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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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The officer thinks the boys could have done better in conducting themselves on the island. Ironically, he repeats the same childish view that the boys had when they landed. Ralph, unable to speak, can only weep for "the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy."

The last paragraph is the most chilling. Ralph and the boys appear to have been saved and Jack's rule destroyed. Again the perspective shifts, and we look away from the boys and out toward the cruiser. The boys will be heading into another war. Ralph has been saved not to return to the home he has dreamed of but to be carried toward a larger war not of his making. Those who are conducting the war have the same immature attitudes about civilization and power that the boys on the island had. The Jacks of the world may yet have their way.


The dramatic change in perspective moves the focus away from the boys and turns it on the world and on us. Ralph has made war just as men of the world do. Ralph and the boys are like the rest of humanity; even in this ideal place they have bowed to the warring instinct because thinking and choice are so difficult. Golding is telling his readers that we too will be destroyed. We must remember that the world which surrounds us is our island, and we must each feel and act responsibly toward it. We have a responsibility to protect our civilization and its freedoms, especially the freedoms of choice and speech.

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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Lord of the Flies by William Golding-Free Summary
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