These are some of my favorite student thoughts I’ve ever read about TKAM.
- TKAM “shines a light onto what is right in life.” Sheldon B.
- “As long as one race hates another, Harper Lee’s novel will never be outdated.” Austin O.
- “Anyone with a heart would be touched by the story of the Finch family.” Emily S.
- “Boo is just like anybody else except with a bigger heart.” Morgan G.
- “How someone cannot love this book and fall in love with the characters is mind blowing.” Morgan G.
- “If anyone reads this book, they would have a hard time not getting wrapped up in it.” Morgan S.
- “TKAM is relatable to any time period & any age.” Danielle L.
- “This book should go down as one of the best books ever.” Kyle D.
- “The morals and lessons that Atticus teaches still need to be learned in today’s society.” Gabe B.
For Golding, who served as a naval officer during the war, “Belsen and Hiroshima and all the rest of it” provided proof of the depths to which humans could sink.
- The boys land on the island in the first place because they are being evacuated from a war zone. In keeping with 1950s anxiety about atomic weapons, Golding makes it a nuclear war… However, it is Britain’s most recent war, WWII, that is uppermost in Golding’s mind.
- After the defeat of the Nazis and the revelation of atrocities, the question everyone - not only Golding - was asking was, “How could this have happened?” How could people have permitted someone like Hitler to come to power, and how could they have gone along with him once they saw what he was doing with his powers.
- Jack as Hitler - he implies he will only rule those he deems worthy… you should count the other numerous ways.
- Ralph as Britain’s prewar prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, who let Hitler invade the Sudetenland in the hope that it would stop there.
- Or - Ralph as Germany’s pre-Nazi government which failed to understand the danger represented by giving the Nazis any sort of power at all.
- Piggy as the Jews & other “undesirables” persecuted by Hitler’s regime. (**Follow his treatment & compare it to the Jews’.)
- Roger as the Gestapo (Hitler’s secret police) or SS (who ran the concentration camps) - because he revels in violence.
- Samneric as the decent Germans cowed by fear and torture.
- The littleuns and unnamed older boys are the great mass of people, the ones influenced by a mixture of fear, desire for glory, greed, and sheer unwillingness to stand up for anything.
**directly quoted (and slightly paraphrased, with a few additional comments) from a chapter called “War and Postwar” in the book Literature in Context: Lord of the Flies by Kirstin Olsen.