“As long as their are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.”Albert Einstein made this statement, at the end of World War II. This quote, while old; is still remarkably relevant in today’s society. Throughout history, war has changed technology, mindsets, and the culture of everyone in the world. For example, the Vietnam war displaced thousands of civilians, spreading their culture and food throughout the world. It changed the way people view warfare, and how people treat veterans. Veterans are the people that are always affected in different ways from war, whether it be because of a traumatic injury or whether it’s PTSD. War and trauma also affects children, perhaps even more than adults, because their minds are more prone to have this disorder.
For the first quote, the plane that had the boys had just crashed. Piggy and Ralph first met each other in the jungle. Piggy was talking weirdly, in incoherent sentences. They were talking about the plane crash. “He must have flown off after he dropped us. He couldn’t land here. Not in a plane with wheels’, ‘We was attacked!”(Page 9). This quote shows how they were paranoid, and scared about what was happening. They immediately assumed the worse; that they were attacked by somebody. This quote proves that they were not only at war; but their mindsets were changed because of this. It reminds me of PTSD, or Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. People who have PTSD are often war veterans or those in plane cash and the effects it has on you. PTSD affects your mind, and your actions. People who have PTSD are in a constant state of paranoia, just like the boys were while they were on the island. People who have it become unaware of their actions, and unaware of the severity and consequences of their own actions. To quote a veteran of The Gulf War, “I had ahold of my son by the throat. I don’t even remember having him by the throat, my wife does. I don’t know what he said to me. I don’t even remember.” The kids are just like this veteran; violent, forgetful, and unable to make rational decisions while under this disease. The kids have it worse though; because their minds aren’t as developed as this veteran’s are, they can remember the severity of their actions as well as the consequences. With this quote, the reader can assume that the children had gotten PTSD from being on the island.
In the next quote, Jack and Ralph are talking. It’s nighttime, and everyone is asleep. They’re discussing the little children, or the “littluns”, right after Ralph had come back from hunting. “They talk and scream. The littluns. Even some of the others as if - “ (Page 52) This quote discusses how even the little children were affected by both the island and the plane crash. Some symptoms of it include insomnia, night terrors, etc. This could also be the reason the “beast” was made up by the PTSD the boys had, a figment of their imagination. This relates back to the PTSD because of the symptoms. If the beast was a figment of their imagination, part of the PTSD; then all these symptoms are clear signs that they have it.
Part of PTSD is losing interest in daily activities. In this example, the author is explaining the concept of “biguns” and “littluns”. “They suffered untold terrors in the dark and huddled together for comfort. Apart from food and sleep, they found time for play, aimless and trivial, in the white sand by the bright water.” This quote explains that the kids were changed by the plane crash, and that they were different than they were before. They thought of playing as trivial and aimless, useless in a way. They also had night terrors, which proves that they experienced a traumatic event that gave them the PTSD.
For one of the final quotes, Jack was at Castle Rock, leading some of the boys with him. When they wouldn’t listen, he had an outburst where he was irrational and emotional. Right before the quote, the boys were listing reasons why they should make shelter where they are, because it was a good scouting point to look out on the island. “Right onto the bridge--’ ‘I say we’ll go on!’ Shouted Ralph, furiously. ‘We’ve got to make certain. We’ll go now.” (Page 108) This quote shows that Ralph is irrational, with the disorder taking over instead of him. It also shows that Ralph was having emotional outbursts, where his emotion would take over. He went from being calm to all of a sudden being furious.
In the final quote, it’s the moments after Piggy died. After he pushed down the rock, Jack kept fighting with Ralph. While there was some hesitation, it wasn’t like the first death on the island where the boys felt guilty for awhile. “Suddenly Jack bounded out from the tribe and began screaming wildly.’ “See? See? That’s what you’ll get! I meant that! There isn’t a tribe for you anymore…” (Page 181) In this quote, you can see that while there is hesitation, Jack actually is aware of his actions in this situation. He intended to kill Piggy by pushing the rock down, and feels no guilt for it. The first person to die in the book, Simon, died as a Piggy felt guilty for Simon dying, even though he wasn’t one of the people who killed him directly.
The Boys in the novel by William Golding, a veteran of World War II, show signs of PTSD throughout the book and it easily affects their decision making. They all experienced a traumatic event, a war they must fight that will never end.
Works Cited Section:
"Children Follow in Their Parent's Behaviour Footsteps." Telethon Kids Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Apr. 2016. <http://telethonkids.org.au/news-events/media-releases/2011/july/children-follow-in-their-parent%E2%80%99s-behaviour-footsteps/>.
"Combat Vets Fight PTSD - The News Outlet." The News Outlet. N.p., 20 Feb. 2012. Web. 31 Mar. 2016. <http://www.thenewsoutlet.org/combat-vets-fight-ptsd/>.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. New York: Perigee, 2006.
"Science Museum. Brought to Life: Exploring the History of Medicine." War's Long-term Effects. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2016. <http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/themes/war/effects>."Public Health." Gulf War Veterans' Medically Unexplained Illnesses -. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2016. <http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/medically-unexplained-illness.asp>.