lord of the flies

1.Desde el punto de vista de Maquiavelo, Ralph fue un buen líder? Razonar la respuesta y dar ejemplos concretos de sus fallos desde el punto de vista de Maquiavelo.

No, he isn´t as for Maquiavelo a good leader has to take advantage of the weakness of others and manipulate them to gain peace, order and security. What Ralph does is to talk about moral things and even though he knows the personality of all the boys he doesn’t, he doesn’t use them for his own will.

2.¿Qué debería haber hecho-dar ejemplos concretos- para haber sido un buen líder desde el puerto de vista de Maquiavelo

If he had followed Maquiavelo’s ideas, Ralph would not have acted as a leader who tries to please everyone but should have been able to harness the virtues of each child in favour of order, peace, and security. An example could be Roger, who is a child who has violent impulses and would have been perfect for the post of cleaning the meat hunted by the group of hunters. This way Roger would like what he’s doing and not cause any trouble. Another example would be to make the children compete to be hunters instead of appointing Jack leader of these, because in this way there would have tried harder to hunt a greater amount. 

3.Are people innately savage,civil,both, or neither ? Que nos transmite la obra?¿Cuál es la realidad? (Tema complejo requiere respuesta compleja)

According to Golding, in a natural state every human is savage. What the book shows us is that with fear and without a figure of authority, kids in their natural form are lead to create chaos.

In real life if there was no fear and no authority we will become savages and end up in chaos. However, due to the fact that we all share a common fear, like the laws, and there is a figure of authority we are civilised as we are undergone in a civilised society.

4.Is fear necessary in maintaining a society? “Fear is the enemy for Civilization; fear prevents construction and progress” Do you agree? Discuss the fragility of civilization against the destructive Powers of fear. ¿Qué papel tiene el miedo en la obra? People are good only because they fear punishment. (RIng of Gyges – Plato)

In most cases fear is necessary to maintain a society because if not it will lead to chaos. In the book this is reflected in Jack and Ralph. For Jack fear is a good thing because he takes advantage of the kid´s fear. On the short run it is beneficial to jack because he gains power over Ralph who was the elected chief, and becomes the new chief of another tribe. However, in long term it is prejudicial for him because they end up destroying the island as a consequence of a war against the beast (Ralph) and wars destroy.

We are only good people because we fear punishment. After an earthquake, a cave was revealed in a mountainside where he was feeding his flock. Entering the cave, he discovered that it was in fact a tomb with a bronze horse containing a corpse, larger than that of a man, who wore a goldenring, which he pocketed. He discovered that the ring gave him the power to become invisible by adjusting it. He then arranged to be chosen as one of the messengers who reported to the king as to the status of the flocks. Arriving at the palace, he used his new power of invisibility to seduce the queen, and with her help he murdered the king, and became king of Lydia himself. Plato´s brother asks whether any man can be so virtuous that he could resist the temptation of killing, robbing, raping or generally doing injustice to whomever he pleased if he could do so without having to fear detection

5.Relacionar la frase de Voltaire con la obra: Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”. 

Jack is capable of making the kids believe in absurdities like the beast and commit atrocities like killing Simon, torturing Sam and Eric, killing Piggy and Simon, pursue Ralph and burn out the island.

There are little details which end up in evil. For example, when every kid on the island laughs at Piggy`s nickname is a way of starting a bad atmosphere. Another example, Jack when first sees a pig he doesn’t kill him because he is still a civilised person and Ralph accuses him of not hunting the pig because his thoughts didn’t led him.

6.Relacionar la frase de Burke con la obra: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”/ Es necesario que lo hagas señalando escenas o ejemplos concretos de la obra.

There are little details which end up in evil. For example, when very kid on the island laughs at Piggy`s nickname is one step closer to evil. Jack doesn’t kill the pig at first because he was still a civilised person. Ralph said that he didn’t kill the pig because his believes didn’t allow him but Jack was sure he would kill the pig the next time. Roger shows evil aspects that start at a small scale like throwing little rocks to have fun and this derives in the killing of Piggy.

