Still chuckling about how the novel Lord of the Flies was specifically a critique of BRITISH imperialism and the violence that society instilled from childhood on, and has nothing to do with so-called "human nature."

When a group of real-life Tongan teenagers were stranded on an island and had to fend for themselves in a very similar scenario, what did they do? They built houses, a badminton court, and a gym, planted gardens, set up a rotating watch for passing ships, and peacefully resolved disputes until they were rescued 15 months later. Violent human nature my ass.

@ljwrites Stuff like this is why i think a lot of the literature they have you read in school is kind of lost on people? because without the context you get entirely different messages


@Hearth What's missing is often awareness of structural bias and violence--and that is by design. If I were to teach Lord of the Flies I'd show students how specifically British and "European/Western" it is by comparing with passages from The Coral Island, drawing attention to specific cultural cues and relating them back to Golding's background in education and the military, and pointing out where the story draws inspiration from Greek and Roman myth.

Then I'd have them watch a documentary about the Tongan teenagers who were shipwrecked on 'Ata, including the parts where they talk about how they resolved disputes and how a cultural ethos of mutual caring and community helped them survive over a year stranded. That will hopefully help students think more critically about "human nature" and "civilization/barbarism" claims made about Lord of the Flies and in general.

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