Lord of the Flies is a modern literary classic written by William Golding. The book begins with a plane crashing into a deserted island and the only survivors are a group of British school boys aged 13 and under. Most of the boys don’t know each other apart from a group of them who are part of a school band.
Some of the school boys include
Ralph – he is chosen as the Chief of the group because of his attractive looks and apparent leadership skills.
Jack – the leader of the band, resentful at not being voted Chief but still leading some of the boys to hunt for pigs on the island.
Simon – a quiet and sensitive boy, apparently ‘odd’ to the others around his age.
Piggy – an intelligent, bespectacled and overweight boy, unfortunately nicknamed thus. He is the boy picked on by the others.
Sam and Eric – A pair of twins who do everything together and are almost a single entity.
Roger – A member of Jack’s band and his group of hunters.
What starts off as an attempt to run a society with rules and regulations until they can be rescued eventually goes pear-shaped. At night, the boys’ dreams, particularly the little ones, are haunted by an image of a terrifying beast. A rift occurs between the older boys in terms of leadership. And finally, their behaviour becomes more savage and takes on a murderous turn not necessarily for the sake of survival.
I had heard of this book years ago but only just got my hands on it thanks to my book club. It is a fantastic read. It makes you understand the importance of living in a society with law and order — and more importantly, consequences of breaking certain rules. Through the boys’ behaviour, you can see what would happen in a society where there were no consequences. Furthermore, you get an insight into how groupthink works versus an individual thinking for himself. And how if that groupthink is not necessarily the most moral form, it can have disastrous results. For me, another issue it seemed to bring up was that some individuals in this world can in fact be born evil. All they need is the space and the trigger to engage in the evil behaviours. You can see it in the difference between some of the characters — how some thrive on murder and others have a conscience. Of course, those that thrive on the savage behaviours also have a ‘mask’ of almost anonymity to protect them. And it makes you wonder, if that were the case in society, how many individuals would be that way?
The book is quite disturbing yet fascinating. For me personally, some of the characters reminded me of some clients. And that’s a scary thought. It was made into a movie in the 60s I think and I’m curious to watch it. To sum it up, this book deserves a rating of 5.
Until next time,