Tired of staring at those books with too much drama, too much action, and not enough good old-fashioned storytelling? Want something you can take a few weeks to read, but can actually stand reading? I may have found just what you’re looking for. I may have found a book that the world can actually understand, characters we can actually relate to.
Though it’s not for everyone, The Lord of the Flies by William Golding is an exciting book with just enough adventure to tickle your imagination and a philosophical theme that will allow you to truly stop and think about human nature. Published in 1954, the book reflects Golding’s experiences in World War II when he was part of the Royal Navy. He believed that the evils committed during the battles he fought were derived form some primal instinct that man contained deep inside. A man who had studied science before turning to literature in his second year of college, Golding decided to delve deeper into this mystery of human cruelty. He created The Lord of the Flies, a work that explores this subject, showing us what can happen if mankind is taken out of society and set free of all restrictions. Lets us see what goes on when we find “…the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and the fall through the air of the true wise friend…” (Golding pg. 202)
Set on and abandoned island during World War II, The Lord of the Flies focuses on a group of schoolboys who find themselves suddenly in charge when a plane ferreting them to safer ground crashes on unknown territory. Appointing a leader, the confident Ralph, the boys get right to work living on their own. A hunting party is established by the lead in a school choir, Jack, and sensible Piggy gets the group moving and searching for shelter and food among the trees. Things, for the most part, are going pretty well. Then Jack kills a pig. Something starts moving among the boys, something strange that they can’t control. “There isn’t no beast — not with claws and all that, I mean — but I know there ain’t no fear, either.” (Golding pg. 84) The littluns begin having nightmares, and there is talk of a monster on the mountaintop despite what the sensible ones say. Tempers flare and packs are formed. Things begin happening that should not be happening. Mistakes are made that cannot be fixed, and, slowly but surely, the Lord of the Flies starts taking over. Suddenly, life is not longer a game, but a hunt in which one must be sure to watch their back, for who knows what’s lurking behind in the shadows.
Addressing every aspect of human nature, good and bad, William Golding shares and epic adventure that will give you shivers. With a slightly sarcastic voice, he leads us through the lives of children…gone bad. He tells us what happens when things go wrong and you are “…no longer boys playing on an island, but a bunch of savages.” (Golding pg. 159) Though you don’t get picture perfect images of the characters, you experience a taste of what they’re going through. You find yourself feeling their fear and imagining that you’re standing there next to them, trying t decide which side to choose, which side is right. The book gives you a disgusted lump in the bottom of your stomach, and yet you can’t stop turning the pages. You hate the lives you’re reading about, but you can’t abandon them; you can’t leave them to die, forgotten. It’s a story that will give you nightmares.
A wonderful book for those of you who like to think, The Lord of the Flies is a tale that I highly recommend.