A Discussion of Aristotelianism and Machiavellianism in William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” as a Children’s Dystopic Novel

Nilay Erdem Ayyıldız

Abstract

The present article analyses the representation of the political regimes in William Golding’s children’s dystopic novel, Lord of the Flies. Therefore, it, first of all, underlines the dystopian nature of the novel along with the features of plot, setting, characters and content to facilitate the reader to grasp the warning against totalitarianism throughout the novel. The study finds Aristotelian and Machiavellian philosophies of politics as highly convenient approaches to examine the political endeavours of the boys in the novel. As the key intention is to interrogate to what extent they fail or succeed in following the Aristotelianism and Machiavellianism, the paper presents a detailed comparative analysis of two separate philosophies to reveal their weaknesses and strengths in controlling people. The article then affirms that the order, set up through Aristotelianism, necessitates the repression of the evil, which is considerably tough for a ruler while the evil empowers Machiavellian totalitarians who turn citizens’ lives into a nightmare.

Keywords

Aristotelianism; Machiavellianism; totalitarianism; Lord of the Flies; children’s dystopic novel

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