Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Publisher: Faber & Faber
First published September 17th, 1954
Genres: Classic, YA, Academic Literature
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon
William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary small boys marooned on a coral island has become a modern classic. At 1st, it seems as though it’s all going to be great fun; but the fun before long becomes furious & life on the island turns into a nightmare of panic & death. As ordinary standards of behavior collapse, the whole world the boys know collapses with them—the world of cricket & homework & adventure stories—& another world is revealed beneath, primitive & terrible.
Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was 1st published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students ^ literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought & literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies has established itself as a classic.
This was a difficult one to rate… While reading it, I wasn’t sure I was liking it. It was really difficult to connect for me, and it just didn’t grip me… But the topic is truly interesting! It’s quite a different book from what I expected and I can’t say I didn’t like it, but I sure didn’t like it as much as I was expecting to. But the thing about this book is that with every minute I think of it, I appreciate it more… I would probably have connected more if I had read it while in high school, but who knows?
This book shows how humanity behaves when left alone without civilization and supervision. These kids are not savages, they are kids with an exceptional upbringing. But that doesn’t matter when you are alone on a desert island. It works a bit like in high school, which is why I think I would have liked it more if I read it then. There’s a kind of a hierarchy in the group of kids. There’s the obvious battle for leadership, there are the ones that are followers and always will be, there are different ages and so the youngest are treated as kids while the older ones are in charge, there’s bullying… everything you would have in a high school is here – sometimes just in a little different way.
The author intends to show how no one is “good”, the society and the rules are what make us good – because we know that if we don’t follow them, there are consequences. So when on a desert island, those do not apply as easily, they are forgotten, and with kids… Those don’t apply at all. And like the author shows, kids can be truly cruel. Only, we already knew that… But to what extent?
My favorite character has to be Piggy, I mean, it’s really easy to fall for him… But I also identify my high school self with him a bit. There’s a character here that is the classic high school person than everyone follows even tho he is a jackass. Except for Piggy, which is why I identify myself with him – because the fact that he is not a follower will end up causing him trouble.
This is quite a slow-burning book. For me, it didn’t quite “wow” me but it didn’t make me think quite a lot, and it did make me uncomfortable for how much it still applies nowadays. It’s a book that unfortunately I can’t say I loved, although I was expecting to. But it’s for sure rememberable and extremely vivid and interesting when you really think about it. I really found it interesting how it was so difficult for them to accept some realities. How innocent they were, and yet how much they managed to destroy…
I don’t think it’s a book for everyone, but I would still recommend it because I’m for once quite happy I got to finally read it and see why it’s a book that is read during high school in some countries.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!