Lord of the Flies, a novel written by
William Golding and Antigone, a translated play written by Jean Anouilh are two
texts that accurately reflect the role of men and women in society.
Antigone, a translated French play that tells a story of
two brothers, Eteocles and Polyniece, that have been killed in a battle which
they were leading opposite sides in Thebes’ civil war. Creon declared new ruler
of Thebes orders that Eteocles will have a proper honored burial, sanctified by
holy rites, whereas Polyniece, the rebel, will not have a proper burial, his
body laid unburied to become the food of animals. Antigone and Ismene, sisters
of the dead brothers, last children of the ill Oedipus. Antigone and Ismene, one fearless and one submissive.
Antigone wishes to properly burry her brother Polyniece by contradicting to
Creon edict, whereas Ismene does not follow her sister as she fears the death
penalty that would be waiting for her if she went against Creon, her uncle.
In the play Antigone, there is a
contrast in the role of women in society between the two sisters, Antigone and
Ismene. Antigone is unpleasant by sight, boney, sallow, pale looking, basically
withdrawn in appearance unlike her docile and beautiful sister. Antigone isn’t
what one would describe as a desirable woman in her time period. Although all
of this is true, Antigone still manages to display the role of feminism in the
book, with her boyish physique and her cursing her girlhood, which is a large
part of being a woman in today’s society. She is the heroine that stands for
what she believes in and always insisting on the pleasure of her desires, as
she ignores or more likely refuses to understand the limits placed on her, as
her rebel self.
As Ismene notes, Antigone is not beautiful
like the rest, but beautiful in a way that stops children in the street,
beautiful in a way that unsettles, frightens, and awes. Society portrays women
to be very ladylike. They show women as caring, passive, polite, and nurturing…
Antigone reflects the women of society of today, as Anouilh portrays Antigone
as a way that defends her moral beliefs, political beliefs, religious and all
that for her family, which was not expected from a woman of her time period as
they were to be submissive to all rule set by the male society and follow them
with no questioning.
Ismene, sister of Antigone, is
however, the reflection of the role women in society for majority. She
represents the typical role of women in society. A radiant blonde, way more
beautiful than her sister, the serene and laughing girl, Ismene was the good
girl of the family. She doesn’t oppose herself to Creon’ edict and follows all
rules set upon her. She is what one would consider the object of all men’s
Lord of the Flies, a British novel
about an unnamed time of war, a plane carrying a group of schoolboys is shot
down. The pilot of the plane is killed, but many of the boys survive the crash
and find they on a deserted island all alone, with no adult supervision. All
evil inherit in them releases once they have let go of the remaining of their
In Lord of the Flies, the male
characters reflect two sides of men’s role in society.
Ralph who is the elected leader of
the biguns and littluns tries to keep civilization through rules and domestic
order (keeping fire, building shelters, etc…). All that, reflecting men in
general, as they are expected to do “dirty jobs” such as construction.
Jack and Roger. Jack being one of the
assertive boys and wants to take over Ralph’s leadership inherits evil in the
book, along with Roger who has a cruelty towards weak (piggy and those that
hold onto civilization) and vulberable. The inheritance in evil reflects how
men in society are more aggressive than women, as men tend to be more violent
and physical as women are emotional and gentle.
Role of Ralph that reflects men,
would be fixing problems. Taking the conch and solving the problem in between
the biguns and littluns by giving their own
daily task, reflects how male like to dominate the problems and use it
as a way to show off what their ability and what they are capable of.
Lord of the flies, might itself insinuate
that such content reflects the role of men in society and not women. As if it
were female mentioned only in the novel, it would be expected the book to focus
on girls, that gossip, and more into social exclusion. Girls can be evil and
violent; however, society doesn’t expect violence from females as it would not
Characters such as Ralph and Jack,
although their differences in ideologies, they both are strong characters and
not the contrary, which directly reflects their role of being strong
,assertive, dominating and authoritive.
The content of the text involves both gender and
novel. Which distinguishes males and females based on a set their of identity
traits. Since them, we are constructed or brought up to believe we have to
behave and interact in certain different way from each other. However, in
today’s life majority of the stereotypes and expectations mentioned in the
previous paragraph are still up to date in today’s society. Men are expected to
dominant, big , assertive, and women that are still oppressed by me,
submissive, a “goody too shoes”, housewives, and many others