An All-Female Lord of the Flies?

Article by Seo Young Oh

‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding tells the story of a group of British boys whose plane is shot down, leaving the boys stranded on an island where they are alone without any adult supervision. In the beginning, they work together to survive. The boys create rules and assign roles to one another. However, as time goes on, they start to turn towards savagery and forget their civilized lives back in England. This book is famous for how it addresses human nature, civilization versus savagery, and loss of innocence, to name a few overarching ideas. Recently, there has been talk about a remake of this renowned novel – an all girls version.

There has been a lot of backlash in the media regarding this remake. Although the writer of this movie, Scott McGehee said that an all-girls version would “break away from some of the conventions, the way we think of boys and aggression”, most think that remaking ‘Lord of the Flies’ with an all-girl cast is implausible as the original intent of the novel was to address savagery, machismo, competitive masculinity, and how it led to the downfall of the young boys stranded on an island.

As ‘Lord of the Flies’ is a text studied in the 9th grade, I wanted to find out how students at ISM thought about the all-girls movie remake of this book. Junior Putra W. says, “I believe that women will resort to savagery as well, just in different forms. The book often exaggerates the idea of masculinity, and that men are usually the more aggressive ones. With that being said, human nature dictates that there’s is that primitive and animalistic side to all of us when we fight for survival.”

Senior Sofia D. says, “Due to the differing gender roles that took place during the LoTF time (which was during WWII), girls would not have resorted to savagery like the boys did in the original LoTF. Unlike men, women were not encouraged to fight each other — a disparity between the two genders in this time period. Girls growing up in an environment where their roles were to be future house wives, it seems unlikely that they would resort to savagery if put under the same situation the boys faced in LoTF. Arguably, it may have been a biological response, to which then indeed, girls may have also resort to savagery. Biological responses, such as the flight or fight response, as well as starvation may have led to mental changes which could affect either gender’s decisions.

“I think the directors have good intentions because they want to show inclusion and show the story in a different light, but by doing so, they kind of disregard the point of the whole novel. If it were to actually come out, I don’t think I would watch it because it really doesn’t make sense at all. How are they making a film remake about a book that deals with the savagery of masculine culture, with girls? I think it would change the story entirely.”

Seeing that most people are against the idea of an all-girls movie remake of the novel ‘Lord of the Flies’, it may not be the best idea to make one.

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