7.¿Qué representan simbólicamente los personajes de Ralph, Jack, el grupo de niños desde el punto de vista de Freud? Explicarlo adecuadamente

RALPH- According to Freud he represents the Super Ego which is the idealized vision of each individual representing the values that society demands on us. For example, guilty canons. This includes stereotypes. This psych instance is the result of the fear to punishment and need of affection. Since he is the one who tries to convey good values and fulfils the stereotype of a good child of his time and his society.

JACK-According to Freud he represents the Id. In this psych state we find ourinstincts, wishes, our primitive impulses and traumatic experiences. He represents Id because he becomes savage and aggressive, and he follows his primitive instincts which is for example killing the pig. And does not represent what a society expects a twelve-year-old to perform. 

GROUP OF BOYS- They illustrate Ego, a medium point between Id and Super Ego. There are no bad pulses. Is a consequence of the atmosphere`s influences. All kids together behave differently than alone because they are influenced by the atmosphere. The individual is affected by the group. This helps a person to face external and internal threats , the group is able to fight the beast together but not alone.There is an exception who is Simon, who goes alone to face the beast.

8.Cuál es el sentido del título de la obra? En qué medida es cierto? Explorar las posibles respuestas desde el punto de vista de la atribución disposicional y situacional. Citar autores

The title of the book, makes reference to the evil (Satan or Belcebú). It represents the sin, as well as the demon, which means the personification of evil. According to the book, the author, William Golding’s, tries to show that each human has its devil in their inside, as we could appreciate in Roger and Jack’s personality. At first, they were rational kids, with moral standards that did not allow them to commit atrocities. However, they ended up murdering two boys of the group. Moreover, they spread the anger between the rest of the group what made them took part in jack’s plans. For example: killing Simon, burning the mountain, bullying piggy… 

So, we can say that it is true that evil is inside us when it comes to a situation where people are in its natural state of living. When they are living without laws, they may act savage and with no control. 

Dispositional attribution: This is reflected in the book on the impulsive acts of jack. The dispositional attribution is the physical characteristics that the evil character in the book have due to their inside feelings and impulses. For example: when Roger took a rock and threw it to Piggy. This reflects the real internal attitude of him, the evil. Same with Roger. This concept is based as well on influences of the people who surround you and the environment.

However, the situational attribution, is related to the physical situation that is happening. In the book, this attribution do not appear. Nevertheless, it could be related to the cold war that is happening. For example, if there were any beast, there would be a situational attribution, a physical fact, thing or act that is taking part and people can consider.

Zimbardo with the Stanford prison experiment which was a social experiment where some volunteers were assigned to be either guards or prisoners. The guards enforced authoritarian measures and psychological torture. As we can appreciate in the book with the power and authority of jacks as he was taking the leadership of the island. 

Another author is Milgram, who created an experiment where some volunteers were led to believe that they were assisting an unrelated experiment in which they have to administer electric shocks to a learner. This fake electric shocks gradually increased to levels that would have been bad for the learner’s health. This is related it the book because it shows how authority presses the society and ends up taking out the inner evil of each one.

9.Exponer la relación de la obra con la teoría política de Thomas Hobbes.

In the Leviathan (Hobbes´ s thesis) Hobbes asserted that man is intrinsically selfish. It is society the responsible for appeasing the situation because it forces us to be good and behave in a rational way. Our society has established laws that we must follow or if not there are bad consequences (we are punished).Thomas Hobbes denied that man is by nature a social being and upheld instead that each individual is fundamentally guided by self-interest (any man possesses an instinct to do good or to feel loyalty or to defend his friends).

