Lord of the Flies & All Quiet on the Western Front - Author's Views

    An author's view of human behavior is often reflected in their
works. The novels All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria
Remarque and Lord of the Flies by William Golding are both examples of
works that demonstrate their author's view of man, as well his opinion
of war.

    Golding's Lord of the Flies is highly demonstrative of Golding's
opinion that society is a thin and fragile veil that when removed
shows man for what he truly is, a savage animal. Perhaps the bet
demonstration of this given by Golding is Jack's progression to the
killing of the sow. Upon first landing on the island Jack, Ralph, and
Simon go to survey their new home. Along the way the boys have their
first encounter with the island's pigs. They see a piglet caught in
some of the plants. Quickly Jack draws his knife so as to kill the
piglet. Instead of completing the act, however, Jack hesitates.
Golding states that, "The pause was only long enough for them to
realize the enormity of what the downward stroke would be." Golding is
suggesting that the societal taboos placed on killing are still
ingrained within Jack. The next significant encounter in Jack's
progression is his first killing of a pig. There is a description of a
great celebration. The boys chant "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill
her blood." It is clear from Golding's description of the revelry that
followed the killing that the act of the hunt provided the boys with
more than food. The action of killing another living thing gives them
pleasure. The last stage in Jack's metamorphosis is demonstrated by
the murder of the sow. Golding describes the killing almost as a rape.
He says, "Jack was on top of the sow, stabbing downward wherever pig
flesh appeared ... Jack found the throat, and the hot blood spouted
over his hands. The sow collapsed under them and they were heavy and
fulfilled upon her." In this case it is certain that animal savagery
is displayed by the boys....