Featuring NEW writer Carolyn Han!
Have you ever read Lord of the Flies? It can be pretty depressing – the novel is about a group of schoolchildren stranded on an island. As time passes, order is lost and the boys end up killing each other in a bid for power. This novel reflects the idea that in their nature, humans are greedy and ruthless. However, a real-life case involving a group of boys being shipwrecked on an island (sound familiar?) points to a different outcome.
The year was 1965. Enter 6 boys at a boarding school in Tonga (located in the South Pacific) deciding to go on an adventure. They get on a boat and aim to sail off to Fiji, or even New Zealand. However, they end up lost at sea and eventually reach the unpopulated and rocky island of ‘Ata, considered inhabitable by scientists.
Though stuck in a what would seem like a bleak situation, the boys stayed and worked together. When one of the boys broke his leg, the others set his leg with what they could and helped him get better. That boy’s leg ended up healing perfectly. In times when the group’s spirits needed lifting, one of the boys would play a guitar that he made from wood, half a coconut shell, and wires from the broken boat. Most importantly, the boys maintained a constant small fire, in hope that they would be saved.
At the end of their 15 months on the island, the boys had fashioned a food garden, a chicken pen, places to store rainwater, and even a badminton court and gym of sorts. Previously thought dead, the boys returned home with great celebration.
In light of our current situation, the real Lord of the Flies story holds much significance. The boys’ perseverance and care for each other underlines how in times of crisis, we can come together and support each other, helping all of us get through this experience. After all, we are all in this together.
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