To counter anarchy which man’s selfishness would create if there were no checks and balances to restrain it, we adopt, according to Hobbes, certain “articles of peace” which impose restrictions on individual liberty. To see that articles are implemented, we trust an authority figure who has the right to punish. This power, in the book, is initially entrusted to Ralph by the common consent of the other children. However, he proves to be ineffective so he is displaced by the more ruthless figure of Jack. Hobbes thinks that citizens should only place their trust in the sovereign until he is effective. If this authority fails then they have the right to replace him by someone more competent. 

Hobbes not only outlines how societies are formed but advances a psychological argument about our instinctive insecurity. The covenant man forms with his sovereign, is in a way, created because of the fear we have of not to be protected from the wildness of nature. For example: in Chapter 1, the boys have a meeting in order to name the leader and see what can be done as a group. It never occurs to any of them to act as a solitary individual, unencumbered by social responsibilities.

On the book, the conch is an important symbol, which represents the order on the island. Nobody can speak if he doesn´t have the conch on his hands. By this way, Golding shows how dependent we are in any organisation upon symbolic sanctions (for example a crown or a holly book).This represents the imagined order we all belong to (what the citizens of a given society share).

By the end of the novel Jack is well on his way to establishing a tyranny. According to Hobbes ‘thesis that says that no sovereign can depend upon the loyalty of his people. Jack was able to brainwash the children and manipulate them in order to win them away from Ralph, and to establish a system of government which cover the fear they have to the beast (Jack covers the reality by having festivals and rites) (para gobernar hay que jugar sucio)

10.Exponer la relación de la obra con teoría política de Jean Jacques Rousseau.

Rousseau said: “Man is good by nature, but corrupted by society”.

He doesn’t think as Hobbes used to. He says that in the state of nature, the human being is a happy and chill being.

He dictates that in the state of nature they would remain some natural rights and social differences will arrive with the establishment of a society. As we may see in the novel, when the social contract ends (Ralph’s leadership), everyone become more anarchic.

We also might see a little extract on the novel between Piggy and Jack discussing about building a ship and escape from the island to find some help. Moreover, Piggy appointments Rousseau sentence previously cited.

One of the points of Rousseau’s thesis is based on the “Myth of the good savage”. The French philosopher starts from an anthropological optimism to show his theory about the human origin of man referred to the state of nature. According to Rousseau, the natural man is a living being like most of animals, instinctive, without reason, without society and therefore, without evils. But it will be two characteristics belonging to all animals that subsequently differentiate them from man: love for himself, understood as an instinct for conservation and the mercy that every animal has towards its mutual.

But this original state will not last long, imposing what the French calls “the man of man.” This concept refers to the social being, to the human nature that has been diverted and truncated from its original essence originating the vices and perversions consecrated as the true scourge of the human race.

11.Exponer la relación de la canción de caza de Jack y la fiesta de la caza entorno al fuego con la teoría de Marshall McLuhan sobre los medios calientes y medios fríos.

They are both hot media because of the fact that it involves emotions. During the ritual they were disconnected from their rational part and very connected to their emotional part as they were very engaged to what they really felt. It cannot be a cool media because it involves a rational part and poor sensory data. Also it engages several senses less completely because this demands a great deal of the individual’s participation and involves one sense completely.

In the rituals all boys were involved because one of their senses was completely involved in the interaction of the realization of that ritual in that specific moment so that all his attention will be focused in the ritual. They let their rational part out and involve their emotions and with that emotions of fear at the beast they end up killing Simon during the dance.

12.Desde el punto de vista de la teoría situacional, ¿pudo haber afectado al resultado desastroso del final el contexto de guerra nuclear que rodea la obra- el bombardeo de Londres o los propios niños habiendo sido evacuados de Inglaterra?

Yes, the destroyed society could have made them give up trying to survive. In the book it was mentioned that even his parents would probably not be alive after the nuclear explosion. This could affect them so that when they thought they probably didn’t have a house or family, it didn’t matter. 

