Unit 2 Essay Assignment
The setting in both Lord of the Flies and I Only Came to Use the Phone contributes to the dehumanization of the characters in each of the readings. The settings are both isolated, which is the cause of all the chaos that takes place because when you take a human being out of the comfort of society, they go back to their natural animalistic tendencies in order to survive. Survival of the fittest is present in these quotes. Also, the island archetype plays a huge role in both of the stories.
In the two stories, the island archetype comes into play. First, a mini society is established, which is parallel to the society at large. This is shown in Lord of the Flies in the following quote: “Seems to me we ought to have a chief to decide things… Let’s have a vote” (22). The boys know how things work in the real world, so they try to mock that with a type of democracy on the island. In I Only Came to Use the Phone, this same idea is shown by the relationship between the staff and the patients. The staff is the government of the institution, and the patients are the people. There is corruption among the staff just as there is in the real world government system.
The second idea of the island archetype is that isolation reduces humans to their most basic tendencies. The absence of law, structure, and order either leads to complete serenity, insight, and innocence, or the opposite: destruction, chaos, and confusion. In both of the stories, the latter is what occurred. One example of this from Lord of the Flies is shown in the quote “The rock struck Piggy a glancing blow from chin to knee; the conch exploded into a thousand white fragments and ceased to exist” (181). One way this shows complete chaos is how they killed Piggy, a human being, in such a violent and barbaric way. The isolated setting caused them to lose all sense of right and wrong. This is also where survival of the fittest comes in. It was foreshadowed from the beginning that Piggy was not going to survive. He had asthma and very poor vision. He was weak compared to the others. Another way the quote shows chaos is how the conch shattered. The conch was the one thing tying them to society; it was the only piece of their government they had left. The conch breaking symbolizes complete disorder.
The idea of survival of the fittest and isolation-caused insanity in I...