The work depicts both the positive side and negative side
of group conflict. Its positive side is constructive
argument leading to a successful resolution of a problem.
The negative side is violence in the pursuit of group
survival goals. In the instant case, the violence is directed
toward "Piggy" whose pleadings to move the group toward
constructive conflict resolution are ignored. Ultimately,
the group embraces "the herd mentality" until the consequences
of its murderous actions are irreversible. The chaos
seems to halt when an authority figure steps off a search
boat and views the scene for the first time. There are
many lessons to be learned from this work. These range from
group cooperation to the negative impact of group deviancy
from normal modes of civil conduct. The work is appropriate for
young teenagers, persons studying group dynamics and others
interested in quality English literature. The work is well
written. The sentence construction is good for a book depicting
small talk between and amongst typical teenage boys in middle
school. The work shows how groups deteriorate into destructive
behavioral modes when logical problem resolution fails to
produce generally acceptable alternatives.
A typical assignment might be to read this book and have
the class critique it in small groups of 4-5 students.
Participants could discuss control points surrounding the
breakdown of order, as well as alternative negotiation
strategies aimed at enhancing group cooperation/cohesion.
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