An Attack on Humanism in William Golding's Lord of The Flies Essay

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The start of the Protestant Reformation marked the turn of people away from religious schools of thought and the embracement of ideas that one could deduce independently. The spiritual guidance that people had previously had based their entire lives around was shown to be corrupted and false and they set out to discover their own conclusions about existence. Out of this effort arose humanism, "a philosophy that rejects all supernaturalism and relies primarily upon reason and science, democracy and human compassion" (American Humanist Society). Humanism or rationalism to some extent supposedly allows people to explore their thoughts and emotions, better comprehend reality, and stay in tune with facets on the modern era, such as science and …show more content…
The lines symbolically depict the Golding’s father as the “taboo of old life,” affecting his every thought and decision.

Unfortunately, Golding’s ideas about humanism evolved as he did. In 1940, Golding joined the Allied war effort against the Axis Powers, participating in the Second World War (McCarron). The war proved to be a life changing an experience for him; he returned home to his family with a completely different outlook on life: “When I was young, I had some airy-fairy views about man, But…The war thought me different and a lot of others like me” (McCarron). He came to believe that nothing other than mere social conventions were preventing the people on allied side from acting with a similar disregard for humanity as the Nazis. This indicated the beginning of his descent into the world of dystopian literature. Golding wanted to write about situations in which characters would “behave as they really would” (Novels for Students). He saw the previous divinity, “civilized society”, as nothing more than a façade, created to promote racial or physical supremacy. These ideas are expressed in Lord of the Flies: “I should have thought that a back of British boys-You’re all British, aren’t you?-would have been able to put up a better show than that” (Golding 101-102). Here, a naval officer suggests that because they boys are British, they should have acted civilized and proper, even without adult

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