Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Lord of the Flies - William Golding


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'sThe 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.


It took me so long to finally get around to read this book, and equally long time to write this review. It may be a little vague because it has been so long since I read the book, but I have some notes I’ve taken so hopefully I’ll be okay to use those. This’ll be short though, sorry.

I remember the first third of the book being a little boring and slow, but once I hit that mark things got a lot more interesting. It’s worth mentioning that this book did take a good few tries to read it. I was doing my exams last year and I had a lot of trouble with reading or watching anything that required even a tiny amount of concentration, so maybe that was why. However, once I did get stuck into it I didn’t want to put it down , which is always a good sign.

Addressing the Lord of the Flies directly, I had basically no idea what was going on there. I’m pretty sure that there was some sort of symbolic and deeper use of this giant cloud of flies, but I didn’t get it at all. Maybe because I wasn’t able to focus on the metaphorical side of the book because I was too wound up on formulae and verbs, or maybe I just don’t get it. I would really appreciate if anyone could explain it to me in comments!!!

On the subject of theme, this book really is based on a really interesting and kind of terrifying premise. It really did provide me with food for thought, about how far will we go for power and how close are we to total anarchy.

Overall it’s a pretty good book. I mean it’s a classic for a reason, and while I wouldn’t say it’s amazing and life changing, especially if you like old-style dystopian fiction. I can see how this book would have blown it's readers away when it was first written. Basically Golding points out, in a much more eloquent way than I ever could, that, morally, we are only a few baby steps ahead of the animals. I think it’s a pretty radical twentieth century idea, which challenged readers at the time, but at this point I think we’re all pretty used to it, and that’s why this book didn’t blow my mind.

Stars : ****

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