Totalitarianism In The Once And Future King

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The novel The Once and Future King by T. H. White features a character named Merlyn, who is a wizard and also a mentor for the Wart. He teaches Wart skills that are important for a ruler to have by turning him into different animals and sending him on adventures. During his adventures he learns numerous lessons from the different animals. White uses the ants and the pike in order to critique World War Two and totalitarianism and reach the overall message that humanity has become greedy, malevolent and barbaric. The rise of a totalitarian leader is exemplified in the moat and pike scene. When Wart and Merlyn meet Mr. P, the king of the moat, he lures Wart towards him by talking about power, then he tries to eat the Wart. This is expressed…show more content…
While the Wart is talking to Lyo-Lyok he asks her if the geese are preparing for war. Lyo-Lyok responds, “But what creature could be so low as to go about in bands, to murder others of its own blood?” (170). Lyo-Lyok is judging Wart because he thinks that war and fighting is normal. War between humans is a socially accepted concept, however that does not make it right. At the time the book was published Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas had been spread around the world, and he was completely against violence. Lyo-Lyok and the geese have the same views as Gandhi. They also believe that war is simply childish. Merlyn sent Wart on this lesson so that he could learn characteristics that a leader should have. Instead of leading a violent society, he should lead a more peaceful society. Wart may be interested in knights and violence at the time, but he could change after realizing how perfect the geese are. White wanted to convey this idea, the idea that humans may currently be barbaric and warlike but people are able to change. People could become peaceful if they
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