Published December 12, 2020 by Nan Mykel

“Many of us Lowdowners read William Golding’s Lord of the Flies in high school–and it’s still being taught.” The 1954 novel depicts the gradual descent into barbaric darkness by a group of English schoolboys shipwrecked on a small deserted island. “Its portrayal of innate human depravity was hailed at the time for its unblinking ‘realism’. ” Only …it was total bullshit, reports Hightower.* I won’t include many of Golding’s shortcomings as reported in the article, but suffice it to say he had not studied behavioral science, and in order to better understand the boys’ fantasized situation Dutch historian Rutger Bregman became curious about what would really happen if kids were left alone on an island.

He finally discovered a real situation that occurred in 1965, when six bored schoolboys ages 13-16 from Tonga took a small fishing boat out on a lark, but were caught in a sudden storm and blown far from home. Their mast and rudder broke, and they finally washed up on the shore of a desolate rocky island where they were stranded for more than a year. After 15 months stranded on the deserted island a passing fishing crew rescued them.

Fifty years later Bregman located a few of the 1965 survivors, curious to discover “how it went in real life.” Their rescuers found the boys healthy–physically, socially and spiritually. I don’t want to be a “spoiler,” and maybe you knew all this already anyway. I’m going to check out Bregnan’s 2019 work: Humankind: A Hopeful History.

*Nov. 2020 Hightower Lowdown

Please share your own experiences here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Walking the Rails

Basking in the Triumphs and Frustrations of a Disability

Yolanda - "Det här är mitt privata krig"

Kreativ text, annorlundaskap, dikter, bipolaritet, Aspergers syndrom, samhällsdebatt

Candidly Speaking

News and Commentary


Poetry of a changing Earth. The grief is real--so is the hope.


Spouse trainer, motherhood survivalist, bread enthusiast... overall great person.


Take a few minutes to slow down and think about what's going on in your world...


"Traveling and Retired"

About the Jez of It

Poetry, stories and strange odds and ends from the desk of a writer

Athens Writers Association

Bringing passionate genius to the foreground in Athens, GA -- 2013-2019


Seeking Dialogue to Inform, Enlighten, and/or Amuse You and Me


Tigers not daughters

Nature Is My Therapy

Building healthier and more meaningful connections to nature

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff


My writings of fiction, essay, poetry, observation & commentary

Intellectual Shaman

Poetry for Finding Meaning in the Madness

%d bloggers like this: