Beyond Thunderdome VS Lord Of The Flies

How did I not notice the astonishing parallels before?

I just dropped down on the couch exhausted and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is the only thing on that I want to watch. I’ve seen it several times, but I’m looking at it with fresh eyes tonight. It’s like the screenwriter was forced to study LOTF in school (as many of us were) and was  mortally offended by Golding’s interpretation of the nature of humankind.  Granted, it is pretty bleak.

In Lord of the Flies, the war breaks out. The children are evacuated to somewhere safer than Britain. The plane crashes, the pilot dies, and the boys try to create some semblance of a harmonious society, but are hampered and eventually blindsided by the fact that Jack and his hunters want to play, well, hunter games. That, and the littleuns are too small to understand or participate in keeping the order of civilization.

In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, the Apocalypse happens, and surviving adults participate in the brutal society of Bartertown, whereas the evacuated children have formed a tiny and well-ordered society based on their memories of life before the apocalypse.

In Pigtown, hedonism and brute strength rule, like with Jack and his hunters. There’s nothing but ‘having fun’, and violence decides who is the leader. Tina Turner is ruthless (and still has better legs than I ever will!) in her need to keep Bartertown and its methane-needy inhabitants under her thumb. Likewise, Jack needs pigs to show that he is the most powerful hunter, able to bring much-needed protein to his tribe. Tina Turner needs the pigs’ offal to create the power that runs Bartertown.

However, in contrast to Piggy and Ralph’s shambles of an attempt to create an ordered society,  the Thunderdome children have created a primitive society with an oral history,  stable political structure (at least until Mel Gibson gets there) and the ability to sustain themselves and their way of life over time.  These children are the antithesis to Golding’s vision of humankind as barbarians without the consequences of higher authority.

Wow. That’s all I’ve got for now.

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