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A common saying in recent times, “boys will be boys,” is largely accepted as an argument against brutality, specifically male brutality. This statement claims that it is in boys’ physiological makeup to be savage and violent however this is not true. “Boys will be boys” does not take into consideration the vast movement society has taken against violence which proves that the desire for destruction does not exist in everyone. Although William Golding’s fictional novel, Lord of the Flies displays the innate desire in humans for chaos and destruction, he failed to recognize that this is not universal.The boys in Golding’s novel are all trying to fight the savagery that comes from being stranded on a desolate island. Ralph in particular is a good example of the belligerence against chaos and violence. After the blind killing of Simon on the beach, Ralph realizes the change in his demeanor and he doesn’t like it. When talking to Piggy after the fact, he shows his fear in saying “I’m frightened. Of us. I want to go home.” (Golding 143). Piggy tries to convince Ralph that it was never his fault that Simon was killed but Ralph insists that he could’ve done something to stop it. This shows Ralph’s awareness and struggle against the violence in his experience on the island. Towards the end of the novel, Ralph becomes the target of a hunt designed by Jack and his faction. Although Ralph does not want to defend himself in a way that could harm the other boys, he must because the other boys will be coming at him with the intent of killing him. Golding writes, “In panic, Ralph thrust his own stick through a crack and struck with all his might.” (177). This panicked action proves that Ralph could only bring himself to hurt another human being only out of pure fear for his life. Ralph was not just being a stereotypical “boy” throughout the novel. Even from the beginning, he befriended Piggy when most boys probably would not. Ralph is a boy but he doesn’t behave like the savage beast that Golding and society itself makes boys out to be.Recently there have been many movements against the stereotypes of boyish brutality. Women everywhere have been standing up against sexual offences with the #metoo trend. The founder of #metoo Tarana Burke released a statement on the importance of the movement saying “For too long, survivors of sexual assault and harassment have been in the shadows. We have been afraid to speak up, to say ‘Me Too’ and seek accountability. For many, the consequences of doing so have been devastating.” (Burke). Thousands of women have been able to speak up using the campaign and support each other in order to call this issue out for what it is. With so many women coming out and admitting to times when they’ve been taken advantage of, there is no way this is solely boys being boys. Lord of the Flies includes this idea of boys having power over a woman’s body symbolically through the hunt of the mother sow. One of the boys who is seen as the most violent of them all “found a ledgement point for his point and began to push till he was leaning with his whole weight.” (Golding 123). In this scene, the boys strip the sow of her innocence and it is arguably one of the most graphic and difficult scenes to read. Golding failed to include that not all boys would do this especially in this day and age of movements not unlike #metoo. Richard Wright’s autobiographical novel Black Boy tells the story of his upbringing in a less than ideal childhood. Although Wright went through loads of tough encounters and experiences as a child, he grew up to be not only a well known author but an advocate for everything he believed in. In Black Boy Wright recalls being taught to continue the cycle of abuse in his life by defending himself with violence. His mother told him “If those boys bother you, then fight.” (Wright) in response to a threat made against him. His mother never once showed him the affection and care that a mother should so it would be easy to understand if Wright had become violent in his adult life. He didn’t, however, because he found other ways to release his pain and anger other than lashing out at his fellow man. Piggy from Lord of the Flies had an obviously caring and supportive maternal figure. He often references his aunt’s guidance in telling Ralph, “My auntie told me not to run on account of my asthma.” (Golding 9). Piggy was raised in what is assumed to be a loving household due to his aunt’s worrisome comments and therefore it is easy to justify his good behavior throughout the novel. Having a supportive parental figure be it paternal or maternal is directly related to how a boy acts when he grows into adulthood.William Golding’s Lord of the Flies does a great job of demonstrating the desire in humans for entropy but Golding fails to demonstrate the truth of the matter, not everyone acts upon this desire. Ralph continued to fight the discord that ensued throughout the novel in hopes that he would remain less scary to himself. Movements in today’s society such as #metoo have changed the way male brutality is viewed as a whole. Along with this, there has been a look into how these boys have grown up and the findings is that those without support from family and friends are usually more violent and full of rage. Boys will be boys? No, boys will be what we raise them to be. Let’s raise them right.

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