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A personal review of lord of the flies a novel by william golding

Lord of the Flies

I've just finished rereading this book for my book club but, to be honest, I've liked it ever since my class were made to read it in high school. Overall, Lord of the Flies doesn't seem to be very popular, but I've always liked the almost Hobbesian look at the state of nature and how humanity behaves when left alone without societal rules and structures.

Make the characters all angel-faced kids with sadistic sides to their personality and what do you have? Just your Kids are evil.

  1. He was particularly interesting about the conch — the shell that becomes a symbol, for the boys on the island, of fairness and democracy.
  2. This central thesis of learned and imposed morality vs.
  3. Two characters are murdered. Like Ralph, I got very frustrated by that, because when everyone is going nuts while your trying to keep things orderly, it's annoying.
  4. With a bit more bloody murder. A furious Ralph calls Jack out in front of all of the boys, and Jack leaves to form is own tribe.
  5. Despite all this, I thought this was a phenomenal book. He was waiting for me as I came down the platform.

Just your average high school drama, but set on a desert island. With a bit more bloody murder. But not that much more.

Parents say

In 1954, when this book was published, Britain was in the process of being forced to face some harsh realities that it had blissfully chosen to ignore beforehand - that it is not, in fact, the centre of the universe, and the British Empire was not a thing of national pride, but an embarrassing infringement on the freedom and rights of other human beings.

Much of British colonialism had been justified as a self-righteous mission to educate and modernise foreign "savages".

So when put into its historical context, alongside the decolonisation movements, this book could be said to be an interesting deconstruction of white, Western supremacy. This is not a tale of "savages" who were raised in poor, rural villages. I can understand why some people interpret this book as racist.

  1. Much of British colonialism had been justified as a self-righteous mission to educate and modernise foreign "savages". And Piggy even asks "Which is better - to be a pack of painted niggers like you are or to be sensible like Ralph is?
  2. As his name implies, he's fat, but as Ralph realizes, he's very bright and is an excellent thinker.
  3. Two characters are murdered. Just your Kids are evil.

And Piggy even asks "Which is better - to be a pack of painted niggers like you are or to be sensible like Ralph is? For me, I always saw it as Golding challenging the notion of savages being dark-skinned, uneducated people from rural areas.

  • Bringing it to the stage, and working so closely with its author, had taught me that that was true of the man who wrote it as well;
  • He went backstage afterwards and said to the boys, "Did you like being little savages?
  • I have had many experiences where I have tried to keep everyone orderly but their "primal urges", or craze, was difficult to;
  • As an offering of respect to the beast, they cut off the pig's head, and put the bloody thing on a stick, and jam it into the ground;
  • And Piggy even asks "Which is better - to be a pack of painted niggers like you are or to be sensible like Ralph is?

With this book, he says screw that, I'll show you savages! I think that seemed especially clear from the ending when the officer says "I should have thought that a pack of British boys - you're all British, aren't you?

William Golding: A frighteningly honest writer

Some readers say that you have to have quite a negative view of human nature already to appreciate this book, but I don't think that's true. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with all the implications running around in the novel - namely, the failure of democracy and the pro-authority stance - but it serves as an interesting look at the dark side of human nature and how no one is beyond its reach.

Plus, anyone who had a bit of a rough time in high school will probably not find the events in this book a huge leap of the imagination.

The fascinating thing about Lord of the Flies is the way many historical parallels can be drawn from the messages it carries.

You could choose to view the charismatic and manipulative Jack Merridew as a kind of Hitler or other dictator who takes advantage of a group of people at their weakest. Dictators and radicals often find it easy to slip in when a society is in chaos.

  • In the same way, every time he said "Ralph's fair hair" was aggravating, like the word repitition;
  • There is not much dialogue in the book and my job was to make the tensions of the internal narrative which shifts seamlessly between characters so that, at many points, you get the impression that the island itself is narrating the tale dramatically explicit;
  • But when it comes time to govern themselves, that's when they start to head down a slippery slope and the tension starts to rise.

Still a fascinating book after all these years.