Where are the women?: An ecofeminist reading of William Golding’s Lord of the flies

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Abstract

The absence of female characters and their voices in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (1954) has been previously examined. On the surface, this fiction focuses on the struggle and survival of a group of boys who are left alone on a Pacific island against the background of nuclear warfare. The only presence of women in the story seems to be the aunt via a boy’s narration. However, when approaching the fiction through the lens of ecofeminism, we can find a range of feminized entities which are metaphorically embodied in the natural surroundings of the secluded island. The boys’ interactions with these feminized creatures in nature showcase a master mentality prevalent in human-centered and male-dominated discourses, a problem many ecofeminists manage to redress. Investigating Golding’s Lord of the Flies from this angle, this paper discusses women’s subordination, men’s exploitation of nature, and the implications of reading Lord of the Flies from an ecofeminist perspective. I argue that an ecofeminist reading, which helps us complicate the interplay between men and women, women and nature, and the nature of patriarchal domination, contributes to our re-discovery of women’s voices underlying Lord of the Flies. Copyright © 2021 Purdue University.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalCLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Citation

Chang, H. (2021). Where are the women?: An ecofeminist reading of William Golding’s Lord of the flies. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 23(3). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.3468

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