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Lord of the Flies and the Realist Theory

            In his shocking novel, "Lord of the Flies," author William Golding presents an interesting analogy to the anarchic world of modern politics and the constant struggle for power. He creates a fictional situation where a group of English boys are stranded on an uninhabited island without any adults present. The struggles faced by these boys and the conflict that arises between them mirrors the structure of the modern international political system. Golding advocates many ideas about international politics that are shared by scholars from the Realist point of view. The situation presented by Golding holds true to key Realist beliefs such as: the state of international politics is anarchical, human nature is essentially self serving, and national security is the most important item for any state. .
             One of the first main ideas of Realist thought that Golding's novel supports is that the world is anarchical and the states are left to struggle for power amongst themselves. The world has never had a central figure of authority, for no state, at any time, has had complete world domination. Superpowers such as the Persians, Greeks, and Romans in ancient times and the Soviet Union and United States in more modern times have held sway over much of the world, but their actual authority has always been limited by the size of their borders. The absence of a world government has always led to a continual power struggle between states.
             Golding reflects this anarchical situation in his novel by placing the boys on an island devoid of adults. If we're to treat "Lord of the Flies" as an allegory for international politics, then the boys would represent individual states. Had an adult been present, they would represent a world government, for any adult would have automatically become the undisputed leader of the group. The boys would obey an adult in most cases simply because they trusted the adult and not because they were being threatened or forced to obey.

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