Lord of the Flies by William Golding Adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams Published by and licensed from Faber & Faber Ltd Active rebellion and bucking the system are hugely attractive to many young men. It gets the blood running. So often, though, it can reveal a dark side of human nature. Without an ethical and altruistic counterbalance, individuals and societies crumble, even if they have a short season of glory. This is, I think, what William Golding warns us of. Be careful, he says. The beast is in all of us, and so, from time to time, we are eager to do things that are ultimately against what we usually consider to be decent human values. We need to guard against the beast. Evil triumphs when good people do nothing. Jack and Roger manipulate, distort and turn fundamental virtues upside down. They even appeal to qualities we admire – such as, leadership,
conviction and loyalty. They ignore spiritual and intellectual values, mock and destroy those who are different. Simon “the spiritual” and Piggy “the clear-sighted” are targeted because they oppose “the Rump”. Jack and Roger promote a savage society that is intent on conquest through economic dominance, military supremacy and terrorist acts. There is no redemption offered in this play. Golding challenges us to cut through the apathy of the present.
His warning is clear, and it booms across the years, carried in the resonance of the conch. At its most simple: if you don’t want a society led by Jacks and Rogers you have to fight for benevolence, which means actively protecting and respecting the Ralphs, the Piggys, and the Simons of this world. How can we win? The answer lies in our humanity.
David Chambers Director of Drama
Christ’s College Canterbury
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