The book,”Lord of the Flies” parallels exactly to the horrible accounts of the Holocaust.
It took place during the same time, and many ideas and events are very similar. The Holocaust was a huge inspiration on Golding’s book, and like the Holocaust,
Golding creates a setting, that’s in a sense, secret. They also both took place during World War II. Just like in the beginning, when the boys first landed on the island,
before the Holocaust even began, the boys were unified as one tribe. However,underneath the surface, problems were rising. Piggy was referred to only by his derisive nickname, much in the same way as Jews were stripped of their real names and called ‘Jew bastard’or ‘kike’. “You’re talking too much,” said Jack merridew, “Shut up fatty.” Laughter arose (Golding 21) This is only one of the many examples of the boys degrading Piggy. Jews weren’t ever treated quite as fairly as Germans. They were discriminated because of their race,religion, and mostly just because they were living a better life than the Germans. Ralph was the leader. He thought things out with his right hand man, Piggy. Together they were very intelligent, and were respected by most of the boys. Ralph who represents Neville Chamberlain, who was England Prime Minister before World War II was infamous for allowing Hitler to invade the Sudetenland without consequence. Jack would represent Adolf Hitler.
He wanted power, and would do anything to get it. Like Hitler, Jack was a very good public speaker. He said what people wanted to hear, that they would have fun, and eat meat, in a time when meat sounded very good to the boys, when they were on the verge of starvation from hunger. He took advantage of his abilities to hunt and the weakness of the boys, just as Hitler did. He would find in this downtrodden people, an audience very willing to listen. In his speeches, Hitler offered what they needed most, encouragement.
He gave them heaps of vague promises while avoiding the details. Hitler didn’t work alone. He had his right hand man who was in charge of the extermination of his enemies. Roger was Jack’s chief executioner and Adolf Eichmann had the job of ridding Germany of Jews. You could tell in the beginning that Jack would rebel. He always had a different view than Ralph, and you could see some envy of Ralph in him. “We want meat-” “And we don’t get it”…”We need shelters” Suddenly Jack shouted in rage. “Are you accusing-?” ” All I’m saying is we’ve worked dashed hard. That’s all.” They were both red in the face and found looking at each other difficult (Golding 51). Ralph had his group- Piggy, Simon, and some of the “littluns”. They were the thinkers of the boys. They represented the Jews, and Jack hated them for it because Jack’s main worry was hunting while Ralph tried to focus on the fire and getting rescued. Their ideas clashed and so did they.
One of Hitler’s main problems with Jews was that they were so smart and they were living a wealthier life than everyone else, and hogging all of the luxuries that could and should be the Germans. That’s when Jack formed his new tribe with the choir boys, then known as the hunters, on the other side of the island. “I’m going off by myself. He can catch his own pigs. Anyone who wants to hunt when I do can come too.”(Golding 127). This is similar to Hitler’s forming of the Nazis.
Jack recruited Roger who was a more sadistic member of the tribe. All of his tribe members played a very evil part, and most of them were only interested in killing. They thought it was exciting and enjoyed it. They were forced to rebel against Ralph, and they symbolized the people who were forced into torturing the Jews. They would torture, or be tortured. It was a simple answer for most, as it was for Sam and Eric. They were the public, easily convinced and lead into traps in which they didn’t think for themselves anymore. This is when it changes from a democracy to a dictatorship,exactly what happened after Hitler became leader.
In the book, Jack made all of his followers call him chief, respect him, and acknowledge when he was done speaking. The two savages looked at each other, raised their spears and spoke in time. “The Chief has spoken.”(Golding 141).He made them march together, and look very well organized and unified. On October 13,1930, dressed in their brown shirts, the elected Nazi deputies marched in unison into the
Reichstag and took their seats. When the roll call was taken, each one shouted, “Present! Heil Hitler!” . Both of these examples have alot of similarities. Both show the obedience the leaders had over their followers. They were all brainwashed, and this statement goes to both Jack’s tribe and the Nazis. This brainwashing even got to a point where killing was okay. They didn’t really think twice about it. They all thought what they were doing was right, they didn’t realize what they were doing, and didn’t look at the big picture. …Roger, with a sense of delirious abandonment, leaned all his weight on the lever…The rock struck Piggy with a glancing blow (Golding 180). This statement describes Roger’s feelings about killing, and it obviously doesn’t matter that much to him. He wasn’t thinking before he acted.
When Simon was coming down the mountain to tell everyone that there really wasn’t a beast, it was just a dead body from war, they mistook Simon himself for the beast because they were so riled up from the feast and the dance, they actually tricked themselves into thinking Simon was something else. Even after, when they knew what they were doing they kept tearing Simon apart. The beast was on its knees in the center, its arms folded over its face. It was crying out against the abominable noise something about a dead body on the hill…At once the crowd surged after it, poured down the rock, leapt on to the beast, screamed, struck, bit, tore (Golding 153).
The feast and dance are similar to Hitler’s speeches to get everyone excited to kill the Jews. He began speech in low, hesitating tones, gradually rising the pitch and volume of his voice then exploding in a climax of frenzied indignation. He combined this with carefully rehearsed hand gestures for maximum effect. He skillfully played on the emotions of the audience bringing the level of excitement higher and higher until people wound up a wide-eyed, screaming, frenzied mass that surrendered to his will and looked upon him with pseudo- religious adoration.
When Jack’s tribe is trying to hunt down Ralph to torture him, it represents the German police, ripping the ghettos apart just to find some Jews hidden in homes and other buildings, so that they could be brought to concentration camps where they would be tortured and/or killed. When they finally find Ralph, in his thicket hiding, they decide there is not much they can do to kill him, but set the island on fire. This is similar to when the German people working on the concentration camps cremated their victims in a fire pit, where they couldn’t get out. I also think it is important to mention that the word, Holocaust comes from the Greek holokauston , that which is completely burnt, that which goes up, that is in smoke, or a sacrificial offering that is consumed entirely by flames.
Ralph did end up escaping the fire, and just when everything seemed lost, the boys were chasing after him, and it was expected for him to die, the naval officer showed up on the island because he saw the flames from his ship. It is only when the boys are rescued by a naval officer that the monster Jack has become shrinks back into his boy- like state. This deflation of power signifies the collapse of Nazi Germany in the face of the Allied forces(Windham 3). A little boy who wore the remains of an extraordinary black cap on his red hair and who carried the remains of a pair of spectacles at his waist, started forward, then changed his mind and stood still (Golding 201). In the Holocaust, when everything seemed lost, soldiers fighting in the war started showing up to liberate the Jews, and everyone else that was captured. The similarites of the book and the German Holocaust are no coincidences. Golding had definite intentions of referring to the Holocaust in this novel, and in this thesis there are too many similarities to say they weren’t written because of the events going on during World War II.
Courtney from Study Moose
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