“As if it wasn’t a good island”: Failed and Forgotten Utopias in the Cinematic Adaptations of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies: Artur Blaim
“As if it wasn’t a good island”: Failed and Forgotten Utopias in the Cinematic Adaptations of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies
I must own that you could argue reasonably enough that one of my books, or the tone of it, is antiutopian. (William Golding,“Utopias and Antiutopias” 183)
Despite explicit authorial sanction and its occasional inclusion among canonical works of the genre,1 Lord of the Flies can hardly be regarded as a typical example of dystopian / antiutopian fiction.2 Elements which ← 95 | 96 → by the mid-twentieth century had become widely recognised as the genre’s distinctive features do not appear in their standardised form in the novel, which, however, displays a number of characteristics that indi-cate a fairly strong, if only metonymic and generalised, presence of utopian / dystopian conventions, often introduced by means of their subtle equivalents,3 that shape a not insignificant, if not necessarily the dominant, dimension of the book.
From the very beginning the exotic island in the Pacific Ocean appears as a relatively good place, with its warm climate, absence of dangerous animals, plenitude of food and fresh water, beautiful landscapes, and luxuriant vegetation, to which the protagonists respond with (almost) ecstatic joy:
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