13.Respecto a las gafas de Piggy realiza una exposición de la relación entre bien público (public good) y bien privado (private good). Puntos de vista posibles: John Rawls ( veil of ignorance ), Thomas Hobbes ( derecho del estado a requisar bienes privados para el bien del estado ) y John Locke (derecho natural a la propiedad privada) 

Public good is that good whose consumption is indivisible and that can beconsumed by all the members of a community without excluding any. Such as street lighting, parks, national defence or environmental policies among other things.

A private good is a particular type of economic good with these properties: Consumption by a consumer prevents or reduces the availability of consumption for others (principle of rivalry).

Possible points of view:

  • John Rawls: John Rawls’ veil of ignorance consisted of thinking of a state of imaginary nature in which society would be organized. Human beings located in that previous state would not know what their place in the future social scheme would be. They would be ignorant about whether they were going to be women or men, rich or poor, black or white, healthy or sick, children or the elderly, etc. In this way, it would be guaranteed that thanks to this lack of information, valid and sufficient principles of justice were established for all, so that, regardless of the specific position of each citizen in society, this would always be a fair and acceptable.
  • Thomas Hobbes: For this author, who defends the right of the state to remove private goods for the good of the public state, Piggy’s glasses should be used as a public good.

Therefore, in this case the private good would not exist in relation to piggy glasses. Consequently, everyone can access them as long as they are used for a public good such as making fire.

  • John Locke: Since man has the right and the duty to preserve himself, he will have the right to possess the things necessary for that purpose. Therefore, for Locke, the right to private property is a natural right . That’s why in this case piggy glasses are necessary for their preservation since without them he cannot see, so he would have the private right to have them. On the other hand, Locke also admits the right to inherit the property. In this case, piggy glasses could be seen with a material purpose so they could be bought by anyone and converted into a private good.

14.Imagínate que en un hipotético juicio posterior a los sucesos de la isla algunos niños en su defensa alegan que solo cumplían órdenes – exactamente como hizo AdolfEichmann en el juicio del 1961. ¿Cómo se podría entender su respuesta ( la banalidad del mal de Hannah Arendt y el experimento de Stanley Milgram)

When the kids get to the island they are all equal but when Jack becomes the leader he is so into his role of being the chief that he starts to think he really has power and he begins demanding the kids to commit atrocities.

According to Milgram´s experiment people respond to authority’s ideas. In this experiment 2/3 end up the experiment because an authority tells them to continue and they confide on him. At first all the boys respond to Ralph`s demands. However, when Jack becomes a new leader, kids start to rely on him because they believe he will give them a better protection against the beast. As the kids confides on Jack they do as he says.

According to Hannah Arendt, Jack at the beginning isn’t a problematic boy and doesn’t show a mean character, he acted as he did just because he wished to ascend as a leader to be over Ralph and make his own system. He didn’t consider the consequences of his acts. The kids who follow Jack were just following rules without thinking if it was good or bad.

15.Desde el punto de vista de la psicología social que importancia tiene para el grupo de Jack pintarse la cara e insultar a Ralph y a Piggy? Zimbardo-Bandura (desconexión moral). 

It is related to the experiment of the Stanford prison (Zimbardo’ s experiment) where the people working  there (police officers) used to wear sunglasses to avoid eye contact with the prisoners in order to prevent the police officers to empathize with them, thanks to that they didn’t feel guilt when doing bad actions. This is why the fact of having the painted face is very important for Jack’s group because they don’t feel bad when doing bad actions, for example when Jack insults Ralph and Piggy. This is also related to the moral disconnection of Bandura

16.¿Por qué fracasó el orden imaginario (Yuval Harari) creado por Ralph? ¿Dónde estaba el poder en Ralph o en Jack ( Marx con los conceptos de infraestructura-superestructura ,¿ donde estaba el poder ¿) ( Montesquieu- dispuso adecuadamente Ralph frenos al poder político? )