Real World Genocide
The book Lord of the Flies contains a number of subliminal meanings. One of those is how without authority figures how quickly society can fall apart and people can turn into barbaric beasts. In 1994 in the African country of Rwanda, where the Hut tribe senselessly murdered almost 1,000,000 Tutsis men, women, and children. Just as Lord of the Flies shows how society can quickly break down and people can turn into savages, the Rwanda Genocide is a prime example of society breaking down in the real world. A major theme in the book of Lord of the Flies is loss of innocence.
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The boys on the island quickly turn from innocent school boys to island savages. They begin to kill for sport and bully weaker members of the group. In 1994 the African tribe, the Huts, began senselessly murdering Tutsis people and their families. The Hut soldiers raped the Tutsis women and killed nearly 1,000,000 Tutsis people within a few short months. Just like the boys in the Lord of the Flies the Huts were a seemingly peaceful people, but quickly radicalized by a few corrupt leaders and began blaming the Tutsis for their problems and slaughtering them.
In Lord of he Flies the hunters, who used to be the choir boys, begin to look to killing the pigs just for fun. They also begin to chant, “Kill the Beast! Cut her throat! Spill her blood! Kill the Beast! Cut her throat! Spill her blood! ” (Gilding 69). In this scene the boys kill a pregnant pig for fun. This is a prime example in the book showing how quickly the boys lost their innocence. Just like the pig in Lord of the Flies the defenseless Tutsis people for no rational reasons. Just like some of the boys in the book many people around the world turned a blind eye atrocities that were being committed in Rwanda.
Fear can very often be one of the greatest motivators. Unfortunately, it can also lead people to do terrible things. Our fear of failure can motivate us to do great things, however we fear what we do not know and that can lead us to do things that we later regret and allow it to manipulate us. In Rwanda Hut leaders were able to manipulate their people to believe that the Tutsis were the cause of their economic depression, famine, and that they were a threat to the Hut’s way of life. In Lord of the Flies fear is a major theme and how fear impacts our choices.
In the book Simon says ‘”Maybe there is a beast…. Maybe it’s only us. ‘” (Gilding 80) This quote clearly identifies how the boys begin to live on the island not Just in fear of the dangerous animals or what their futures might hold, but also now they are living in fear of each other. Later in the book there is a scene where Simon comes running down the beach at night and out of fear the other boys slaughter him believing that he was the beast. Likewise, in Rwanda, many people were killed because of fear of the unknown and ignorance of the Hut people.
An important theme in Lord of the Flies is how quickly he boys lose their sense of identity. They go from civilized to savage within in a short span of time. They become divided and lose dense of their individuality. The boys are forced to make a decision on whether they are with Ralph or Jack. By having to make this choice they become solely identified with that group. In Rwanda people became either Hut or Tutsis and their individuality was taken away. In Lord of the Flies when Jack says “l painted my face–l stole up. Now you eat–all of you–and disconnected they have become from their individuality.
The boys also lose sense of he rules and regulations that keep order in society, Just as in Rwanda people were no longer individuals and they were senselessly murdered in cold blood. Genocide is one of the most cruel, barbaric crimes against humanity that unfortunately can be kept in the dark until it is far too late. The book Lord of the Flies shows how quickly we can forget our civilized ways and return to this barbaric state. The Rwanda genocide, that left almost 1,000,000 innocent people dead, took place Just 18 years ago that these atrocities can still occur in the modern world.