30.3.11

Lord of the Flies.

When you were at school, did you read Lord of the Flies by William Golding? Lord of the Flies is about English school boys who are stranded on a desert island. They try to govern themselves with disastrous results. It’s a controversial book because of its stances on human nature and the individual versus the common good. In many schools, Lord of the Flies used to be required reading.

Lord of the Flies

Bullying has always upset me. It's part of the baser side of human nature. And bystanders participate or watch, often out of fear of becoming the next victims.

Scene: Rural school, during lunch. MRS. IRVING is supervising 160 children on the school grounds. As such, the children are essentially unsupervised. RALPH and PIGGY are sitting on a bench with their lunch boxes. The rest of their class is also sitting on that same bench. (There are 30 students in their class.) It is chaotic.

Ralph: (bullying) Knock my lunch box off the bench, Piggy.

Piggy: O.K. Sure, Ralph. (Piggy knocks Ralph’s lunch box off the bench.)

Roger: (taunting) Hey, Piggy! Watch out for my lunch box. You're allergic to what’s in there! (Roger throws his lunch box at Piggy. Piggy dodges the lunch box.)

Jack: Yeah! Watch out, Piggy! (Jack throws his lunch box at Piggy. Piggy dodges it.)

Jack: Hey, Eric and Mark! Throw your lunch boxes at Piggy! (Eric and Mark throw their lunch boxes at Piggy. Piggy dodges one and picks up the other lunch box. Piggy throws that lunch box back at Eric or Mark. At that moment, Mrs. Irving walks by the children.)

Roger (to Mrs. Irving): Piggy was throwing our lunch boxes. He broke them!

Mrs Irving: What happened to your lunch box, Ralph?

Ralph: Piggy knocked it over.

Eric and Mark: Piggy was throwing our lunch boxes. He broke them!

Mrs. Irving: (accusingly): Piggy? Did you throw Ralph’s lunch box?

Piggy: (politely) I thought Ralph told me to.

Mrs. Irving: Did you throw Eric's and Mark's and Jack’s lunch boxes?

Piggy: I don’t remember throwing their lunch boxes.

Mrs. Irving: (gestures menacingly at Piggy with a stick sharpened at both ends) You don't remember? Piggy, you are a bad boy. You will sit on this step, all by yourself, for the rest of the day. And tomorrow, you will be IN the lunch boxes.

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4 comments:

injaynesworld said...

I don't like bullying either -- in children or adults. Hope things turn around for you soon, my friend. Sending a little something. Wish it could be more.

Café Chick said...

I hated Lord of the Flies, having been forced to study it not once but twice while I was at secondary school.

School bullying is a very difficult issue to address. Having been that one teacher on playground duty for 220+ children, it's impossible to be everywhere at once. It's also almost impossible for teachers to have any kind of break during the day, especially when 2-3 lunch times are taken up with playground duty. I would have preferred to see the government send some better support and resources to schools rather than the bullying letter threatening action from ERO if they aren't successful in managing bullying. It's not such a simple matter - and doesn't end at school, either. How many of us know of, or are in, workplace bullying situations?

The Absence of Alternatives said...

Lord of the Flies makes me want to jump into the book and grab those children by the collars and stop the madness right then and there. Have you seen the movie adaptation? It's just as maddening and I cried over it. Ugh.

Jack said...

I never did read the book or see the movie. Think I need to rectify that sooner than later.