Cultural Assumption 1

Recently in English, I have been reading a book called Lord of the Flies which is about a group of boys that get stranded on an island after their plane crashes. It is still early in the novel but already I have started to see some cultural assumptions that the author, William Golding, introduces. The one I have noticed the most is the way Piggy, one of the main characters, is treated. Piggy is a fairly obese person with asthma, it is clear in the book that Piggy is not as fit as all the other boys and struggles to keep up with them. Although he is very intelligent and the smartest on the Island, he is not respected because he is obese and unhealthy. An example of Piggy's unfair treatment is when he is talking to Jack. Jack tells him to "shut up fatty" and Piggy was not allowed to keep talking. So, I believe William Golding is making a cultural assumption that if you are not fit and healthy you are not considered a real man.

Personally, I think that the way Piggy is treated is wrong. There is no need to offend Piggy because he is unfit and obese, everyone deserves rights not to be discriminated no matter what they look like. Also, Piggy is one of the smartest people on the Island and has many good ideas which helps the group.

In the time William Golding wrote this book, 1950's England, both WW1 and WW2 had occurred and the world was still trying to get back to normal. So I believe William is trying to show that in his world, if you were obese and unhealthy you were not much help in the war, therefore not making you a real man because you did not go to war. For Golding, masculinity is obviously an important trait for a man to have because having fought for your country was one of the most courageous things you could have done and you were a hero when you came home.

I believe that the author is showing us how important it was for men to be masculine and not show weakness during and after times of war. Weak men were not given the same respect as strong men and were looked at as 'different'. It would have been a very hard time if you were obese or had an illness and could not participate it war. William accepts the cultural assumption that if you are not fit and healthy you are not considered a real man because he uses Ralph as a representation of a real man while Piggy is annoying and whinny.

I'm enjoying reading this book and will keep you updated if I see any more cultural assumptions.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

you could include some more examples from the novel to help the reader understand more about the cultural assumption you are talking about. One example isn't really enough to get your point across. you did link the cultural assumption to the context really well. the difference between the novel I'm reading and you are reading is that the cultural assumptions are completely different. the similarities are that they are both set in the same time frame.