The Cold War
Golding's novel reflects a pervasive and often irrational fear prevalent in the Cold War era. In the post WWII decade of the 1950s, adults and children alike were under constant reminder of the fear of atomic attack. Posters, videos, and drills were commonplace at schools, businesses, and even at home. Examine the still and video images below, and reflect on the role of government and the media in shaping this atmosphere of fear.
John Foster Dulles - "Massive Retaliating Power"
On January 12, 1954, U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles made his mark on history by announcing a massive change in international policy. No longer would the U.S. take a reactionary role in facing atomic threats from enemies such as the USSR. Instead, it would employ what he coined “massive retaliating power” in order to prevent such an attack and to render future attacks impossible. Read Secretary Dulles’s short address to the Council on Foreign Relations. After reading, write and/or discuss responses to one or more of the following reflection/ discussion questions:
- Why does Dulles employ the analogy of “locks on our doors . . . but no armed guards in every home?” What is the desired effect on his audience?
- What is meant by “maximum deterrent at a bearable cost?” What might be an example of a “bearable cost?”
- Dulles asserts, “The way to deter aggression is for the free community to be willing and able to respond vigorously at places and with means of its own choosing.” What does he mean by “vigorously?” What is the significance in “of its own choosing?”
- Define “massive retaliatory power.” Why did Dulles choose these precise words?
- Who is to be feared after hearing this speech in 1954? The Soviets? The United States? Explain.
- Does Dulles’s policy address the theme of “man’s inhumanity to man?” Explain.
Evacuees in WWII - The True Story
The plane that crashes at the beginning of Golding’s novel carries a group of British schoolboys, presumably evacuating from war-threatened England. Read the BBC’s Evacuees in WW II—The True Story. Afterwards, list the effects of evacuations on British children during World War II. Effects may be listed in the article or inferred. Keep these inferences in mind while reading Lord of the Flies
The Darkness of Human Nature
In this episode, a man learns that humans repeatedly fail to recognize the devil when they see him. Watch the climactic scene, and then consider the following questions:
The information above is from: Mayer, Laura R. (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
Stanford Prison Experiment - Philip Zimbardo
- Standford Prison Experiment: Aim: To investigate how readily people would conform to the roles of guard and prisoner in a role-playing exercise that simulated prison life.
- An interview with Philip Zimbardo by Greg Ross
- The Stanford Prison Experiment & Lord of the Flies - PREZI that compares the Stanford research experiment to the novel