A perfect example of this idea is in the nonfiction story-turned movie called “Stranded”. The film, based on a true story, is about a plane full of young men and family who crash in the Andes mountains. The narrators retelling the situation consist of close friends, who were a part of the rugby team that survived the crash and what they had to do to maintain their own survival. These people crashed in probably one of the most uninhabitable places on the planet, and managed to survive based off of mutual respect, working together, and maintaining hope. Although there were many people on the plane, pretty much only the rugby players survived, and they knew that maintaining mutual respect and order was key to them all surviving and in fact was the sole reason why any of them survived. For example, when they first crashed there was not much food, so they rationed everything to make it last as long as possible, and made sure everyone was fed equally. Nobody valued themselves above anyone else, and that was clear in the group from the start, the group even went as far as to take turns sleeping on certain spots in the cockpit since some were more warm and comfortable than others. Speaking of the cockpit, during the halfway mark of their survival situation, the cockpit caved in with snow and people were drowning and freezing to death under the heavy blanket. Instead of people clawing their way out of the snow and warming up their hands/bodies, they dug franticly for other people making the situation not as fatal as it could have potentially been. If anything the situation overall made them more human and closer to each other, not bring out their worst savage-like qualities like Goldings theory suggests. The only time anyone would have been considered a savage or instinctual event was when the group made the decision to eat the deceased after they ran out of food and were dying of malnutrition. The group hated the idea but frankly had no choice, it was either choosing to live or choosing to die because of something morally wrong. It is situations like these that make resorting to savagery acceptable, because the group needed food, and still maintained a mutual respect and understanding for each other throughout the process. This was something they had to do, unlike Jack and Roger, who willingly succumbed to their own savage qualities and chaotic instincts by tormenting and killing humans and animals alike without no real cause. What makes Stranded such a good story is that you respect the characters and what they did to survive, hoping that you’d be with people like them in a survival situation. This story shows that rather than humans turning into savages, we actually become more caring and most importantly more human. Another true survival story is the Chilean miners, and their 69 day breathtaking story of surviving in the heart of a mountain 2,300 feet below ground level, with their only hope of escape blocked by an endless wall of rock. Just like the andes survivors, these men survived by respecting each other, working together, and keeping their hope of rescue intact. Right from the start, the shift supervisor Urzua makes it clear that nobody is in charge, and that they all will make decisions together. The men try to find a route out, such as crawling through the smoke space or lifting rocks away from the entrance, and although both attempts were fails, the men still maintained hope. Although later on there were some rough patches like fellow workers stealing food, everyone eventually begins to work together and keep eachother hopeful of rescue, rationing meals of 300 calorie meals a day per man. These men displayed cooperation and order, none of them displayed forms of savagery or evil like Golding suggests people would. They functioned as a group just like the andes survivors did, and I bet just like how the group in Lord of The Flies would have worked if it weren’t for the antagonists. To further my point, the Chilean men ran out of food, they all slowly starve together and get ready to die with their heads held high, instead of exploring other option to ensure at least some peoples survival. thinking nobody will find them. By day 17 a pipe breaks through the rock, allowing the rescuers to both hear the men and give them food, which they rationed equally. It was not until day 69 the miners were rescued, and there were no casualties or hate lingering among the men, because when it came down to it they new that they were all human and had the same needs. Because of the comfort they gave each other and hope that eventually flourished, they all pulled through. Even without sunlight for that amount of time, the men still had most of their sanity and most importantly their humanity. If Goldings theory applied to these men, they would not have all made it out of there alive. Golding simply just has it all wrong, survival does not bring out the worst in people or prove we are all instinctual and savage at heart, it infact brings us closer and forces us to work together. Helping in maintaining order and using combined brain power to make the best of the situation we are in and survive without losing ourselves in the process. That is what Piggy and Ralph tried to do, and that is what the Andes and Chilean survivors succeeded in doing. Lord of The Flies overall was a poor attempt by Golding to prove a point by creating a fictitious story that illustrated a group of innocent children mixed in with 2 insane ones, slapping on the label of “everyone is evil/savage at heart” as if that portrays his idea. The Andes and Chilean survivors illustrate the exact opposite, and in fact prove that hope, respect, teamwork and most importantly the fight to keep humanity intact through thick and thin is the real driving force of survival and who we are deep down even though we may not even know it yet.


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