The Lord of the Flies:
The cultural assumption in 'The Lord of the Flies' by William Goulding, is that being involved in war drives men mentally insane. Goulding uses the story line to portray this by using the characters to turn against each other in a civil war. The characters, Ralph, Simon, Piggy and Jack are all meant to be friends, but towards the end of the novel they all begin to turn against each other and start to kill. Simon ends up being murdered by the whole clan, but Ralph, Piggy and the twins pretend that they had no idea what was going on the next day.
A few examples of this cultural assumption is towards the end of the climax of the novel where Simon is about to be murdered. Jack and the group circle Simon and chant; “Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”. The second example is when Jack is trying to get people to join his group. He tries to persuade them to be included in his group by making it sound fun. He announces; “Listen all of you. Me and my hunters, we’re living along the beach by a ﬂat rock. We hunt and feast and have fun. If you want to join my tribe come and see us. Perhaps I’ll let you join. Perhaps not.”
My personal opinion about this assumption is that i think this is very true. People go into war with the mentality of not coming out. If they do survive, they have gruesome memories of men (some may be their close friends or family) being slaughtered and murdered by the opposition. This has a very negative impact on their mental health and some may go insane.
In the 1950's England, war was seen to have a negative effect on the mental health of the men who fought. This links to the book by the plane crashing on the island and the boys begin to fight each other. The reason that they begin to kill is because of the lack of rules on the island and the age and maturity of the boys. After being stuck on the island they begin to get sick of each other and become scared, not of the 'beast' but of their friends and the people around them. This is what happened in war too, they were not scared of any kind of 'beast' but they were scared of another human being who is capable of taking their life from them.
Goulding challenges the assumption in my opinions by making the boys all friends at the very start of the book, then gradually getting into the climax they begin to start a civil war. They turn against each other and kill their friends. I also think he challenges it by making the boys quite young, meaning anyone has the capability of going insane, not just men, even little boys too.