Lord of the butterflies

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies has been filmed three times, twice in English. (There was a Filipino version, Alkitrang dugo, in 1975, which I’d like to see some day.) Now comes a new version, with the sexes reversed. SteveF has his doubts:

Drop a bunch of preteen boys on an uninhabited island with no supplies and no training in living off the land. You’d expect them all to die, and not to be very long about it either. Instead the boys in the story formed a neolithic tribe and figured out how to stay alive. Their customs were not pretty by civilized standards, but tribal customs never are. And the point is, they were not civilized. Civilization had abandoned them, so they had to drop its trappings.

Now imagine a group of preteen girls in the same situation. Would they drop the useless trappings of civilization? Probably. Would they figure out a new society that can live in the new circumstances? Maybe. I have my doubts about the much-lauded “female natural cooperativeness,” but it doesn’t matter. They wouldn’t have a chance to find out. Once the pigs figured out that eleven-year-old girls are prey, it would be game over. I doubt we’ll see that ending in the remake.

A happy ending, of course, is unthinkable. Or is it?

[O]f course I’m missing the point of the remake. It’s not to show a realistic or plausible outcome of a scenario. It’s to push The Narrative.

So what we’re likely to end up with, at best, is Heathers on Gilligan’s Island. Mr. Golding’s estate will be properly horrified.


  1. fillyjonk »

    3 September 2017 · 7:40 am

    Anyone who says 11-to-13-year-old girls, dropped alone on an island, would be no less brutal than the boys were, has never been an 11-to-13-year-old girl. (It’s not for nothing I regularly say one blessing of age is knowing I will never have to relive that time).

    As someone who is chubby, has “specs” and “ass-mar,” I hold no illusions that I’d have been one of the first to die.

    And yes, yes, I know: dying gasp of Empire and militarism and the toady-and-bully culture of English “public” schools, but I doubt the people slavering for the remake are thinking of that.

  2. McG »

    3 September 2017 · 9:02 am

    If the castaways were American public school kids from 2017 they’d already have their tribes sorted out. Big timesaver.

  3. fillyjonk »

    3 September 2017 · 11:54 am

    And they’d have the kids marked for death already picked out.

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