In 1971 Philip Zimbardo, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, decided to run an experiment. The plan was to take some volunteer undergraduates and stick them in a simulated prison in the basement of the psychology building for two weeks.
Before, the Hunger Games, there was William Golding's 1954, lord of the Flies. Well, okay, before there was, the Hunger Games, there was reality TV and the 1996 Japanese novel (and later move) Battle Royale. Just as, lord of the Flies wasn't the last kids-stuck-on-an-island story, it wasn't the first. Golding was responding to another novel, The Coral Island, written by, r.M. Ballantyne in 1857. In. It got so bad that Zimbardo ended the experiment early. After only six days. So before you write off, lord of the Flies as unrealistic and pat yourself on the back for thinking that if you were stranded on a desert island you'd be forming cooperatives and making netting out of vines, think about the Stanford Prison Experiment. Some were guards, and some were prisoners. The guards were armed with wooden batons, uniforms, and mirrored-sunglasses. The prisoners were forced to wear different clothing and referred to only by numbers. Lord of the Flies is an allegory (essentially a story with a moral aboutwell, something. People can't seem to decide exactly what. It's either about the inherent evil of man, or psychological struggle, or religion, or human nature, or the author's feelings on war (Golding was in the Navy during wwii or possibly all of the above. But you have to admit, the premise is similar: a bunch of kids end up on an island/ arena and turn into vicious savages in about, oh, five minutes. Just like, the Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies was a great successalthough we're not convinced that Suzanne Collins is going to follow in William Golding's steps by winning a Nobel. If you've ever been to middle school, you can probably guess what happened. The "guards" started to think of themselves as real guardsand the prisoners as real prisoners. Things got way out of hand way too fast, with "prisoners" suffering abuse, degradation, and humiliation from the newly sadistic "guards." There were hunger strikes and restrictions to solitary confinement.